Friday, March 25, 2011

'That Was Easy Button' - A Trick!!

(Another 'Guest Trickster" - 
If you'd like to be one, please contact me!)

Rudy was my first attempt at clicker or trick training and he was the perfect choice.  However my methods were pretty much hit and miss. 

I taught Rudy as a puppy to foot touch a mouse pad.  Any time he touched it, I clicked and treated.  Rudy figured out what the clicker meant and I figured out that silence on my part is sometimes good.  He soon started stepping on anything lying on the floor (still does offer that behavior). 
I named the behavior “hit it”.

I next started asking Rudy to “hit” different objects starting with my hand.  It took a couple sessions to differentiate between a nose “touch” or a foot “hit.”  But, I persisted and he figured it out.  So now I could point out anything, say “hit it” and Rudy would hit the object with his foot………pylons and ring gates.

( It is his utility go out marker now.  If I don’t say anything he hits the center stanchion and runs back to me.  If I command a sit, he doesn’t get to “hit”, has to sit.)

Anyway………………… at school we taught him to hit the little bell to get the kids quiet.  I put it on the floor, pointed to it and said, “hit it”.  That was easy as it took a very light touch to make the bell ring, but the kids thought it was great.

Finally the easy button.  The easy button was a bit harder as he had to hit, hold and release.  It was just a matter of him trying and trying until he understood what he had to do to get the button to “talk”.  As you saw on the video, he’ll stand there forever hitting that button. 

I’ve attached a picture we took at school of Rudy with one of my students from a couple of years ago………special ed.  Rudy and he got along famously.

1 comment:

  1. If you want to make it easier for your dog to get a sound from the Easy button, a guy from my tricks class who has a yorkie discovered that you can take the little rubber pads off the bottom, which reveals four screws. Unscrew them, disassemble the button and there's a metal spring you can take out.Reassemble without the spring and a very light touch will set it off. Of course, with my Terv the challenge was more about teaching him not to slam it into oblivion, but with a tiny dog this could be helpful.