Saturday, January 30, 2010

Snow Day & Dog Play!

Labs like snow? Really? Nah.... :)

Murphy, our Chocolate Lab, had an absolute field day in the snow today. He honestly didn't want to come in. As for the other two dogs... well, let's just say that they had to be coaxed just to go outside for potty reasons. :) Yeah, they're pretty spoiled. Spoiled ROTTEN!

As you'll see by the "how much snow did we get ruler test", we only got a little under 5" (as of 4 p.m. EST) We're supposed to get a little bit more, but I'm not thinking so. Oh well. It'll be a frozen mess tomorrow through Monday. It's only supposed to be in the teens tomorrow! Yikes.

Due to the dogs being a little bored since they couldn't (or didn't want to) play outside, we played some games and did some obedience lessons/tricks. Our dogs love to please us. Truthfully! We did the tried and true "Leave It" test. You may remember I posted a couple of videos a couple weeks ago? If not, here they are again... 


  Murphy's Paw Trick
- Watch more Videos at Vodpod.

Due to it being the perfect time to make hearty, hot Old Fashioned Chicken Noodle Soup, that's what I did. And, the dogs couldn't have been happier. As I was cutting the celery, carrots, and onions, Murphy & Harley were quite literally sitting next to me as if they were waiting for some food to fall. So, I decided that since they were being good about it and not outright begging for it, I'd let them work for it.

First things first, I don't feed my dogs table scraps. NOT GOOD FOR THEM! I was planning to use carrots as their "reward" as carrots are actually good for dogs and is an ingredient in most natural dog foods. OK, moving on...

So, this is how it goes... After ensuring that they knew I had a "reward" for them, I asked them to "SIT". Then, "DOWN". Then, the all important "STAY". My husband and I trained our dogs on verbal commands as well as hand signals.  We use both when doing these tricks/lessons. I then proceeded to place a piece of carrot in front of each one about 8-10" in front of their paws. Now, they can't eat it until I say "OK". They know this. Most of the time they look right up at me, waiting. I can actually have a conversation with my husband who's 5 feet away and the two will remain in the down/stay position and NOT pick up the treat (carrot) until they hear the magic word. This takes true patience on their part.

And, "OK!" As you'll see from the pictures above, our furry ones DID end up playing outside, and they LOVED it! The pics are in order, and you'll see I did this test twice - Once with small carrot bits, and the other with a whole carrot. I wanted to see if the size of the treat altered their will. It didn't. In order, you'll see the tests with the last picture being of two very happy, trained dogs.

I can't help but want to caption the picture of Murphy, our lab, looking at Harley as they waited:

What did the brown dog say to the fawn dog? "I'm a good boy. Yeah.... yeah... Now gimme the dang carrot already!"

I hope you enjoyed the pics and the dog training lesson! If you ever have any questions on anything related to their training, please don't hesitate to ask or leave a comment! I'd love to hear from you!


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