Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Cop-Cop Progress

Tonight was a real turning-point in teaching Ellie the cop-cop move. As mentioned in a previous post, the difficulty has been in getting her to place both feet in place at the same time. After all, once she has one foot in place, it's hard to tell her that she then has to do exactly the same with the other paw on my other foot. If I just sat and waited, hoping that she would get the idea, then she just gave up because she thought that the training had ended. If I tried to wiggle my foot then she would focus on placing her paw onto that foot, but also remove the other paw from the other foot. I was genuinely starting to think that we'd bitten off more than we could chew. But then, this evening, it dawned on me. It was one of those rare light bulb moments.

It dawned on me that I could do the thinking part for her. She placed her first paw onto me easily. What I then did was "scoop" her other paw with my other foot, and immediately begin walking and clicking and treating like a machine gun. Success!

We did it three times tonight to make sure that it wasn't a lucky fluke, and three times she got it right. I then tried again a few hours later and sure enough, she let me scoop her second paw with my second foot. So, I shall continue to do that for the next few days, and then eventually, she'll get the idea and she will begin to place her paw on the second foot automatically. But I'm now 99.99% certain that we'll have this move perfected in time for the end of February.

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