Big Pupi's fancy shmancy folding hula hoop arrived 3 days ago and we've been learning all sorts of new tricks. It scares me a little bit with its bright colors and evil circular shape, so I keep my distance. Big Pupi, on the other hand, isn't afraid of much and he took to it right away. To both of us the hoop means treats and training and we get so excited whenever it appears!
Pupi learned to jump through the hoop in all of 2 seconds because it's so similar to the tire jump in agility. I'm still learning that approaching that spooky thing is okay. The next trick he's working on is a bit more complicated, and he's still in the beginning stages. Mom got the idea for this trick from Niamh, who is learning how to do it herself! It's the doggie hula hoop: first we run out to a hoop lying flat on the floor, get in the middle and SPIN! Neither Pupi nor I are natural spinners. In fact, I don't think we've ever spun in our lives, so mom had to introduce it to us anew. We call it "hula," and we're catching on!
Mom always says that Pupi makes her look good, because it generally takes him 5 minutes or less to pick something up. She doesn't have to do much! Well, it wasn't 2 minutes before he mastered the "go in," which is the command to get into the middle of the hoop. The spinning however, took a whole 10 minutes (gasp!) before he started to understand what mom was asking for, and he's still a bit shaky on it. To mom's surprise, I picked up the "hula" command before Pupi did just by watching his lessons! I am brilliant!! (But it's a selective genius... mainly used for feasting, hunting and breaking into garbage cans...)
Anyway, as time goes on mom will add distance to her commands so Pupi will eventually head way out to the hoop and spin a few times. Hopefully by next week we'll have another video of Pupi being the hooping master and me jumping through that rainbow monster. We'll see. It's still too scary for me now and we have lots of work to do.
Here's a little video of the trick after 15 minutes of training. We do quick 5-minute training sessions whenever mom finds a few minutes to string together. The trick is still in its parts and Pupi is yet to squish them all into one solid command. Pupi also added his own style to the spinning routine, by incorporating a nice little leap in the middle of his rotations. And for your viewing pleasure, you'll also see me - Master of the Meat - working on my hooples hula routine!
**Just a note, mom says "sorry" for the shaky camera. She was training and video taping herself. Also, you'll see mom's hand quite a bit because we train with hand signals. It's SO MUCH easier for us to learn that way!
Music by Bob Schneider
We LOVE learning our tricks and we're determined to have this down before Pupi's next therapy class in a few days. The class theme is Personal Tricks, and he plans to show them all what he's made of. Considering you are what you eat, I'd say that I'm made of feasting deliciousness. It doesn't take a classroom full of dogs to figure that one out.
Putting tasty information in my brain,
PS- Big Pupi is a super crazy fast learner for almost anything... except "shake." He can weave through poles, knows the difference between Left and Right, but mom has NEVER been able to teach him how to give his paw! This is a great and simple trick for a therapy dog to know and she wants him to learn it. Any advice?