Saturday, August 19, 2006

Acting class # 2

I had SO much fun in class today!! I "played dead" almost the entire time.......caught flies.........and KILLED a bee!!! You terrier buddies must be so proud of me right???

The class started out fine. Georgina, our instructor asked our moms to show her our "go to your MARK" command that we learned last week (you can read about class #1 here: DogStars Acting Class ). As soon as Georgina said those words, I sensed panic in mom even though she appeared all calm and smiley on the surface. Why panicking? Well because my L-A-Z-Y mom only practiced "MARK" (what we use) with me for a day since our last class, THAT'S WHY!!! However, I thought about the Maui Ribs that mom had sitting in the fridge, so I thought I would surprise mom with what I actually knew, and maybe I'd get some Maui ribs for din din.

So, after mom put the wooden block down on the ground, with her doubtful eyes, she told me "Sunshade MARK". Motivated by the Maui ribs, I readily walked two steps and put my one foot up onto the block with my third step. Mom screamed "good girl", then clicked, then treated me, or wait......maybe she clicked, then screamed, then treated me, or maybe...she treated screamed then click?? Anyway, one of these orders. Mom was hysterical and it was REALLY embarrassing to say the least. My mom needed to calm down. So the next time mom told me to "MARK" I decided I would purposely walk just past the block and stop there. It worked. My mom was very calm, a little too calm......she didn't scream, didn't click, and DIDN'T treat me! So again, I needed a change of plan.

Maui Ribs VS. being embarrassed by mom in public

I gave it a long thought and ultimately decided to go with the Maui Ribs. Oh well, what's another hour of public embarrassment when you've had to live with that for the last six and a half years right?

The next time mom said "Sunshade MARK", I again went right onto the block, but this time, I did it with two feet, which is the most correct way (one foot is okay). Mom again went crazy screaming and clicking and stuffing my mouth full of treats that I could barely swallow fast enough. We did a couple times more where I hit the mark with precision each time. Georgina came over to take a couple pictures of me hitting the "MARK", she thought I was a very smart girl too. When the exercise was finished, mom gave me a nice long ear rub where I let out a loud moaning noise (now that's embarrassing). She whispered to me, "Sunshade, you are my smartest girl!!" are talking about an Airedale here. Apparently I was the only dog from my class to actually understand what "go to MARK" means since I went up onto the mark as soon as I heard the command "MARK" without mom having to do any luring or indicating of the block.

Then the FUN BEGAN when it was time to learn new tricks...................

These are the new tricks we learned today: "Crawl", "Head Down - and Lift", and "Shake a Paw".

Crawl - dog crawls on the ground and underneath objects

  1. Begin with the dog in a down position
  2. You may need to have your dog go underneath something as to give them the right idea to begin with
  3. Move both hands as to mimic your dog's paws moving while saying "CRAWL"
  4. When the dog first starts to move one or two paws towards you, this is the start of crawling (YEAH RIGHT...), click and reward
  5. Progress to having the dog crawling a little futher each time as you kee your hands low to the ground
  6. Once the dog is comfortable crawling on your command, progress to slowly standing up and requesting this behavior

So did I crawl? NOOOOOOO

Mom made the mistake of clicking and treating me when I was actually "pawing" at her hands from a down position (refer to # 4). Well, so I thought that's easy, I just have to paw and scratch the heck out of mom's hands and I get treats. I kept pawing and pawing at mom's hands, and mom kept treating me.....until that EVIL Georgina came over and told my mom not to fall for my trick. She told mom that I was just "pawing" and had no intention of moving my butt at all. Of course, mom stopped giving me treats when I pawed at her. I was wrecking my brain out trying to figure out what mom was trying to get me to do. Mom kept scratching the floor with her two hands in front of my face while saying "crawl". Had my mom gone mad??

Eventually, I decided to pull out my secret weapon trick that had never once failed me on my quests for treats - I played DEAD!! Well guess what, it FAILED!!! Mom did laugh, but she still didn't give me any food reward........ She just kept doing that weird thingy with her hands. So finally, I gave mom that "Ok, you go CRAWL" look, and went back to playing dead. I thought if mom was going to be so stingy that I might as well just be DEAD.

Dead I was, I was totally dead.....absolutely refused to get up. My eyes got smaller and smaller at the same time too.....

Head Down - and Lift - dog places head down flat on the ground or object and lifts up when asked

  1. Place dog in a down position to start
  2. Bring hand (with one finger pointing to the ground) close to dog's nose, then slowly lower hand to floor so dog follows hand
  3. Ask for "HEAD DOWN", once the head is down on the ground, click and treat in that position
  4. Ask the dog to "LIFT" his head with your hand moving up and your thumb aiming up
  5. Click and treat once the head is off the ground
  6. Repeat and slowly move your hand further away from the dog's nose
  7. Then begin standing up and moving away and asking for "HEAD DOWN" and "LIFT"
  8. Increase the amount of time the position is held

My head was down the whole time alright throughout this exercise! Except it was down flat on the side, which is my play DEAD position!!! Everytime mom got me into lying down in the upright position, I would slide back down onto my side and bang my head down to the ground and started "playing dead" or some of you might call it......."sleeping"??

I did wake up a little when some annoying flies were flying around in front of my eyes. They were so annoying so I started "air-snapping" with my jaws trying to catch them. Boy you should have heard the loud clamping sound I was making with my powerful jaws!!!

Shake a Paw - dog's paw makes contact with your hand

  1. Begin with the dog in a sit position
  2. Lure dog to one side as to off-set their balance a little
  3. Try to work on one side at a time
  4. As the dog leans to one side, gently lift the paw that is not bearing much weight, click and reward
  5. Continue to lure the dog to one side and dog will start to offer their paw to get the reward
  6. Progress to asking for the dog's paw without the lure to one side

Well, I get to "play dead" throughout this exercise since I have already MASTERED the shake a "paw" technique.

BUT THEN................

I heard this big BUZZING sound coming from the windows. It was a bee. That BUZZING sound brought back bad memories from before when a little, seemingly harmless, flying, black and yellow striped bug all of a sudden shot a needle right into my paw. I was just trying to "pet" it you know...... but the mean buggie still shot me!!!

SOO, when I saw this bee (what mom calls it) flying around in my classroom, I was determined to get my revenge!!! I ran as fast as I could up to the window, jumped, and grabbed the bee the first try. However, from my previous experiences, I have learned that you have to grab the bee with your front teeth only and quickly give it a shake and throw it down on the ground. After you have successfully knocked the wind out of the EVIL bee, you can than bite it, or pounce on it, or shake it with your teeth, or do all that, then watch it slowly go-to-h%ll!

That was exactly what I did to the bee who intruded our class!! OH, did I mention everybody (two and four legged) stopped to watch the Bee VS. Sunshade drama unfold? They were all cheering for me of course! Afterwards, Georgina came over and thanked me. She said "Thank you Sunshade for saving us all from...........a beeee..." LOL. I am so proud of me too!! (mom is giving me an extreme eye-roll as she watches me type this)

Overall, I think I did extremely well today, I mean I saved the world from a killer bee!!! Mom seems to have her opinions about how I "behaved" and "performed" in class today, but wutever... everyone is entitled to his or her own opinion.

Did I get my Maui Ribs?? Well I got my beef rib alright, and mom said they were from Maui........


Anonymous said...

miss sunshade, you are indeed smart!

shsssss, *whispering* i'm not letting mom to read about your "dog star acting class" entry, coz you wrote the instruction so clearly that i'm afraid mom will teach me the same once she read it.

love, boo

Opy - the Original GruffPuppy said...

Ribs ? Ribs? Did I hear someone mention ribs ? Okay - what am I missing out on here ?

I LOVE ribs !


Unknown said...

They should put that in the news headlines, hehehe, woof woof!
You go girl, kill those pesky things. I Butchy always try to catch them, Snickers likes to catch those icky flies. Mama used to have a German Shorthair Pointer female that would catch the big fat bumble bees all of the time with her front teeth, she would snatch them, bite them in half and spit them out, eeewwwwwhhh! At least she was protecting Mama from them. Our Mama uses that clicky thing on us to teach us new tricks. We like it cause we know that means treats afterwards. So just remember, CLICK, means TREAT!!!
Butchy & Snickers

Sunshade said...

Boo: tell your mommy it's ok to read the post and teach you those things because my mommy got the ok from the instructor to post them on my blog to share with my cyber friends!!

Opy: I thought mom was going to give me those "marinated" rib eye ribs you know, but then she pulled out this rib bone and told me it "came from Maui"...........

Butchy & Snickers: Mom has written to our local paper with your suggestion of putting "SUNSHADE CATCHES AND KILLS KILLER BEE" as the headline for tomorrow's paper!!

You know, I think the "clicker" and "treat" thingy is great, but my .... always forget to do one or the other. She clicks but forgets to treat, or she treats, then clicks, or she tells me good girl and forgets to do both!! She really needs training herself...looks like I gotta start training her again. Geez...can't even get away with a week of no trainig mom