12 Days of Christmas: Day 11



Boy and I both enjoy the “shy” trick. He feels that he is meant for the big screens and, you know, he has a large enough personality for me to agree with him.


Place a small piece of rolled tape on the top of your dog’s snout.

Cue your dog to lie down so he will have to use his paw to remove the tape rather than shake off or rub it off.

As soon as he take his paw to brush off the tape you will mark the behavior with a word (like “good”) or a clicker. (For this particular trick I personally prefer the clicker because micro behaviors are better captured.) You will mark any sort of paw movement; no matter how small. Take the tape off after each click.

When it looks like how you want it to look start adding the verbal cue, this will allow for the word association of the behavior (you will still continue using tape).

Then you will start generalizing the positions like having your dog in a sit (you will still continue using tape).

During the last step you will stop using the tape. You will start by acting as if you put the tape on his nose even though you didn’t and wait for him to move his paw to cover his face. As soon as he does, mark it and say your verbal cue. My verbal cue for Boy is, “Are you shy?” 

Phase out the non-verbal cue of touching the nose by simply pointing to the dog’s nose and eventually fading out the point. You will still mark your dog for covering his face. Once he is consistently responding to the verbal cue 80% of the time, start fading the clicker (or verbal marker).

Happy Training! Let Boy and I know how it goes!




Blog written by Michelle Huntting
Building the bridge of communication between dogs and pet guardians 



Check out Michelle’s other 12 Days of Dog Training Tips or the Pet Holiday Zen Tips!
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12 Days of Christmas: Day 10

10 Solid Recalls

Come. It’s the most important cue for a dog to know because it could save his life.. Please put the time, training, and effort into making this the most solid cue in your dog’s command repertoire.

Training “come” doesn’t have to be boring either. The following game still is one of my favorites:

2 Man Game

  • Leash your dog. 
  • One person holds the leash. The other person (I will refer to as “the runner”) will take a handful of treats and make a fist around the treats. 
  • The runner places the treats in front of the dog’s nose to let him smell. 
  • The runner  jogs several steps away from the dog (dog is still being held on the leash). 
  • As the runner moves he will say something in a high pitch voice like “puppy, puppy, puppy.” 
  • After several steps the runner stops, squats down and says dog’s name and “come.” 
  • The person holding the leash lets go.
  • The runner will deliver his handful of treats, one at a time. With each treat, the runner will praise the dog, telling him how handsome he is, what a great job that was, and how smart he is.

Caution: During the game do not say his name or the cue “come” as you are running. Also do not say “come” multiple times. Come is a treasured cue that needs a response on the first time it’s cued for a matter of safety.

Remember, dogs do not generalize easily so work on this exercise through the front door, in the front yard, and the side gates where bolting could potentially happen. If you want to read more about generalization you can check out my blog: Your Dog Really Doesn’t Know.

Make a choice to commit to working on the “come”cue with your furry bestie, so you have your 10 solid recalls.



Blog written by  Michelle Huntting
Building bridges between dogs and pet guardians



Check out Michelle’s other 12 Days of Dog Training Tips or the Pet Holiday Zen Tips!
IMG_7675   12299154_913435238742111_2751962506709179343_n-2