Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Training Shuffle

This post is part of our 2012 Training Challenges series.  Each month we'll tackle learning a new trick, command, behavior.  You name it, we'll train it.  Seriously...if you have an idea, let us know in the comments below!

For every one step forward, we take a few steps back.  And then a few steps forward, back, get the point.  I call it the Training Shuffle and it completely defines my experiences training Maggie & Sadie. 

If you like my Facebook page, then you might have seen my post last week about how awesome Sadie did in our first rollover training session.  It was amazing, unexpected and completely due to the Hubster's work with her.  She was lured into a rollover on the very first try!  And then she did it again...and again...and then on the other side.  Woot!  I was ecstatic that our training challenge for February was going so well with her, seeing that Back Up last month was, well, let's just say Sadie did NOT have it down by the end of the month.

Then we had a second training session, a third and a fourth - all complete and total training failures.  Not only did she refuse to be lured, she refused to lift a leg off the floor.  Yes, she would get on her side but that was it.  She wouldn't even move her head around to sniff at the treasure trove of treats I had in my hand.  What the !?!?!?

I was at a loss.  How does she go from absolutely no problems rolling over to get to a treat to zero interest in the treat?  Several theories later, I realized that it was the room we were training in that was the problem.  See, the Hubster does training in our den in the basement.  Our carpeted den.  I usually do training upstairs in our living room.  Our hardwood-floored living room.

So this morning, off Sadie and I went to the den to see if carpeting truly made a difference.  Voila!  Training obstacle overcome.  Princess Sadie must be comfortable when contorting her body into a rollover.  Either that or she must have her precious tent to hop into after each successful or unsuccessful attempt, which belongs in the Top 5 Cutest Things Sadie Has Ever Done list.  I keep watching this video and dying over how adorable she is.  Who needs a roll over when your dog hops into her tent with such utter joy after attempting said roll over?

While we had a step forward in our training this morning, I am sure we will experience some more steps backward but how could I ever get frustrated with a dog who has such enthusiasm for all things tent-related?  I don't.  She just makes me laugh.


  1. haha our pups are rug spoiled too ... they don't even like to SIT on an uncarpetted surface!

  2. Oh, that was so cute, she made me laugh too! She is making good progress though, I can't even get Delilah to 'down.' :-)

  3. that makes total sense to me--the carpet thing. desmond is completely the same way (i sometimes joke about how he's such a princess), and when i go out of my way to make sure he's not lying on a hard surface (whether for tricks or just to rest), people often tell me i'm nuts--that he's a dog and will just lie anywhere. but i know my desmond, and he will most certainly not be happy if he's not on something soft.

    i'm glad it's not just us. :-)