For now I'm going to focus on getting Ruby's Novice and Intermediate titles, but while Boca doesn't have the same enthusiasm for tricks, she's proven herself quite capable of learning. One of my trick training goals with both girls was to have them sit pretty in unison, with enough distance/duration that I could get good pictures. Boca had no balance to start with, and now she is sitting up as long the treats are coming! We still have a ways to go in order for me to phase out my luring with Boca, but she is starting to offer sit pretty regularly.
Each week, the tricks are assigned along with tutorial videos. Members are encouraged to post their video progress before Sunday of that week. By the end of the class the dog will have learned the requisite number to achieve the corresponding title. Yesterday we submitted our first video to our Novice Team on Facebook. It's been so fun to see all the dogs' styles and get pointers from the instructor, Sara Carson, and the members. I highly recommend joining in if you have any interest in trick training! Filming and watching our video showed me just how much polishing we have to do even on the things Ruby knows already.
Our Week One tricks are:
Muffin Tin Game (we skipped this one for two reasons: first, Ruby is very cautious with novel objects so I knew it would take extra time to get her comfortable with a muffin tin; second, I consider this more of a puzzle toy than a trick)
Bonus: Play Dead (I don't like the connotation of shooting my dog, so we call this one "Relax.")
None of these tricks were new to Ruby but it was obvious that the return to basics will do us good. We have been practicing "sit pretty" so much that Ruby forgot how to just plain "sit!" She can also spin both directions but we call the other way "twirl." Ruby's nose touch needs work as well - she tends to touch me with an open mouth of teeth instead of her nose. The Heroic Sparks group is going to provide the motivation, inspiration and accountability to stick with our trick training on a regular schedule all while propelling us to our first title.
I plan to update here with each week's tricks, and as a special treat for Positive Pet Training Week I'd like to show off one our more complicated tricks that has been in the works for a long time. We call this one "march," and I'm just not sure Ruby can be any cuter than this:
This post is part of the Positive Pet Training Blog Hop, hosted by Cascadian Nomads,Tenacious Little Terrier and Rubicon Days. This month's theme is National Train Your Dog Month and the next hop begins on February 1st. The hop happens on the first Monday of every month, and is open for a full week - please join us in spreading the word about the rewards of positive training!