Sunday, February 07, 2016

Dog Catch

The newest installment in "Unorthodox Sighthound Tricks with Kili" is the dog catch. It's exactly what it sounds like... catching your dog!

This trick did present a slight problem. Okay, 2 slight problems. The first is the obvious... having to catch a tall, long, leggy dog that is about half my weight. The second, more serious problem, was Kili's distinct dislike for being held. I worked on desensitizing her a bit by just picking her up and giving her a treat randomly, and while she didn't love it, she accepted it because... food! But then I needed to convince her to jump at me (not a problem since we have a rebound and a couple of vaults) but in such a way that it wouldn't be completely awkward to catch her. For a dog that doesn't like being held, nothing would be worse than being dropped or fallen on. At first I tried to just get her to jump up in my general direction and I would try to catch her, but once she figured out I was trying to grab her in midair she started jumping further and further away from me. I scrapped that plan.

The next thing I tried was similar to how I taught the rebound. I thought if I could teach her to jump ON me and literally into my arms, it would make it easier for me to catch her without any awkward falling or grabbing. This ended up working extremely well as she basically jumps into the perfect spot. Take a peek at the step by step training that went into this.

We started sitting down where I was nice and stable so she could feel perfectly comfortable and confident that she wasn't going to fall.

Then we moved to leaning against the wall, and finally standing. We still need to perfect it, and I'd like her to be comfortable doing it with a run up. I'm using the cue "Trust" for this one as I think it's very appropriate!


Never Say Never Greyhounds said...

Ha! You are braver than I am. I would never try that. LOL :-)

Apex Agility Greyhounds said...

It's not so bad! She's pretty light on her feet!