Thursday, November 15, 2012

My Naughty Ub-sess-shin: As Told by Athena

Hi guys!  Athena here.  My mom and dad have been a little bit irritated with me lately and have even threatened to not bring my ChuckIt! Launcher to the park anymore.  Can you believe it?!  They said that I'm in charge of writing the blog today to tell you guys about some naughty things that I've been doing with my launcher...

I love my ball so much.  I never want it to go away!

Well here it goes.  I hope you all still love me after hearing about these naughty totally normal things.

You all know how much I love my ChuckIt! Balls and how I will do anything to play a game of fetch.  Most of you also know that I am a very helpful girl and will even carry my ChuckIt! Launcher to the park for my mom and dad.  Well, recently I've been extra excited about my launcher and whenever my mom and dad get it out of the car trunk hiding place, I just know we are about to play my favorite game.

This is my favorite game!

For some reason my mom and dad think that I'm being naughty when I sometimes jump up and try to bite the launcher out of their hands.  I don't mean to be naughty, I just get a little impatient when they take a super long time to launch my ball!  Can you blame me?  Dad says that I have accidentally put my teeth on his hand a few times and even though it was soft, it still hurt him.

I want that launcher so bad that I might just bite it!

My mom says that I also have to write about the other naughty thing that I've been doing with my launcher.  So, I now know the "drop it" words and will always sit and drop my ball at my mom and dad's feet.  But, whenever mom or dad tries to grab my ball with the ChuckIt! Launcher I just get so excited that we are about to play again that I bite the launcher and try to steal it from them.  They keep saying things like, "she's ub-sessed with the launcher!"  I don't know what ub-sessed means, all I know is that I love the launcher so much that I just want to bite it!

Got it!

I don't think that these things are too naughty, but my mom says that I need to stop doing them or my launcher is going to be put in time out!  This is why I need your help.  Please can you give my mom and dad some sug-jes-chins about how to get me to stop biting the launcher out of their hands so that it doesn't have to be put in time out!


Thank you in advance for your qwap-er-ation with this matter.

25 comments:

  1. Mushroom tries to grab toys that we're holding, but she has a pretty solid "wait" command, so we tell her to "wait" before letting her have any toys.

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  2. It's tough to blame ya, Athena. The ChuckIt Launcher is the source of the most awesomest game of fetch ever, right?

    Maggie sometimes has had this issue. We started asking her for a down after she dropped it and before we threw it. We also had a rule that if she broke the down before the ball released, then we would start all over again. This involved a lot of "faking her out" with the ball so she understood that it wasn't our arm motion that released her but the actual ball moving out of our hand or the ChuckIt. Every time she broke the down stay, we'd just say "oops, try again" and lower our arm. She learned very quickly because she wanted to fetch so badly. We did start this without the ChuckIt and just throwing the ball old school style. The Chuckit, at first, got her so amped up that she got more frustrated with the down stay so we were more successful keeping that out of the equation at first.

    Good luck!

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    1. Great advice! I think we need to start using some sort of a cue like "oops, try again" to let Athena know that she didn't quite get it right!

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  3. Our Junior is the same way with frisbees. He will bring them back but his daddy will play tug with him and the frisbee so he has learned to be naughty! I won't do this so he has to drop it and not try to snatch it back before I will throw it. If he does go for it before I pick it up I will say "no sir" and stand up, cross my arms, and ignore him until he backs away and sits down. He is pretty good about dropping it for me now. I would maybe even set the launcher on the ground if she tries to take it out of your hands (if she won't run off with it) and make her leave it until you can pick it up again without her interfering.

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  4. I think Elli's only done this with food. Maybe once or twice with her ball. Certainly not anything like some dogs I've seen. Good on you for wanting it fixed asap so the chance of learning thru repetition is lessened. Um, Athena needs to learn a solid default leave it. As in, no verbal cue. She gives the ball, then she waits for you to pick it up, then she waits for the toss, then she fetches. Rinse and repeat. To create that type of sequence, if she dives for the ball when you're about to pick it up, cover it with your foot. Literally stand on it. Let her figure out (thru really painful scratching, barking at your feet, etc) that diving for the ball doesn't get her the ball. Essentially, you're able to control the resource. And begin instituting the rule that if her teeth touch your skin, the game ends. Bye chuck-it. If she's jumping on you prior to the toss, wait her out. Jumping doesn't cause the ball to be launched quicker - sitting or standing politely does. I actually put Elli's jumping on cue - it's a huge motivator for her and I use it almost every day when I want her more energetic. :) something to consider. It's also ppl's favorite trick. :)

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    1. Thanks for the advice! I think we will start using the no verbal cues and standing on the ball to wait her out!

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  5. If you get any good suggestions, please share them. Koira is not ball obsessed. She is Chuck-it obsessed. She body slams, leaps for the chuck-it, etc, continuously. She doesn't care if there is a ball in it or not. Its annoying to me, but I really don't want her doing it to other people with chuck-its, and have had to leash her a number of times because of it. (Though, I will add in that she aims for the end of the chuck-it, so is not at a very high risk of actually biting someone while leaping for and grabbing at the chuck-it).

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    1. Athena started off by being totally ball obsessed, but it has now turned into ChuckIt obsessed. So strange!

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  6. Uh ohs AthenA! When Kaya was a puppy, she was chuck-it obsessed and not at all interested in the ball itself. She would launch herself 5 feet in the air onto the total stranger who was trying to play with their dog and she'd snatch it out of their hand mid-swing. Then she's proceed to sprint around the park with it and not give it back. I always wanted to crawl into a hole and die at this point. So really, you ain't that bad girl!

    I agree with the above comments. Get her in a sit or down is even better as soon as she drops the ball. At first, I'd then roll the ball with your foot several feet away from her. Then pick it up and throw it. If she breaks her stay position, start all over again. Kaya will now back up several feet on her own before each throw and if I back up, she puts herself in a down. You'll have an old pro before you know it!

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    1. Oh my! Athena has yet to jump 5 feet in the air to snatch the ChuckIt...and luckily she doesn't spring off with it either!

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  7. Oh Athena your so cute! I would also teach leave it but start simple with treats as leave it then upgrade to the chuck it. If you start with the chuck it she may still take it from you and you don't wanna get into the habit of her getting it after you say leave it (she could possibly ignore leave it if you start out with something to exciting). Then I would tell her leave it, down her, make her wait then throw it. If she tries to grab it after the leave it I would say a no or utoh then put it behind my back and if she doesn't take that hint I would say no/utoh then walk away from her. Then try again after about 15 sec.
    I do think others have great advice to. As long as you keep it as a possitive training session and not punish her for it (she could be turned off from fetch with that, of course I know you are a possitive household I just had to say that :) she will get the hint real quick.
    Good luck!

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    1. Excellent advice! I like the idea of starting simple with just the ball and then moving up to the chuck it. Athena actually has an extremely good leave it when it comes to food...now if only we could get her to leave the ChuckIt!

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  8. Athena, I agree with Sarah and Anonymous. A solid down stay between launchings and resetting if you break the stay. Also, if you grab the launcher, I would recommend a "no thank you" with crossed arms. Basically you'd learn that if you don't follow the rules, you don't get to play.

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    1. We need to be better about teaching her that if she doesn't follow the rules then she doesn't get to play. Thanks!

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  9. It is so hard to be patient with things that are so much fun! I agree with Keri about "leave it." I think that could really help. If you don't know it yet, start practicing with easier things that are not so tempting. I can tell you how I learned if you want. Just let me know :)

    Also, when I play tug with mom she stops the whole thing the second I stop following the rules. My tug toys disappears and mom pays no attention to me at all :( It did not take me too long to figure out that the fun ends as soon as I stop being on my best behavior.

    I know you can do it Athena!

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    1. I'm seeing some leave it training in our near future that involves things other than food. Athena is excellent at the leave it command with food, but we haven't worked too much on it with other objects. Thanks for your advice!

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  10. With Hank I would tell him "drop it" immediately followed by a "leave it" and then would cover the ball with my foot. He has to sit/lay and wait until the ball is thrown. Before we got our launcher (all of 3 days ago) if he went for the ball and got my hand play stopped instantly. He learned rather quickly if he went for the ball when he wasn't suppose to I would stop playing with him.

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    1. Hopefully Athena will be quick to learn that play will stop if she is being naughty!

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  11. My lab used to be just fantastic about dropping it and leaving it, but now our second dog always steals the ball when he drops it so my lab has gotten crazy about trying to give it to us. He runs headlong in to us and tries to jump up and put it in our hands. It's so hard to play with both of them outside that he doesn't get to play fetch near as much as he used to now. He also gets really excited about the chuck-it and tries to eat it sometimes but this bugs me much less than the new habit of jumping on me :(

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  12. First of all, you look great with your teefers sticking out while waiting for the ball, let's get that comment out of the way!
    On the rare occassions that we throw a ball with Hades (and by that I mean the rare occassions he actually wants to play with a ball,) he tends to nip our legs occassionally but a quick "AH" or any type of verbal cue. He responds pretty well to that. Sometimes he doesn't want to drop it and we say, "drop it," or "give," and sometimes I put my thumb and forefinger on either side of his mouth and massage it quick to get him to release it. I don't have to do that every time, just when he gets over excited.
    I will be honest though, or pups have little interest in fetch and I admire Athena's drive!

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