Friday, December 7, 2007

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Grete's Tricks

I've been putting off writing this entry for quite some time, but I really need to list out the tricks / skills we've been working on so that I can continue to work on them.

Sit - She does this less reliably than down, but she knows it as well as the average adult dog.

Down - She's good at this, but sometimes she's reluctant if there are distractions.

Come - When she's in the zone, she LOVES to be recalled because it's an excuse to run full-out. She's amazingly fast, and she LOVES running at Warp 10. Warp 1 jogging at my side is still hard.

Stay - Pretty good. Better than average, I'd say. I've only had her break stay on our way to lunchtime playtime, and that was after I was about 30 feet away.

Off - She's pretty good at this. She's been pushing her limits a bit lately though. She's not allowed on any furniture -- except for the futon. So far, she groks that distinction.

Go to your rug - She's sometimes good at this, and sometimes not so good. It's fun to alternate this with "Kennel" and "Futon" because she knows the difference.

Kennel - Working on this as a puppy really, really paid off. She's good at this, even when she knows we're leaving.

Futon - She loves the futon. However, I think she only gets this when I'm standing next to it. I haven't tried from another room.

Roll Over - She's bad at this - but she's done it about half a dozen times without help. I think she'll get this one pretty easy.

Shake - Classic shake was hard. I initially didn't teach it to her because I didn't want a dog that pawed for food. Then, I saw a dog in class do "shake", "high five", and "wave" -- and I was jealous. However, she wouldn't do shake. I finally gave up and switched it to "Give me a paw"

Give me a paw - She finally got this tonight, and much to my delight, she's relatively gentle with her paw. I can do this down low for "shake" and up high for "high five" but I'm not sure how to segue to "Wave" so she doesn't know that.

Ball - aka "ball ball ball" - aka Get your ball - I've broken a rule by repeating a command to make it interesting. She's pretty good about knowing what a ball is though. Loves em.

Touch - She picked this up in puppy class even though we haven't worked on it. It's just a natural thing for her to want to touch my hand with her nose, I guess. Like with "Give me a paw" she'll jump up if you do this up high.

Nose - This isn't set in stone. I have a paper cup that I got in class, and one night she seemed to know the difference between "Nose" which meant put your nose in the cup and "Paw" which meant hit the cup with your paw.

Paw - See Nose. See also "Give me a paw"

Bandanna - Again, this isn't set in stone either. When I work with the paper cup, I also throw down a bandanna to see if she knows the difference. I think she does, but I could be messing with the experiment by hinting in some way that I don't realize. (i.e. Looking at it.)

Find it - When playing with a soft fetch toy, we alternate between fetch, catch, and find it. I either hide it behind my back or in another room. However, it's clear she's not a hound. She doesn't sniff it out. She seems to catalog old hiding spots, but some are nearly impossible for her.

Fetch - She's good at chasing balls. Depending on the situation, she'll either get the ball and drop it WAY far away, or she'll drop it 10 feet away, or -- as I've been working on this - she'll drop it within arm's reach. It takes patience to get her to arm's reach - and a lot of "ball ball ball" or "get the ball" to get her to pick it up again.

Catch - She WANTS to catch, but she's still a bit of a Klutz. She can catch if you throw them just so, but her reflexes for catching are still iffy.

Drop - She's great at this. Way better than most puppies and better than the average dog.

Leave it - This totally depends on what I want her to leave. The cat - ok. Food - ok. A recently scented bush on a walk - No way. Thank goodness she only seems to care about urine. She avoids poop.

Car wash - She only gets this trick with lures. It's a trick where the dog is supposed to come from behind you and stick its head between your legs so that you can hold them and pet them. She prefers to go head first through the "car wash" and get her butt scratched.

Belly Rub - She sorta knows this.

Shake it - I sorta blame myself for her confusion with Shake. I think "Shake it" is a great trick, so every time she shakes water off, I say "Shake it" or "Shake Shake Shake" or "Shake your booty." (Again, I should just pick one.) It's hard to test this without a wet dog though.

Walk with me - (loose leash) - She's medium terrible at this on leash outside. If drop the leash, she's five times better. If we're inside, she's great at this. We can bob and weave through the cones at class with the best of them. Usually I'm the one making the mistakes - not her.

Right here - She's good at getting to where I point. However, I use this sometimes when we're on a walk to get her back to my side, and there she's so-so.

Heel - (the real deal) She's sorta ok at this inside, but we've just stared using the word. I held off on using it because I only wanted to use it if she was already doing it perfectly. I think I should have worked on this more as a puppy.

Wait - She knows this pretty well by command, but she knows it automatically in certain places. She's pretty decent about wait after we step out the front door because I have to take time to lock the door. She's not so good about waiting at other doors because I don't want to block the flow of traffic at work sometimes.

Let's go - This is an easy one, but sometimes sets her going too fast. Hence, I also try to use "Slow" to remind her not to take off.

Slow - She used to know this pretty well and it got her to slow down on loose leash walks, but she's slipping up and pulling more these days.

Automatic sit - She's pretty good for a puppy at this. If I stomp my foot just so, I can even get this on outdoor full-distractions walks. I think this is because for a while I was really good about not letting her go forward without her sitting and looking back at me. Her loose leash tendency has always been to be in front, and again, I should have fought that more.


This weekend, Grete saw snow for the first time. She tried to eat it, and she seemed confused when it stuck to her tennis ball. Jason has some cute pictures that he will hopefully post soon.

Grete at 7 months...

She's probably a touch over 40 lbs now. We haven't been to the vet for a while so I don't have an official weight, but we've held her while standing on a scale a couple times. She's halfway through "Advanced Puppy - Off Leash" -- otherwise known as "Puppy College."

grete and bailey on black friday

Grete played host to a variety of dogs over Thanksgiving. On Thanksgiving day, Lola came over to play almost all day. The day after Thanksgiving, Bailey came to spend the night. Grete discovered the joy of a real dog bed, and Bailey discovered the joy of polar fleece. Also, Bailey was kind enough to share her ball with Grete -- a ball for which Grete felt an almost unholy love.