During our last training class on Monday, we started the process of ‘shaping’ our dogs to go to their bed/mat and lie down.
Carol chose Mindy to demonstrate the process. Drop the rug on the floor, and when the dog sniffed, looked, touched the mat/rug, click and treat. Well, it didn’t take Mindy long to understand what she was supposed to do. It was so fun to watch.
Well, last night I started working with this exercise at home. We bought a new soft rug at Walmart. This would be our portable bed so Mindy will always have a familiar bed to lie on at home, or when we visit others.
It amazes me how smart she is. Same as in class, she caught on so quickly that if she touched the rug, she would be rewarded (click and treat) – the treat is tossed away from the rug so she must understand to go back to the rug again each time.
After the treat, it is so funny to watch her plop down off the rug and look up at me. She is assuming that just because she is lying down, she’ll get a treat. And when she doesn’t get the reward, I can see her mind working; she quickly gets up and moves to the rug. Her eye contact is excellent!
I stepped it up again today (actually we practiced this exercise three times today) and waited for her to lie on the rug a few times, and then I worked a little on duration before I clicked.
I have always felt close to Mindy, but now the bond between us seems even deeper. I understand now how training is truly a wonderful way to build a lasting relationship of trust and love with a dog. I just love her to pieces!