So, since we seem to have mastered the “jump into my arms” trick, I realised I’d actually gotten a bit slack at teaching new tricks. Sure, we’d go through a bunch of ones we know and sometimes work on ones that needed working on (put the toy in the box, for example), but as for something completely new, well, it’s been a while.
Jump into my arms was one I’ve always wanted to teach but for some reason assumed we’d never be able to do- particularly with Lu who doesn’t really like being held or up high. That being said I’d read something someone (maybe Silvia?) wrote about how her BCs or Pyr Sheps (one but not the other) liked being all over her, so this trick was easy, but for the other breed it was completely unnatural because they weren’t ever on her… So possibly that helped for Lu because she’s always all over us – she sleeps on our laps. Mal is much more polite and gets worried about standing on you- for him, this trick would be very hard.
So anyway, Lu can now jump into my arms with no leg support- I’ll try and get a video later. I’m now rewarding more for the bigger leaps that get her higher into my arms. It’s great fun and she’s quite happy to be supported under her stomach with one arm while I play with her in the other arm. LOTS of trust going on there. Super impressed.
Now I’m trying to think of what’s next. Maybe:
-teach a limp (I started this today by shaping a sustained front-paw hold off the ground)
-cartwheel/vault off me (might wait on this one until she’s REALLY solid with jump into my arms, otherwise I can see a lot of “do I vault?! Do I jump!?” confusion, which could be painful for me and dangerous for her).
-work on “hold it” (hold something in her mouth) until that’s more reliable.
-when free shaping she does this great move where she flicks her head up over her left shoulder. I don’t know what I can do with it because she never goes to the right, otherwise I’d have an AMAZING exaggerated head shake.
-snorkel on command (this wouldn’t take long – she does it naturally when drinking so I could shape it really easily)
-work on holding a toy while sitting pretty.
-“cheese” – look at an object (camera) and wait.
Any other ideas? Thoughts? Favourite tricks?
One day I’ll also get a handstand but I think I need to rebuild her strength on that one- she’s finding doing it against the wall tricky at the moment so I might go back to a box or something. Not sure.