On the final day of what I call K-9 Kamp, we were told that the dogs would learn tricks.
But, I thought, Penelope knows SIT, LIE DOWN, and ROLL OVER.
That when Carol, our instructor, showed us how to teach our dogs to dance.
Using treats, she lured Munroe under one leg and around to the other.
Soon, tails wagged. Penelope did figure eights around me. All we needed was music.
Then came the best trick of all. Closing a door.
Following Carol’s directions, I put a treat behind an index card and called Penelope.
When Penelope touched the card with her nose, I called out, “Okay.” I gave her another treat from my other hand.
After Penelope got the hang of it, I used a plain card with no treat behind it and added the word “Touch.” A correct touch resulted in a treat.
Back at home, I taped a card to a cabinet door
“Touch,” I said.
Penelope touched the card and was ready to take it a step further.
I left the door ajar and changed the command to “Close the door.” After a several days practice and lots of treats, she tapped the door shut with her nose whenever I gave the command.
This trick will be particularly valuable in my house because Leia, the other parti-cocker spaniel in the family, can open any door. (See A Princess Diary and Ain’t No Mountain High Enough.)
In a perfect world, whenever Leia opens a door, Penelope will close it. And I’ll be able to sit through an entire episode of The Game of Thrones.
Note: If you live in or around Madison, New Jersey and would like your dog to learn agility, rally, or nose work, visit http://www.sthuberts.org and check out pet training/sports training.