Thursday, March 4, 2010

Anyone looking to hire a trainer in about 14 years??

My (almost) two year old niece is like a sponge - soaking up everything in her environment.  It's fascinating to watch because she's extremely accurate in her mimicry. 

Once a week, I babysit Abee after work.  This is my favorite time because it's just the two of us and we get to learn a lot of cool stuff without distractions.  Last week, we worked on tying her shoes.  Using TAGteach, we progressed pretty well.  She is now putting on her shoes placing the laces in a position so that I can help with the knot, and then pulling the strings tight herself. Then, she can take them off by grabbing the shoelace at the plastic end and pulling the knot out. All in one afternoon's session! I couldn't have been more proud until yesterday...

My dogs have patiently allowed me to focus on other things going on in life, so I owed it to them to have some special one-on-one training with each dog. I asked Abee if she wanted to watch me train them and she said "OK!" As I took my seat on the coffee table to work on "touch" with Sarah as a warm-up, I look back to see my niece put out her hand to Sarah and say "touch!" I was amazed! I never taught her that - she saw me do it enough times to know that's how we start the training session. Sarah went for her hand with her nose and as soon as Sarah's nose hit her tiny little hand, she clapped her hands and said "YEAH! good girl Sawah!" So not only is my niece understanding the "tricks" I ask my dogs to perform, but she's understanding the reinforcement side as well!!

Truly fascinating!!

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