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Saturday, 10 March 2018

What does your dog do? (1)

I wish I got a pound for every time I'd been asked this question. I'll be honest, sometimes it's a bit annoying. I only get half an hour's lunch break and I don't have time to throw in 5 conversations about how amazing Liggy is, even if I would love to.

A while ago, I did a whole load of posts about PIP. I took a section per post and it took ages to get through. Well, I'm going to attempt to do the same here in answer to the question, "What does your dog do?"

First thing in the morning

Liggy is like me, an early riser. She loves waking up and greeting me with one of her growing pile of soft toys. This morning, it was her rugby ball (Ikea - dirt cheap). Once I'm up, we come downstairs. It goes a bit like this...




When we first came home, I wondered how the stairlift would work. There wasn't one on the onsite training and it was the first new routine I had to work out for myself. I had discussed it with Cat, Liggy's trainer, and we'd decided I would put her in a sit, make her wait and then call her when I get to the top/bottom. In reality, she found it difficult to sit for that long on our slippy floor. I don't know whether her hips are a bit double-jointed but when she sits, her legs slide out and she does the splits. It's the same in shops, so now we use a 'down' more often unless it's on concrete or carpet.

First thing in the morning, I'm trying to be quiet so that Neil can sleep, so I keep commands to a minimum. Liggy knows the routine though. The only thing she needs a command for is to break her wait and let her know she's safe to 'lift it' (the footplate).

Lift it

This was Liggy's second task that I taught her by myself. I used a clicker to train her to do it. It took ages for her to work it out but I had listened to Cat's instructions and tried to build it up gradually and always end with the finished result. So first, I just put the footplate in the up position and got her to touch it with her nose. Then I pulled it out a little and got her to push it closed. The hardest bit was when it was fully down. She couldn't work out how to get her nose under. So we took another break, went and played and came back to it later... and she just suddenly did it. I threw a party (and treats - all over the floor) and then she just wanted to do it again and again. Each time she did it, I added the command, 'lift it'. I don't know if she really knows the command yet. I think it's more that she hears my voice and knows it okay to do it.

This task is helpful to me, as I don't have to bend or try to balance on one leg whilst lifting it with my other foot. Plus, Liggy loves it. Did you see her tail wagging?!!

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