Squirrel Focus

June 23, 2010 at 9:51 pm 12 comments

This is what happens when Boogie becomes fixated on a squirrel. NOTHING else exists. He is frozen.  His focus is intense. Treats have no effect.

Five minutes later, he sat at the foot of the tree and refused to leave.

The only thing that I could do to break his concentration was to pick him up and carry him off.

As soon as I set Boogie back down on the ground, he pulled and pulled and pulled to get back to the tree. I stood still but he continued to pull and he pulled so hard that he was choking himself (wincing and gasping for air) so I picked him up again and carried him further away. And then he forgot about the squirrel and we had a pleasant rest of the walk home.

I am sure Sarah would not approve of this lengthy “letting-Boogie-practice-ignoring-me” behavior.  I was told that the more often that I let Boogie ignore me when called, the better he will get at it. I won’t be doing this again.  I just wanted to take this video. (Must do more recall training before distractions become overwhelming!)

Entry filed under: Outdoors.

You can never have too many beds. The Premack Principle (Boogie’s leash-pulling)

12 Comments Add your own

  • 1. barrie.lynn  |  June 23, 2010 at 11:42 pm

    Too funny 🙂 What an absolutely delightful accent you have!!! Shame on Boogie for not appreciating it enough to leave his squirrel and go to you 😉

    • 2. lili  |  June 25, 2010 at 5:52 pm

      Haha. It’s a mixed up Australian accent.

  • 3. Shadowsrider  |  June 24, 2010 at 4:13 am

    At least Boogie realizes the squirrels go up the tree! Finn hasn’t gotten that yet, he runs around the tree looking for them.

    • 4. lili  |  June 25, 2010 at 5:53 pm

      Boogie is like that with birds! He sees a bird in a bush, and doesn’t get that the bird has flown away so he runs around the bush and waits.

  • 5. Jenny  |  June 24, 2010 at 10:30 pm

    What happens if you poke him with a finger to ask for attention? Or give a light yank in the leach? Or just take up space and ask with your body language that he has to move over, that you wants the space he is occupying?

    It looks funny with the hyper-focus, but I can’t stop thinking that if it happens in another situation or if you had a bigger dog, how very badly things would go…

    • 6. lili  |  June 25, 2010 at 5:54 pm

      Jenny, I did all those things. (See video) He was oblivious to me.

  • 7. Sarah Owings  |  June 25, 2010 at 8:07 am

    Ha! Wow! That’s going to be a fun challenge finding a chink in that intensity. But it can be done. And then you get all that amazing focus on you instead like this…http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6GmMQxAyPl4

    • 8. lili  |  June 25, 2010 at 6:22 pm

      Wow, what a video!
      I already get really good focus from Boogie if there are no squirrels present so we are perhaps already 50% of the way there! 🙂

  • 9. barrie.lynn  |  June 25, 2010 at 1:56 pm

    I absolutely cannot wait to see the training plan Sarah comes up with to transfer that drive/focus onto you!!!!!!!!!! Last weekend I suggested to a client that she raise a baby squirrel so she could always have what her little min pin wants 😉

    • 10. lili  |  June 25, 2010 at 5:55 pm

      Raising a squirrel!!! Ha! That’s a really good idea, though I would feel sorry for that squirrel 🙂

  • 11. Sarah Owings  |  June 26, 2010 at 6:17 am

    More amazing doggie Zen from Canis Clickertraining (my idols!)

    To get the squirrel, you must leave the squirrel! 🙂

  • […] Example: Squirrel Fixation video. […]


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