Friday, July 4, 2008

The G-Dawg Training Guide - Shake... the good kind! (by: Gerrit)

The other day I wrote about the bad kind of shake (shakin' my buddy Hope by the neck while we were playing). Today, I'm going to write about the good kind of shake!

So, you would think that teaching shake to a puppy would be the easiest thing in the world, right? You just hold out your hand, say shake, and puppy joyously puts paw in your hand. What can be difficult about that? Ummmmm... lots!

When my puppy raiser tried teaching it to me, I had no clue that I was supposed to shake with my paw. I thought shake meant touch nose to puppy raiser's hand... and, if her hand smelled like yummy treats... give hand a big wet lick! She tried over and over and over again to explain that I was supposed to touch her hand with my paw (and not my nose or tongue!)... but I just didn't get it.

So, what did my puppy raiser do? She asked one of Nick's puppy raisers (who is also Hope's person) to try teaching it to me while she was puppy sitting me. And, you know what? I finally learned it! But, it took some work cause I just didn't get the whole lifting the paw thing. Nick's puppy raiser had to be sorta be creative and do things like wrap my paw with a leash and slightly tug it while she said "shake".

Now that I know it, my puppy raiser practices it with me constantly. She says it's not enough just to know shake cause shake for a CCI puppy means so much more than just shaking a person's hand. For a CCI pup, shake is the foundation for eventually learning stuff like turning off light switches. So my puppy raiser has been teaching me that I should lift my paw when she says shake even if her hand is not there (so, it sorta looks like I'm waving). And, I should not lift my paw if she holds out her hand, but does not say the shake command.

Whew, the good kind of shake sure is tough! Shakin' my buddy Hope was so much more fun (errrrr... except for the getting in trouble part)!

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