January 19, 2016

Trick Training Week 2: Paws Up and Paw Target

Paws Up! #ruby #dogs #jrt #borderjack #tricktraining #clickertraining #positivereinforcement #smartypants

A video posted by Lara Elizabeth (@2gingerdogs) on

Ruby and I are taking part in an online trick training class in order to earn her Novice Trick Title. I'm a little bit behind - Week 1 was pretty easy because she already knew most of the tricks. Week 2 has been a little more challenging. The tricks for Week 2 are:

Laundry Basket - flipping over a laundry basket to find a treat. Ruby struggled with this one since she is trepidatious about novel objects. We used a small storage basket and often she just lays down and looks at it forlornly.
Peek-a-boo - the dog is supposed to peek through your legs from behind, sitting or standing. This was another tough one for us since we've been working on leg weaves and figure 8s. Ruby didn't understand that she should stop. I used a nose touch with my hand as a target and treated in position, and we've made good progress.
Roll Out the Carpet - we have worked on this a little before, using a yoga mat. Ruby gets the general idea, but sometimes she paws the mat instead of pushing with her nose, or roll it up instead of out! More work is needed.
Paws Up - no problem, already in our repertoire. She has gotten braver and will now balance on unsteady objects, like a pumpkin!
Hide and Seek - we didn't work on this but Ruby has a decent down-stay and recall in the house so I don't anticipate any issues.
Bonus Trick: Easy Button/Paw Target - another easy one for Ruby. She has always been very "pawsy" so I just needed to get it on cue. We've been working on distinguishing between a nose touch and paw target.

I have a lot of fun with trick training, and Ruby does, too. I feel like she is more affectionate and cuddly after a training session, and I love seeing her tail wag in these videos. Every time we work together I get a better sense of who she is and what she is trying to say. I can also see the areas I need improvement, such as cuing clarity and clicker timing. I'll be back to share more next week - the Week 3 tricks are another nice mix of things she knows already and new challenges. 


  1. B and I are the remedial kids. We work on 1 trick at a time. Right now I am working on filming the trick she mostly taught herself and I only recently started reinforcing. I named it something silly - but it's all I could think of. One of these days, I will share it in a post!

    Ruby is so smart. And Boca is simply cheering her on. ;)

    1. Five tricks in a week are a lot to keep up with, and so far they haven't all been totally new! I can't wait to see Blueberry's trick.

  2. She's so cute! I love the first video where she's up and then like "okay, what's up next?".

  3. Good job Ruby! I've decided to tackle these tricks much slower, I just can't keep up with 5 new tricks per week. It won't earn us the certificate, but I'm okay with that. Teddy could probably do 5 new tricks per week, but he doesn't have a day job! Can't wait to see you and Ruby with your certificate!

    1. Five is a lot to keep up with. Luckily the bonus trick is worth two points so we can do that one in place of one or two others if we're struggling.


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