I love training my two Norfolks for obedience. While doing so, I learn something new every day. Oliver (age three and a half) has a CD and we are currently working on his CDX. He has been taught using more traditional methods. With Cricket (age one and a half) I've been using clicker training. It is interesting to note that with the clicker, dogs are trained to "offer" behaviors as this story may attest. Working with both dogs, using different methods, is always full of surprises.
During a recent ring rental session one morning, I was working on Oliver's long (five minute) down. I felt that Cricket was not ready for a stay of such long duration. Instead, I decided to use her as a distraction, letting her freely snoop around the room.
Leaving Oliver on a down stay, I walked into the adjoining room that has a viewing window for such occasions. Cricket followed close behind. I left the door open behind us as an additional challenge to Oliver. Cricket nosed around as I kept an eye on Oliver through the glass.
Then, Cricket began looking questioningly at me, as if trying to figure out a problem. (Could there be an opportunity for a cookie here?) Suddenly, she trotted off through the door and went over to Oliver and sat squarely next to him. She completed the remaining three minutes at his side ... a perfect sit stay!
And yes, in the end there was an extra cookie in it for both of them ... one for Oliver for completing his traditional exercise and one for Cricket for training herself to sit.
ANTIC, March 2002
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