Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Juice Dog

Isaac and I are continuing to work on fetching a juice box from the fridge, as I wrote about the other day.

After fetching juice boxes over and over again, he managed to poke holes in two boxes, once causing juice to dribble all over the kitchen floor and once causing it to squirt everywhere.  I decided to put three of the remaining boxes out of his reach and to wrap the remaining three in clear plastic packaging tape.  My hope was that it would be a lot harder for him to poke holes in the boxes that way, and it does seem to be working. 

Of course, I'm not sure how I'd actually open the box to drink the juice.  I'd need him to also fetch a big knife to saw off the top or something, since the entire box is now sealed in tape.  And no, I would not really have him fetch a knife.  I never have Isaac pick up anything sharp like that.

These boxes are just for practice.  Hopefully when he has fully learned the task and is no longer picking up the boxes over and over and over again, he will be less likely to poke a hole in one.  Or perhaps I will look for a brand that makes sturdier juice boxes.  I don't know.  I'm not worried about how I will open the box at the moment.  Right now I am focused on training him to fetch it for me and that's all.

I have been giving Isaac the command to open the fridge, then giving him the command "juice".  He is accustomed to opening the fridge for me already.  And he has now, after three days, learned the command "juice."  He is also good at picking up the box.  He knows how to pick it up, the right angle to turn his head, that sort of thing.

I am now working on standing further away from the fridge when I give the "juice" command.  If I am too far away, Isaac looks like he's not sure what I want.  I don't know exactly why it works this way, but he did it with the lights, too.  For a long time, he would only turn on the light switch if I was standing near it.  Now I can be lying on the couch all the way across the room and say "lights" and he turns them on, but it took many days of practicing with me slowly moving further and further away from the switch before he would do that.  So that's where we are right now with the juice.

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