Difficulty: Moderate Prerequisite: None Items Needed: Clicker, Treats, Scotch Tape
Just as a comedian needs a handful of one-liners when his joke doesn't go over too well, it's good to have a trick to fall back on if your dog doesn't quite perform up to the level you were expecting. Lets say you have some dinner guests over, and you want to show off that new trick you taught Bella yesterday. You had taught her Trick #34 - Get Slippers, and you're excited to show your friends how smart your dog is. Well, after telling her to retrieve your slippers, she's gone for a long time... after calling her, she comes slinking back with a slipper in her mouth, except it's completely chewed up. She drops the drool soaked mess of what used to be a comfortable slipper. Your dinner guests are trying their best not to laugh, they know you're embarrassed. Well, one trick that you did drill over and over is this one. "Bella! you should be ashamed of yourself!" Bella whines and lays down, puts her paw over her head. Your audience bursts into surprised laughter.
Step 1: Put some scotch tape or a sticky note on your dog's nose so that she paws at it. Click and treat. Step 2: Repeat this a few times, but add in your command. Think of a short phrase such as "I'm Ashamed of you!" Use this command each time she paws at her nose. Step 3: Take the tape off and give your command. Give her a jackpot if she paws at her nose! Step 4: you wish, you can accompany this trick with her laying down. While teaching her, have her lay down before she paws at her nose.
This trick was so much fun to teach Caspian. I started with some scotch tape and put it on his nose. Since Caspian didn't want the tape on his nose, he naturally started pawing at it. Immediately I clicked and treated. Each time he did it, I would click and treat, saying "I'm ashamed of you!" After several times practicing with the tape, I gave him the command and he would paw at his nose. Soon, I was able to take the tape off his nose and give him the command again. He did it!
My dog won't rub his nose without the tape! Try cuing the behavior by gently scratching her nose with your finger. That should trigger a memory and she'll obey you. You can use this hint less and less to perfect the trick.
Tip: " A good hand signal would be putting your hands on your hips!"