Saturday, March 21, 2009

Am I Still a Vegetarian?

At the seminar last weekend, Kathryn was an advocate for keeping the treats in your mouth. The reason for this is that in formal obedience it is important for the dog to look at your face. The quickest way for your face to be worth looking at is to turn it into a cookie dispenser. Treats can then be given to the dog by spitting them out or by using your hand to take a treat from your mouth and hand it to your dog..... I have to admit that I am chuckling as I write this. I feel as though I am divulging a secret that only formal obedience trainers know. The rest of the world is so amazed that our dogs won't take their eyes off of us......... so now you know why. :-)

Here is Riley attempting to catch bits of cheese I am spitting out. You can see how it is a little slow going with her at times.... Snookums, don't get excited. I am still not giving her to you.

Well, at the seminar, I only had boiled chicken for Reagan. I was not willing to mess up her menu and give her cheese just yet. So I put boiled chicken my mouth and it was nasty. Since then I have also put Tyson grilled chicken strips in my mouth. That tasted much better, but cured any cravings I had. Occasionally, chicken smells good to me, but after tasting it again, it really did not excite my taste buds. Thank goodness, string cheese appears to be working for both hounds with no digestive upsets. Cheese is definitely the preferred treat for hiding in my mouth.

So am I still a vegetarian?


BrittBeah said...

I think so. You don't actually eat the chicken. There is nothing in the vegetarian hand book about tasting it ;)
Reagan on the other hand, there is no hope. She is a meatatarian.

xracermom said...

Just hold your nose and don't enjoy the chicken (Hey, no barbeque sauce, Jen!) and you get to keep your veggie credentials.

Ridlon Tails said...

Yep, you are still a vegetarian. =)
The first time I saw the trick of putting treats in your mouth was on the Animal Planet's Breed All About Greyhound episode. A lady put pieces of hotdog in her mouth and then spit them out and the hound caught them in their mouth. Neat trick, but I think I will pass.

Tarmar said...

I understand completely! I am a vegetarian too and have always trained with treats in my mouth. The trick is to find stuff you can put in your mouth that doesn't make you gag. The other trick is bring treats from your bait bag up to your nose before you give it to the dog.

Pam said...

Even though I'm not a vegetarian, I still was VERY picky about what I would hold in my mouth. (I know people who cram their cheeks full of Red Barn! GAG!)

One of my favorite "spitting treats" was Planters Cheese balls, but they don't make them anymore! You couldn't hold them in your mouth because they'd melt, but very good for teaching fronts.

I also liked Gwaltney's chicken hot dogs. Maybe you could try the Bocca veggie dogs?

I used to hunt Target and Wally World for t-shirts with breast pockets, so I could keep a stash of treats there, too.

Make sure you don't lean forward when you spit the treat. It causes the dog to back away from you. Stand up straight and spit it hard with your tongue...THHPPPT!

I tried spitting treats at Isaac a few weeks ago. He can't see well enough to catch them anymore.

KF-in-Georgia said...

Why do the treats keep winding up behind you? Are they bouncing off Riley's head?

My guys don't believe in catching treats. They watch to see where stuff lands. In a way, this is probably safer at my house. I can just picture two greyhounds going airborne at the same time after the same treat. So my guys just lie there and let me throw popcorn at them: the one the popcorn kernel ends up closest to is the one who grabs it, while the other dog waits for me to correct my aim.

Never Say Never Greyhounds said...

Great! I'm glad you all are letting me keep my vegetarian card. I do love BBQ sauce, but that would be suspect if I was spitting out BBQed chicken.

Yes, must stand up stand up straight. You guys won't let me get away with anything.... Good! Maybe the Goldfish crackers someone mentioned would be good. Like the puffs, they probably would get soft if in my mouth too long..... hmmm.. but it would taste so good.


Aragon greyhounds said...

I also had a dobie obedience friend who used minimarshmellows. The dogs loved them. They also are very easy for the dogs to see if they hit the ground-no need to search for them

Jess said...

Thanks for the training tip! We've been working on the watch me command to try and get our hound focused on doing some basic obedience. I looked into signing up for classes, but the trainer we talked to had a very big head and not the most up to date info on how dogs learn! Then had the nerve to tell me our "wait" command was for the wrong action! Too bad, the dog already learned it and it's staying!

We are just going to plug along on our one and see where we can get with our unfood-motivated pup. She does like ham lunchmeat for now at least... lol I'll have to try marshmallows

Marie said...

OK I will be the only wet blanket here. I think sometimes the looking at your face thing is overdone. It just seems unrealistic to me for a dog to twist themselves to look at our face continually when they are walking forward. Am I the only one?

Pam said...

IMHO, competition heelwork is a whole different thing from a dog walking politely on lead outside the ring. The two behaviors must be trained separately. Competition heelwork is like ballroom dancing compared to just going out for a stroll with your partner. Or, in horse terms, competition heeling is dressage vs hacking out or trail riding.

I'm thinking Jen should just smear some BBQ sauce on some Redbarn, cram it in her mouth and go for it! :-)

Never Say Never Greyhounds said...

Marie, for training fronts which is what I was doing in the video in this post, I think looking at your face is extremely important.

Regarding heeling, the seminar instructor, Kathryn, teaches her dogs cues with her eyes. They can tell what is happening next from the tiny cues she gives them. However, I do think it is sometimes over done or unnatural looking. I never discourage mine from dropping their heads and looking ahead, but I am not rewarding it either. So overtime they become more and more inclined to watch me. I like how Pam said it. It is a dance. For me, its purely for show. I would rarely (if ever) use it for real life and would never ask them to do it for a long period of time.


Marie said...

I apologize for being a moron. I didn't watch the video first which was my first mistake. Won't happen again, promise. :-)

I understand what you mean by ring heeling vs real life heeling, just not sure I totally agree. I think they are capable of taking their cues for heeling by our legs. Isn't that the point of stepping off with the left foot to heel and the right foot for stay after all?

Never Say Never Greyhounds said...

You are not a moron, Marie! :-) I try to explain very clearly since I have a lot of non-competitive readers and want them to be able to follow what we are talking about.

I am sure you are right about the legs. There are lots of ways to cue the dogs and that is just another variation.


Denise- LessIsMore17 said...

Hmmm...I just don't know about your veggie status...
Riley reminds me of Peanut sometimes, just the cluelessness at times.