Yesterday I wrote about training Isaac to carry in groceries for me. A reader suggested having him carry things in a cloth bag rather than a plastic one because it would be sturdier and his teeth wouldn't tear the bag. I would like him to be able to carry a plastic bag because I may need him to carry stuff some time when I don't have a cloth bag available, but I decided to try the cloth bag for now. Once he's able to do that well, we'll try a plastic bag again.
Today, several different times, I gave him the shopping bag with something light in it, like a small bottle of lotion. I had him carry it from the living room to the kitchen or from the kitchen to the living room. He got lots of praise and a treat each time. We probably did that ten times today, but not all at once. It was spread out over the whole day.
Also, I had him carry my hat from the lobby into the elevator, then down the hall to our apartment each time we went out to pee. He got lots of praise and a treat for that, too. A few times, he got a piece of hot dog for he reward.
The last two times I took him outside, I gave him the shopping bag in the lobby and had him carry it into the elevator and then down the hall to our apartment. The second time, we got off the elevator and saw one of our neighbors in the hall. Isaac likes her a lot and she likes him. Usually when he sees her, Isaac wants to get petted for a long time. He does this thing where he sits on her foot and leans against her. He does that to me sometimes, too. I think it's sweet, but this neighbor uses a cane and I don't think she has great balance and sometimes I worry that Isaac's going to lean against her too hard and knock her over. There is a handrail in the hallway, though, and usually when she sees Isaac she braces herself against the handrail so she has her hands free to pet him.
Anyway. We saw her and Isaac's tail began wagging hard and he kind of wiggled all over. I told him to give me the shopping bag so he could say hi to her. He gave it up reluctantly. He let her pet him for about five seconds, then began trying to take the shopping bag from my hand. I gave it back to him and he trotted happily down the hall. He picked carrying the bag over getting petted by our neighbor. Usually the only thing he will pick over socializing with people he likes is food.