Put Your ‘Paws’ Up in the Air
January 14, 2011 § 4 Comments
Maple now comprehends basic commands such as ‘Sit’, ‘Stay’, ‘Down’, and ‘Heel’ so I thought it would be fun to jazz up the routine with a new trick. MM suggested that we teach Maple how to play dead with the ‘Bang’ command. We don’t practice ‘Bang’ very often with Maple, perhaps one session on alternate days and no more than five repeated attempts per session. Maple is certainly motivated by food and she will usually comply, but only after so many times before she starts to pout!
We begin by commanding Maple to assume the ‘Down’ position. With our thumb-like trigger and index finger pointing at Maple, we say ‘Bang’ (with an exclamation mark). Most of the time, Maple would stare at us blankly. We would then have to coax her onto her side by gently rolling her body over, all the while repeating the word ‘Bang’. Once on her side, we apply the ‘Stay’ command. We use the word ‘OK’ to release Maple, followed by a tasty treat and lots of praise.
Maple hasn’t quite mastered this trick and I suspect it will be some time more before she gets it down pat. After all, it takes about five bangs for Maple to finally roll over and play dead. Perhaps Maple believes she’s born with an anatomy made of steel, or maybe she imagines herself wearing a bullet-proof vest. Either way, she is one tough little pup!