Just wanted to share a little video of and exercise I did with Luna and Wyatt. We had a rare evening of no upstairs dogs being outside (we live in the basement apartment, and the owners upstairs have 6 dogs) So I decided to feed the pups on the porch. I have several balls I can put their kibble in while working inside, but they always seem to get stuck in corners, under chairs, and everywhere else under creation so I decided to take it outside for a change. I spread the kibble on the porch, making them wait while I did so, and then released them with a “take it.” Well I used take it, and threw in “Wyatt” to release him. We have been using his name, as a release word, but I think it’s time to change that as we also use his name to get his attention. I have used release at the end with him and he seems to get that better. Take it is a general command for both in conjunction with food, toy, or a chew.
I am lucky that neither of our 4-leggers are overly possessive over bones, food, toys. It does help that Wyatt is not pushy and doesn’t really challenge Luna for anything either. They are always supervised during exercises like these though, but the only work I have to do is occasionally hand a bone/kong back to the other as one has managed to take both. I hope to be able to do this exercise with them more often as they seemed to enjoy it.
Have you ever tried something like this with your dogs? Another easy option is to put the food in a big Gatorade or juice bottle and make them figure out how to get it out. Always trying to think of ways to tire out my dogs, hopefully you won’t get bored with the same subject.
We have the Nina Otosson pyramid and that is such a great way to feed Shiva. Unfortunately it is very, very loud when it hits the floor so I don’t do it often, only when the neighbours aren’t home. We could try it outside as it might be more reinforcing than the neighbour’s garden. Maybe I will this weekend!
We do this too when we’re too lazy to stuff a kong or find a gatorade bottle, which is always inevitably stuck under a sofa or chair. The dogs like it, though it doesn’t take as much energy as one of the puzzles.
Another idea for you: with a very sharp knife, cut a 1-2″ slit in a tennis ball. Fill with kibble. Give to dog. It keeps our Chick occupied for about 45 minutes! The first few times, we had to rub PB around the slit, because he couldn’t figure out that there was in fact an entryway to the snacks.
That looks like fun, but if I fed my doggies like that, they would spend all of their time looking for food where last they found it…lol. Chessies can be annoying like that, (it is one thing that can be annoying when hunt test training…they will always remember where last they found something like a bumper or a duck and try to go back and look just to be sure).
As far as a release command for Wyatt, if you are going to hunt test, you might want to consider what you use because something generic like “take it”, or “fetch” could be an issue when he has to honor and another handler uses a similar release command. We use their names for marks and “back” for blinds. Most people use “back” for blinds, but they would never have to honor a blind, just a mark. I have even heard of two dogs with the same name being rearranged in the running order at a test to avoid the same name issue, (so even the name can be an issue but you would know before you got to the line at least). I haven’t heard “release” to release, so that might work OK. Just something to think about for future.
Luna is so lady like and carefully selecting only the best bits lol. My dogs sometimes get kibble in a treat ball. Kodee is the master who pushes it about with her nose making these yippy sounds. Becky is lazy and bats hers but mostly just follows Kodee letting her to all the work!
I know this is an old post, but this is my first visit to your blog and the video caught my attention. We fill treat toys to keep our dogs occupied too, and you are right, they often get stuck under things. What a great idea to take it outside – and wonderful self control they both have. You can tell you put a lot of effort into training them. Nice job!
Aww thanks, yeah there are 6 dogs that also live on property so the porch exercise does not happen as often as I like as unlike mine they are complete food maniacs. They have gotten grumbly on occasion, but overall they are good. It usually comes from the lab who gets really into knocking the food ball around and not so much into eating it, he is a goober. They are always supervised though as dogs will always be dogs no matter the work you do with them. But I am sure you know that 😉