Saturday, September 02, 2006

Acting class # 3

My not so smart mum decided to take a short cut to my acting class this morning, but little did she know, the supposedly "short cut" turned out to be a loooong haul. We were stuck bumper to bumper in traffic for over 15 mins due to construction, and because of that, I was late for my class...... (my mum is no Airedale I tell ya LOL!)

Today was my 3rd acting class, and we were introduced to three new commands: "Lick", "Shake head", and "Wipe face".

Lick - dog licks on command

  1. Begin with a treat in your hand and stimulate just above the lower lip
  2. When the dog licks-click immediately and reward with the treat
  3. May also smear something pasty or juicy around the nose/lip area to stimulate licking-click when behavior happens
  4. Progress to requesting a lick without stimulus

My buddies were already half way through with this exercise when we arrived, so mum quickly grabbed some Kong filling (pasty stuff) and smeared it all over my nose. I, of course, licked everything off and mum went crazy clicking trying to keep up with my licking... This was the coolest exercise ever because I just had to lick the yummy stuff off my nose and that was it! After a while, our instructor, Georgina asked mum to stop smearing the filling onto my nose and see if I would lick when given the command..... Well, I gave mom that "you must be joking right?" kind of look and started ignoring her (hehe...Miss Sunshade's best trick!!).

Okay, let me explain myself, I have a command for cleaning up my food bowl at home. So when the licking is associated with a bowl, I will lick the bowl on command doesn't matter how many times I'm being asked to lick. However, this "Lick" exercise requires me to just basically stick my tongue out and lick the air when given the command, and I'm just not sure I'm up to it without the yummy paste. I mean, what's the point here?? If you want me to lick, you give me some of that yummy paste or FORGET IT!! Mum says we'll have to work on this, but I doubt she'll have any luck LOL.

Shake head - dog shakes head on command

  1. Begin by blowing into the dog's ear - click and reward with the slightest signs of shaking
  2. Maybe also tickle or drip little bit of water around the ear to stimulate shaking of the head
  3. Give a hand cue and verbal cue to start with and then progress to combining this behavior with others - ie, sit and "Shake head"

Now this command wasn't too hard because mum has a command for me to "shake shake" when I'm wet, and I will shake my whole body on command (ie, after a bath). However, this only happens when I'm semi-wet or completely wet. So to get me started, mum decided to drip a couple drops of water in and around my ear, and told me "Shake head" as soon as she saw I was about to shake. I performed it successfully a few times in a roll so mum stopped to let my ear dry.

Wipe face - dog wipes face with paw

  1. Begin with sticking a ( or 4... ) small piece of tape on the dog's muzzle ( or all over the face..... )
  2. Click and reward when the paw goes over the muzzle to remove the tape
  3. Progress to two times with the tape and once without using the tape

Ok, mum thought this one was funny, you know why? Well because I had "4" pieces of tape all over my face (one over my muzzle, one on my eyebrow, one in between my eyes, one on the side of my muzzle), and yet I was determined to NOT do anything about them!!! Usually if there is anything obscuring my vision, I would not hesitate to use my paw to paw it off. However, I could not believe they would actually put "tape" on our faces to get us to paw, so to make my point heard, I decided to endure my obscured vision, not to mention the humiliation that came with having more tapes added onto my face each time I failed to move my paw.

I stand for JUSTICE, and I don't believe those hoomans are justified to put tapes on our furry faces just to get us to do something pointless (in my opinion!!). OK, I'm done venting! Thank doG mum didn't press down on the tapes so they came off rather easily without hurting me.

Our class ended with a review of the "MARK" command (dog is directed to a designated mark), and this is where I shined because I hit my mark successfully everytime.

Here are two videos of me demonstrating the "MARK" command. The blue thing is my mark. (recorded on Aug. 23.2006)


Got it!!!

Details to teaching the "MARK"/other commands can be found at:


Anonymous said...

sunshade, don't you just enjoy going to those classes? coz it means more treats!

just curious, how your mom taught you to "shake shake" with command during bath?

cheers, boo

Sunshade said...

Hey Boo, my mom basically incorporated what I do naturally to a command. For example, it was natural for me to shake after being wet, so everytime I was about to shake, mom would say "shake shake" with a hand signal. Eventually, I just associated the command "shake shake" to actually shaking my body.

This is how I learned to "speak" too. Mom just added the command in everytime I barked, and slowly I just associated the command with the action. I personally think this is the best and easiest way to learn commands - from what I do naturally, instead of trying to force an action out of me!!

Talk to you soon cutie pie,
Miss Sunshade

fee said...

o, this Lick is a very good trick indeed. do they also teach Eat, Feed, Chomp and Steal? i had no idea school would be this fun! maybe it's time i demand for an education too. :)

(wire fox terrier puppy from singapore; beloved daughter of party & mango)

T-man Angel said...

Wow, those acting classes sound exciting!! You're very talented too. I don't do ANYTHING on command right now. But if it was to learn to become an actor...maybe I'd consider it. Mom wants me to go to obedience classes (yuck!) which seems SO inappropriate. Maybe I'll talk her into acting classes...

Anonymous said...

dear sunshade,

your tips are really helpful!! i hope my owner remembers your instructions clearly, i want to learn these cool moves too! :) did you have to take a lesson on clicker training too?