Archive for the ‘dog tricks’ Category

Ava and Her Toy

At yesterday’s Shih-Tzu Shuffle we got a care package. Inside the care package was an Ava sized toy.  Gracie has many many toys. Mostly of the hard plastic kind that can’t be terrorized  and destroyed in three minutes (we timed it once).  But this cute little pink plush doggie was just the size for Ava-roo.  I showed it to her … she took it from me and sort of cuddled it.

There was some tussle, Gracie really (really) wanted pink doggie but Ava held her territory.  Here I’m giving it back to Ava.

Gracie moaned and groaned to get her paws on it.  When I finally put it up to live to play another day, Ava was sort of nesting it, keeping it safe.

I’ve never seen Ava try and play with a dog toy.  Not once.  I find this video very sweet and hope you do to.  She’s just coming into her doggie-ness a little bit everyday.  It really makes me happy.

Ava gets a Lesson

I must confess I thought Ava incapable of learning doggie tricks.  It took my friend Lisa B. to show me differently.  Off-camera Lisa and Ava did some tricks with Gracie and me watching nearby.  When Dave got home, Lisa wanted to show Ava off.

What I find most interesting is the last portion of the video… Lisa distracted Gracie while working with Ava, she worked with them both.  And Ava found her safe place — in the dog bed — and was still willing to work with Lisa.  Isn’t she good?

Touch My Hand

A few weeks ago our little family went to Lisa’s house to have a doggie date. Gracie loves Lisa’s shih tzus, Ranger and Teddy.  We were having fun but for some reason, Lisa needed her doggies by her.   She said to the boys, “Touch my hand!” and the two dogs went right to her.  I asked her about it and she said sometimes she just wanted them to by her side.  Well, I thought this a very useful trick indeed and set out to teach it to Gracie girl.

Put the treat in the palm of your hand.  When the dog comes and touches your hand, release the treat.   Genius.  I’ve been working on her about 10 days and lately alternate treats in hand vs. no treats.  Sometimes you get it, sometimes you don’t.

This trick came in handy today when we looked for a doggie sister or doggie brother for Gracie.  After visiting with Ranger and Teddy and seeing her have so much fun with them — spontaneously playing with them — she needs companionship.  So we’ve been visiting shelters and rescues and went to look at a shih tzu from New Beginnings Shih Tzu Rescue. These are the good people who Lisa found Teddy.  We met many sweet dogs.  The one dog we went to see didn’t seem like a good fit for our family.  But we found two other ones that may fit very nicely.  We are doing a home visit with them this week to see.   Hopefully we’ll have video of the home visit to show you.

Everyone says that having a second will change Gracie.  I just don’t know if that is a bad thing.  I don’t think that she is as happy as she can be.  She constantly wants to play with me.  Her separation issues are an issue and she thrives around her doggie friends.  I do not know if we will get a second dog, I do know we have to try for Gracie girls sake.

More Commands

Gracie does not excel at “come”. She’s pretty stubborn. She’s excellent and “sit” and “down”. I tried “roll over” but she’d keep boxing me… so now “roll over” is “box me”. This is a combination of everything.

 

Waiting is the Hardest Part

One of Gracie’s greatest tricks is her ability to “leave it.” We’ll put a premium treat at her feet and tell her to leave it. At her best she’s had to wait 60 seconds. I love how you can see her little nose wiggle.  And, look how she waits for a command and doesn’t focus on the reward. Good girl.

Some Hints
I think it takes a while for the videos to load... they're HD format and are pretty big files. If you click on the arrow and then immediately click the pause button. This allows the video to load. Once there is more grey line than black line, you should be able to press the play button. Enjoy.