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Monday, December 21, 2009

I got it, I got it!!! Finally!!!

Since I was just a wee pup, I've been really good at going out and targeting away from Mum. She taught me that trick very early as part of my agility training.

But get me to go get something, and bring it back to her, (other than my soccer ball in the backyard) and put it in a box...and I was stumped! Mum's been working with me to help me understand the behavior of (what I call) 'go get it' and 'put' for about a year now. And guess what! I did it this past week! Finally!

Mum was so excited she had to get it on video, even though we did it when it was dark outside (hence the poor quality of the video). But you'll get the idea.

So how did we do it? Mum thought...for me to be that excited about carrying something around in my mouth it had to be my most treasured toy. So we worked with this toy, which is actually Wiggy's little furry toy that you can stuff with catnip. I love this toy, and if I can get it from Wiggy, I carry it around with me all day.

Mum knew whatever she threw would have to be super high value, so she threw the furry little one, and then ran the other direction, with me right behind. Great first step. Then she put out a little box (the one she wanted me to put it in), threw the toy and had me bring it back to her next to the box. I like to hop into boxes so she knew I would be interested in the box...and voila! I dropped it right in.

Next step is to work on me fetching and putting other items, but we are so happy I finally got it, and Mum finally figured out how to help me learn it.


  1. Awesome Johann!!! Mom would love for me to do that trick but my retrieval skills are extremely non-existent! I can tell from your mum's voice how excited she was about your new trick! That's just too cool!

  2. Good job! Mommy has never been able to teach me that. I will bring it to her, but not put it away. Now you can panhandle for money!

  3. Awesome Johann! Love the video, cool how we can see you thinking through the problem... Do I get in the box? No, I put the toy in the box. Yay!

    Wish Addie could learn to do this...then I could teach her to put her toys away in her basket! Any other tips for teaching this trick?

  4. Wow, I had no idea this was a toughie for others too! Thought I was the only one that didn't get it, BOL!!

    I do have a couple of other tips....Mum used my most treasured toy to learn this trick, the one I can't let go of, the one I like to carry around everywhere. That made all the difference.

    And she treated me for accomplishing the goal over the box, and made sure to mark the exact moment I dropped it with a YES, and click. That really sunk it into my brain.

    I sure hope others can give it a go, keep us posted, K?

  5. Well done Johann! Another one who has trouble with that here. I don't like to hold things or direct them places.
    I will has a go with your tips.
    ~lickies, Ludo

  6. Woo hoo! Great job! I love the thrill of finally having a breakthrough with a tough trick or skill. Good for you for sticking with it! I haven't tried this trick yet but will look forward to giving it a go with your tips during this long cold winter.

  7. Aren't our dogs great at making us feel happy? What a success story! Congratulations!


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