Thursday, December 15, 2016
Small victories are sweet!
Been working on Tanka picking his rear feet up without falling over on top of me. Today, we had success.
I got the rope on his back foot on his "good" side and I said foot. He picked it up and I said "Hold it". So, he couldn't put his foot down right away because I held on to that rope. Then, did it again "Hold it, hold it". Did it again "Hold it, hold it, hold it."
By golly, he did pretty good.
Went to the "bad" side. Asked him to "foot" then said "hold it" and he started leaning way over and looking like he was going to fall but, I was in a safe angle, and I hung in there and said "Hold it' and for just the briefest moment he held that foot up. Then I lowered the foot and made sure I wasn't getting stepped on:) He kind of fell over onto his foot.
Did it again "Foot" "Hold it, hold it" Yep, he looked a little unbalanced but he was figuring out he better hold it together cause I wasn't giving that foot back right away. By the third time he was doing better "Hold it, hold it, hold it"
By golly, I think he's getting the idea to hold that foot up and balance himself. So, the separate command for "Hold it" seems to have helped.
I got the idea for a separate command from "Whoa" Whoa does mean stop but "Stand" means hold still buddy. I had to teach Wiseguy "Stand" because he would Whoa but then he would jiggle around in the traces instead of standing still.
Why not a separate command "foot" pick up your foot. "Hold it" keep your foot up buddy.
I also have had him walking over some logs since he has to use those back leg muscles and coordination to lift one leg at a time over the log. Can't hurt and might have helped.
Yeah, kind of a small victory in a way but I am so happy to have gotten some real progress on this issue and having done this safely. I'm sure I will have to practice with him some more but I feel great at this point.