Behavior Chains

Deuce is almost flying as he’s catching the Frisbee that I throw for him while Rio takes the ‘Hound’ approach. She is strolling around the area where we are just sniffing the ground in high hopes of finding a forgotten treat from a past session.

I decide to ignore her and just concentrate on Deuce and our game together. I slip Deuce a treat here and there after either dropping the Frisbee or just for being Deuce and acting cute. Rio spots me doing so and starts marching in my direction.

I encourage her and I give her a treat followed by high-pitch trainer’s voice for joining in on the fun or at least not fully ignoring me. She clearly is still not that interested in running after the Frisbee. I then proceed to ask her for a nose target to the Frisbee which she does with no problem and again she gets a treat for this. Then I ask her to paw the disk with her paws – something she loves to do full-force. As if showing me she “knows” what I am talking about. I noticed that she is still not really ready to just go after a thrown Frisbee, but just kind of warming up. Seconds later I begin to move the Frisbee on the ground away from her as I talk to her excitedly. Ahh, too much for this girl and she pounces on the plastic toy with gusto.

She is now kind of “begging” me to throw the Frisbee for her. ‘Are you reaadyyy?’ I ask her as I try to build some anticipation…’Reaadyyy ?’ I can tell that she is now ready to go after the Frisbee and I send them both flying into the air.

We continue playing like this for a couple of minutes until all the Frisbees that I own are laying somewhere on the ground. The dogs are laying in the shade taking a needed rest. I call them to come back again to play. This time both dogs are eager and the fun begins once again.

I have no idea why Rio is not so interested in playing Frisbee with me from the get-go. She does LOVE to interact with the Frisbee by chewing on it and for that purpose she has one and only one that she can chew and carry around to her heart’s content.

The reality is that it does not matter why she does not want to do the Frisbee thing with me. I might never find out why she is not keen on this game. It is also very doable that tomorrow she would be the first begging for the Frisbee to catch.

As I am playing with Deuce, I develop my plan for Rio because I do want her to go after the Frisbee. It is a great and fast way to give them both a fantastic workout and I just love to see how agile this girl is!

So my plan consists of building some excitement and anticipation by asking her to do stuff she enjoys doing such as the nose touch, striking a paw on the disc and chasing a moving Frisbee on the ground.