Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Trick and Treat Tuesday: give us a kiss!

I'm always on the look out for silly tricks, but I have to add a forewarning for this one. If you do not like a bit of slobber (but it's good for the skin mum!) or if your pup can be a bit too eager and rushes forwards with you having no control over this, this trick might not be for you. Unless you want a concussion... Believe me I have tested the skull of several dogs (by un-coordination from our mutual movements, not in a mean way) and my poor skull has definitely come second every time... My poor nose too, lucky I don't break easily.... Though you can still try with the tips below.

She's just a cry-baby, don't listen to her my skull is lovely and soft.

The idea is to get your pup to come and plant a big kiss on your cheek. Obviously you need to get a nice gentle kiss, with him coming to you when you ask him. That's not a very complicated trick to learn, or at least to explain. And with Mawson it was quite quick to teach, cause he is a big softy.

MUM! Remember what I said before, I am a big mean scary pup! Not a softy! Stop destroying my street creds!

The fastest way I have succeeded to do that with Mawson is obviously by using food...

Alright then, as long as it's at home only, then... yay, food is coming guys!

From my experience, the main steps are:

- Get mister pup sitting in front of you. Get a treat in your hand and get him to approach his nose on your cheek and release the treat with the reward cue (yes or click, or whatever you fancy). Repeat a few times. Make sure that the approach and the "kiss" are gentle and not turning into a pup headbutt. If that is the case calm things down by luring him slowly to your cheek or by using previous learning (for example, I have taught Mawson "gentle" which means to him being a bit more of a gentleman and not a big silly crazy monster, that works well in  whole lot of circumstances, from play with us to play with other dogs, mostly the tiny ones that would entirely disappear under one of Mawson's paw). When the basic "kiss" action is learnt, start adding the cue word slowly after the action. Then, when your pup, seems to get really at ease with this, go to the next step.

Hey pups, if your mum or dad asks you to do that kissy thing and you're not keen. Then, make sure that you really slobber up before any performance. Just spread it up on their faces. Even put a bit of slobbery tongue. I swear that will stop a lot of the minions from doing that trick. Me, I can't help it I like giving a kiss to mum, then she gives me one on the nose :)
Euh ahem, well she gives me treats you see, only for the treats, yuk, girl's kisses, yuk, ahem...

- Start getting the pup to do the "kiss" by indicating your cheek with one finger (or your preferred hand signal you will use in the future). Then start to switch the food from the indicating cheek-hand to the other hand, hence, removing a bit of the luring, but still rewarding all the way of course (that means treat given after the action instead of getting the action through the treat). Continue to reinforce the cue word.

- When your pup starts to really get the idea without the food luring. Then start to introduce a bit of distance between you and the pup, from him just sitting in front of you to a few paces, where he has to actively come towards you to plant the kiss. Try to stay at the pup's level, to not encourage jumping up. The jumping up is not good for plenty of reasons but mainly because you will either get a concussion or get a trip to the dentist...

And that is basically it! Just a bit of repeats and perfection of the pup's action and you can get as many kisses as you want!

Within reason, mum, within reason...

Remember, as for any trick and new behaviour, if at any step the pup starts getting confused, just go back to the previous step. And be patient!

And also use a lot of treats, yeah, juicy treats!

Now, I can basically be anywhere and ask Mawson to give me a kiss (ok I use an informal french translation word for it...) and he will come and give a nice kiss on his mum's cheek like a good pup :).  Martin doesn't really do it, he prefers the manly handshakes...

While flexing our respective biceps, I shall add! It's for the ladiezzzz...

Mawson sends big good night' smouacks to all of you :*

Well, at least to the ladiezzz ;)

Want a kiss???

(NB not my pic nor Mawson,
found it from LittleFriendPhoto.com on the t'internet)

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