From "Housework Dog" to "Treat Finder" and A Couple New Spanish Words | Exploits of an Amateur Dog Trainer: Blog Edition

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Sunday, May 8, 2011

From "Housework Dog" to "Treat Finder" and A Couple New Spanish Words

Whew, a multi-faceted day for Wally on this Saturday!

The Housework Dog

Or, at least my assistant of sorts. He got a lot of practice with opening and closing the doors today as I had lots of things to carry around and stuff to do all over the house. Actually, he got a lot of practice all the way around because he had to go up and down the stairs as well.

In addition, I was cooking so there were times when he had to bark at timers going off (a job he loves). He even barked at the tea kettle when I got side tracked and forgot I had it on. If only I could get him to bark at when a pot boils over!

About only thing I didn't have him do was carry things for me. I didn't think about it at the time, and too bad because this would have been a perfect time to get him more used to carrying different things. Other than that, he was very good with getting the doors opened and closed and he remembered all his Spanish nicely.

The Treat Finder

Instead of having to hunt around for leftover treats and other crumbs, I had Wally do it. This gave me an excuse for using a kind-of-new Spanish cue, "Donde esta?", the new cue for "find it" (it means, "where is it?", prompting him to go find "it" in the future, I'll be trying to attach names of things). We've been working on this a bit, so he had an idea of what to do.

He was a bit confused at first because I didn't set up anything for him to find (he's used to me explicitly hiding things for him to find), but after some encouraging and saying the cue again in an excited way got him going and sniffing around. Once he did that, he was finding some crumbs and stuff. He sniffed around for a little while and then looked up at me since he couldn't find anything else.

There a few he ended up missing (and stepped on, which prompted him to sniff and eat the crumbs...and lick my shoes), but I think he did a pretty good job. This gave me some ideas for how to step up the challenge for finding things in the future as well.

A Couple More Spanish Words For Wally

Today, I introduced him to a couple new words, one of which I can't believe I forgot about.

That word is "Vámanos" meaning "Let's go" (or is it "vamos"...or "vayamos"...ARGH I remember why I hate irregular verbs in foreign language...or in general...*random verb rant* would some Spanish-inclined person please help this newbie? Por favor?) - anyway...the reason I can't believe I didn't use this one is this is like the first word ever on Dora - which is where all of this Spanish trying started from, his (Wally's) fetish with that girl.

So (at least after I try to figure out what it is before I say "gah" and just go with "vamos" and call it a day...) I started using it as cue for when we start moving or are going somewhere. It's basically my "come on, let's get moving, we're going" cue.

The other is much easier for me to figure out - "Bien" meaning "good" and it will be used as a reward marker. This will be easy enough, though I'll probably want to formally teach it using classical conditioning (in other words, "Bien", shove food in this mouth, "Bien" shove food in his mouth, etc, etc) so that it can have the intended effect I need for a marker.

That's it for now, oh, and to all the mothers out there "Feliz Diá de las Madre!"