December 19, 2017
Cookie Jar Games
My restless dogs. In September, Dawson ran into me while running in an Open Jumpers with Weaves course. I ended up with a broken bone in my right ankle; Dawson was fine. Approximately ten weeks of recovery followed (my dogs’ interpretation? Approximately ten weeks of BORING followed.). I’m still not back to running but I do miss working with my boys as much as they miss having something to do. One of my teachers suggested doing an online Julie Daniels’ course that teaches the dogs delayed gratification. The course is called, “Cookie Jar Games” and is six weeks long.
I’m going to document my journey through this course and it should be pretty interesting because currently Grady will focus on a treat until the end of time which can be a little annoying if you want him to focus on something else in order to get the treat. Dawson gets very impatient and very excited all at the same time (and very barky which sometimes makes me very barky too!).
This week we worked on several fun exercises. One of the exercises involved presenting both hands to the dog, a treat in one hand, the other hand treat-less. The goal? To have the dog consistently focus on the treat-less hand in order to get the treat. You’ll see that this was challenging for my dogs because they’ve been taught to simply leave the treat hand alone and that will get them the treat (a version of It’s Your Choice). I added the clicker after the first session which seemed to help. Here’s Grady doing the exercise and he’s still figuring out what to do.
Given that for the first five years of his life, he was trained to simply back off the food hand to get the treat, I think he’s doing okay. Now here’s Dawson who catches on a little faster but he’s also had fewer repetitions backing off to get the treat than Grady.
Dawson gets barky which tends to be the norm for him whenever he gets excited, impatient or frustrated. I like that he does his barking, then gets back to figuring out the game. Good boy!