Monday, March 31, 2008

Meet Chuck

Alan and I are having too much fun with this clicker training stuff. Since the whole point is for Alan to get used to the touch of my hand, I added one of my old gloves to the end of the Chuck-it. It's taken on a life of its own now, so I call it Chuck.

I am dazzled by how receptive Alan is to this training. He seems eager to play and doesn’t get distracted by George or the horses watching us from the peanut gallery outside the corral. I lose track of time and what starts out to be a 15-minute session turns into 30 because Alan doesn’t lose interest. When the session is over and I’m just doing chores or feeding, he’s much more relaxed when I’m near him. This is all seeming too good to be true.

I took these pictures this morning. With Chuck's tail(?) tucked under my arm, I still have two hands available to hold my camera in one and hand out treats with the other. (If I were using a real clicker, I'd be in deep quiche but I'm faking the click noise with my tongue.) But the camera is a distraction for both of us so until/unless I can teach George how to press the shutter, these may be the last pictures you'll see for awhile.

By the end of our session tonight, I was able to rub Chuck on Alan's forehead and cheeks - not for a long time, but for long enough to want to run in the house and tell you all "it's working! it's working!"


  1. Linda - I'm so glad the clicker training appeals to Alan. After working with Siete, I will tell you a couple of things - a real clicker works best and you can get them at the pet store in the dog training section - they cost under $5. And don't treat without using the clicker - ever - because it confuses the animal. I've taught Siete to lower her head and touch her nose to the ground - it's a very calming and handy exercise - Good luck!

  2. This is so exciting!!

    I love the addition of Chuck, and I especially love the look on Alan's face. Wow.

    You'll be able to put Chuck on your hand at some point, right? Masterful idea!

  3. Yes, Billie, I hope to start wearing Chuck as soon as Alan will allow.

    Victoria. I'll pick up a real clicker next time I'm out...although I may have to grow a third hand to use it. I've never been one to hand-feed treats to my horses, but I've relaxed my policy with the burros. I can see how Alan would get confused, though, now that you mention it. Great advice as always - thanks!