When I thought about our Christmas cards this year, I had one image stuck in my head.I was pretty certain it would be the CUTEST Christmas card photo ever, if I could just figure out how to pull it off. In order to do that, I was going to need just a few things:
- Fabulous, meaty, super enticing dog treats
- The help of a trainer way smarter than me
- Koly’s co-operation
- Mad skillz as a dog trainer, extraordinaire
So just what did I have in mind? Imagine THIS PHOTO only with an adorable, irrepressible puggle and instead of his paw floating in mid air, it’s resting on a Christmas ornament. *Ahhhhhhhhh* It would be woofing adorable, right?? So, determined to make this a thing, I turned to Mychelle Blake, the Association of Pet Dog Trainers President and CEO for some advice on how to train my dog the “Touch” command. Kol’s trainer is an APDT member and we have had a lot of success using her rewards-based training style, so I knew that any advice Mychelle was able to share would be a great fit. In retrospect, I should have been concerned when this was Mychelle’s response:
“I taught this to my pit bull puppy and now he touches everything. Which is why we’re NOT getting an xmas tree this year, LOL.”
You guys know me. This did not deter me AT ALL. “That’s OK”, I thought, “I’m sure Koly won’t do that.” Because somehow, in my deranged mind, Kolchak is apparently better behaved than the dog of the leader of the dog trainers. Yup. Clearly, I am this pup. *Sigh*
Kolchak is a little paw shy.
He doesn’t love his paws being handled, he cautiously steps on strange or unpleasant surfaces and he HATES anything sticky on there, so I knew that teaching him the “touch” command would mean I would have to bring out the big guns and offer up a treat he would abso-woofing-lutely love.
You guys, this stuff is like Koly crack. The first time we bought the Fruitables Whole Jerky, I actually bought it for Felix. He is allergic to so many proteins, so any time I find treats made with novel proteins like bison or pork, (bacon), they have my full attention. US sourced and made with just two ingredients per flavour (the meat & natural flavour), there was nothing in these treats that made me nervous. They were safe for Fe, they were a quality, US made product and they were from a brand I knew my dogs loved. (Koly will shank you for a Fruitables Snowflake treat.)Koly is so woofing cute, you guys. When we first started working on the “touch” trick, he had no idea what I wanted from him, so instead of pawing at the ornament, he just stared at me, then started doing totally random tricks, in a desperate bid to earn some jerky. (I *just might* have a video to share with you guys later this week, along with some out takes and Felix’s Christmas trick.)