The Doggy Ride cart sits in the corner of our living room. We’ve removed the wheels to make it more steady.
I’m using a clicker to shape Honey’s behavior around the cart. We started by clicking and treating her every time she looked at the cart. Then when she stuck her head in the cart. Now, to get a treat, Honey has to put her head into the cart up to her shoulders.
We’re also rewarding her if she can sit or lie near the cart when I shake it gently.
In addition to our active work, I regularly hide treats in the cart at random for Honey to find. We’ve hidden chicken liver, cheese, and chewy treats (basically anything starting with a “ch”) in the cart.
When we started, Honey was tentative even walking by the cart. Now she moves easily by the cart and goes right to the cart when she sees me pick up the clicker.
When I hide things at random in the cart, Honey will prop one paw into the cart to gain access to the treats hidden farther back.
But she’s not willing to crawl into the cart to get even the yummiest treat.
My goals for Honey are not linked by time. I did not assume I’d meet a certain benchmark by the end of the month. I’m trying to let Honey lead the way.
My only goal is that Honey be comfortable. I’ll take my time. We’ll go at her pace.
Honey is excited that we’re regularly playing training games. And I think she trusts me more around the cart. I hope we can build enough trust to get her riding in the cart.
But, if we fail, I’ll be grateful for anything I can get.
When I dreamed up the Something Wagging Train Your Dog Challenge, I wanted to encourage a stress-free month of fun and bonding with your dog.
Responding to the comments left with the challenge, I created the Lazy Person’s Guide. And we opened up the training challenge to any other critters.
So now it’s your turn. What did you hope to learn with your animal this month? How did you succeed? How did you fail? And, most importantly, did the training strengthen your relationship?