Monday, May 13, 2013

Paws up!

Two years ago (!) I had my Command Clinic: Pawmania post, wherein I listed the paw tricks Elka had, such as "give me your paw", "high five", "pattycake", and "Testify!"  Since then, I've added one more, or am in the process of.

See, I can hold my arm out as though to receive a falcon in flight and tell Elka "paws" and she'll put her paws on that arm. I'm expanding that cue, so that she'll put her paws on the object I'm indicating, rather than the arm I indicate with (so, if I use my left arm to indicate, rather than my right, she puts her paws on the object, not my arm. This required a few trials [I have a fading scratch on my bicep], but she's getting it.)

It can be difficult to get a picture of, as Elka is still at the "I did it, give me a treat!" phase of reinforcement. I need to praise her, treat her, and tell her to "wait" all before she hops down again.

Dogs are allowed in our bank, and the tellers have treats, so they've actually in the past been disappointed that she wouldn't put her paws up and see them. So, we can show this off now. We certainly did at the vet's last week! I could, theoretically, also use this as an intermediary step in the chain of behaviors required for her to turn out a light. It's also the first step in a complete "hop up", which is what I tell her to do when she's getting in the car.

Also, I finally got a video of "Testify!" It is very short, and I think I sound funny, but there you go. It was at the park, and Elka really wished we would get going and I'd stop messing around with the flashy box.


  1. These are great cue and trick tips. I have a "let's dance" for paws on my arm but have not done much to differentiate "step" from paws on something low or high... and I need to. Thanks for the post.

  2. You are a smarty pants Elka. We think we are switching banks
    Benny & Lily

  3. Great job Elka and your Mom! I think you deserve extra treats at the bank and the vet now! :)

    I do the paws up thing on any kind of counter when I go out, but I taught myself this trick and it pays off pretty well, as it's won me quite a few treats from the people on the other side!

    When I was at blogpaws last year I did it on the exhibitor tables, one exhibitor thought it was cute and got their camera out, by which time I had put my paws down again, so Mum said up and pointed to the table, in a flash I jumped on the table all 4 paws - they liked that photo even better, once they stopped laughing! :)

    Wags to all,

    Your pal Snoopy :)

  4. That is hilarious. I think it is so important to continue to challenge dogs to learn new skills through the years. They love the attention and their brains continue to develop.

    We are definitely switching banks.

  5. Great job Elka!!! I want to be a part of your bank...just saying!


  6. We do "high paw" and "shake" but I love 'testify" ... That's next on our list :)

  7. Wow, Elka has an impressive repertoire of tricks under her belt. Makes me want to continue with Beamer's training too. Beamer knows shake paw, high five, and wave. Testify is adorable!

  8. I like to give paw and high fives, haven't heard of testify before, maybe will try that one

  9. Ha ha ha! Testify is so cute! Küs put his paws up on the counter at the U of I vet school when we were there to get his eye exam a couple of weeks ago and it got a lot of reaction. We hadn't tried to get him to do it, though, he just thought the receptionist needed to see his handsome mug! :P

  10. Delilah and I are working a freestyle class and she is learning shake. In one of our previous classes she learned 'up' but I don't really reinforce it.

    We are supposed to be learning high five and high ten this week which should be really interesting. :-)

    Good job with the tricks, I think it's good to help engage their minds once in a while.