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The Adventures of Bitey Dog!

Learning to Spin

November 2nd 2012 1:30 pm
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When I started teaching Geordie to spin, we hadn't learned to talk that well yet. To get him to spin, I used a toy and had him follow it in a tight circle. I would say "Spin", he would follow, then I would give him a reward. We practiced and practiced, but he wouldn't do the spin without the toy. One day, I finally got frustrated and threw my hands up and said, "Why won't you spin?" I was totally not expecting it, but he understood my question, and he answered me! He took his toy, shoved it into my hand and gestured that "Spin means follow the toy, doesn't it?" I gasped, "Ooooh!" with the accompanying look of comprehension on my face. From that moment on, he spun without the lure. I finally understood that he thought I wanted him to follow the toy, and he understood that I am an idiot. That was one of the first breakthroughs we had in talking. Now when I want to teach him a new trick, I can largely use English to explain what I want him to do. I will repeat myself once or twice so that he knows that I am teaching and to let him get used to the sound of the words.

He likes when we use words to play Find the Biscuit. I will hide one, then send him to go find it. He gives up early and asks me for hints and clues to where it is. The other day, I learned more about how he understands my words. I told him to make a left turn, and he did, but he thought I meant that the food would be right there. I learned to tell him, "Left turn. Walk, walk." So, he turned, then took two steps and then found the biscuit. He is such a little smarty!


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