Oh my. Paxton is the subject of the blog again today. But this time, it’s about his “attention” skills. That’s what we’ll call it. We WON’T say anything about his problem solving skills….or intelligence. We’ll call it “attention skills.” And lack thereof…
So we had a game of “find the bunny” last night. We are all a little shack wacky with the snow – so my human figured it was a good way for us to work our brains a bit. So of course, I went first while Frodo and Paxton watched from the other room – through the French door.
So here’s the game. You sit and stay while our human hides the stuffed bunny in another room. You get to SEE what room she is going in – but you don’t see where the bunny is placed. In the past, I have been known to cheat and simply follow my human to wherever she is placing the bunny – I figure it saves time. But as we know “it’s not in the rules” – and all dogs must STAY in the starting place.
But last night, I behaved PERFECTLY and WAITED patiently for the command to “find the bunny.” My human goes down the hall and hides the bunny in the bedroom. I am given the command and off I race – while Frodo is barking madly in the other room. I find the bunny and admittedly DO take a WIDE berth around my human when bringing him back, but I do give him up. For a treat. The same drill is done again. Bunny hidden in room down the hall. I find him. Treats. After three times in that room, my human goes downstairs and hides the bunny somewhere down there. Each time, I wait until my human comes back upstairs and when given the command, off I go to find the ragged looking stuffed imitation mammal. I get three more turns, and now it’s Frodo’s turn.
Frodo has been a BIT of a bunny cheater lately when it comes to waiting – but when my human made him go back to the start line and WAIT even longer…well…he was good after that. Bunny down the hall. Found and retrieved. Same for the bunny downstairs. Numerous repetitions.
Now keep in mind – dogs not playing get to WATCH everything.
Now it’s Paxton’s turn. My human hides the bunny in the room down the hall. He waits VERY patiently. He actually wins for the waiting part. He is THE best. He finds the bunny returns it. Three times. Now my human goes downstairs. He SEES her go down. He waits for her. She says “find the bunny.” He RACES down the hall to the bedroom – where the bunny was the first THREE times. He FRANTICALLY searches the bedroom. My human calls him and directs him downstairs. Off he races and finds and returns the bunny. OK. Let’s try this again. This time my human figures he will realize that the bunny is downstairs. Remember he is WATCHING where she goes. She comes back up and gives him the command. And he RACES. Down the hall to the bedroom. Frodo and I just look at each other. We are ready to break through the door to SHOW him where to go. So AGAIN my human directs him downstairs and he brings back Mr. Rabbit. So THIS time, my human makes a GRAND show of the fact that she is going DOWNSTAIRS. She waves at him, walks VERY loudly down the stairs and then walks up the stairs loudly. He watches her. And hears her. And she says “find the bunny.” And you guessed it. Down the hall he goes. Past the stairs and into the bedroom.. Frodo and I nearly went out of our MINDS.
After she AGAIN called him and showed him where to go, our game of Find the Bunny was over for the night.
I’m not sure HOW to train the Big Guy about the bunny thing. He certainly knows how to find things on counters! He may not be the sharpest knife in the drawer, but if I met a bear in the woods – I sure would want him next to me! And if I needed someone to pull me in a cart, or out of quicksand – he would be my guy. I love my Bucket Head. But I hate to admit, I don’t want him on my chess team. Just sayin’.
© 2015 Linda Wozniak