Balancing a treat on the nose...
My husband would love to have Buddy or Hiro balance a treat on their nose! But like most intelligent animals they follow the treat as I'm holding it I've been working on "watch me" so that they look at my face - is this the right first step? What did you do?
They will leave a treat on their paws, which I think looks really cool, but isn't the same.
“Remember, if you ever need a helping hand, it's at the end of your arm. As you get older, remember you have another hand: The first is to help yourself, the second is to help others.” (Audrey Hepburn)
I think we learned this after mastering the sit stay. The book on tricks by Gerilyn Bielakiewicz suggests these steps:
1) start w/ dog in a sit stay in front of you;
2) practice holding muzzle & placing cookie on nose, click & treat;
3) repeat step 2 until dog holds still for several seconds;
4) slowly let go of muzzle & click & Treat for holding steady:
5) gradually increase time dog balances cookie before click & treat.
After some practice many dogs learn to flip and catch the treat making the trick flashier. You should build in a release such as "ok" to signal when the dog can have the treat.
Gracie, Sunfire's Amazing Grace, CGC, CCA, Pet Partner therapy dog, 9/12/2013
Zoe, Rockwall Nantucket Breeze, BN, CGC, Delta therapy dog, 5/4/2008 - 10/28/2013
Zeke, our introduction to the world of Golden Retrievers, 6/12/1997 - 12/18/2007
I did the same steps as above with Banker, except I would "nose" first and I kept my hands next to his muzzle, not touching, as he learned.
Just like your dogs, Banker was used to the treats on his paws - he knew he would be getting them at some point, so that really helped.
Keep the dogs apart as you work with them on the trick to reduce the stress of the other dog trying to get the treats.
Banker had it done pat after five or six tries (love that clicker), though he has good and bad times flipping it into his mouth.
We are now up to a treat on the nose and one on each paw. He loves all the treats!
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