This time, Florian had to rehearse for his own dance show over the weekend--a show that would not, alas, include Fozzie--so he couldn't join us. My friend Francine was with us though and took some really good pictures.
First we practiced a bunch of spins.
This is a trick Fozzie's known for some time, but I never thought of Fozzie doing them beside me as I walk forward, or doing them as part of a dynamic shifting total dance event.
Fozzie got really good at spins--at one point he did a quadruple pirouette!
Again I was so impressed with how Fozzie was getting into it. I've always suspected he would be a natural dancer, as there are so many dance-like movements that he really enjoys.
We practiced what we learned last week a lot, and really worked on going around, through the legs, then back and forward together. Going forward is easy, but getting the dog to back up when he's between your legs is a bit tricky! If you can't see the video, bear with me...we are still a bit in the dark ages technologically.
Then we focused a lot on paw behaviors.
That's right, Fozzie actually got to be rewarded for putting his paws on my arm, on a prop, around my leg, and on my butt.
The goal is to actually get your dog to interact with all sorts of things with his paws,
and eventually get him to hold onto things with his paws.
It was easy to encourage him to paw whatever body part or target I presented him with, as Fozzie is a natural paw user.
Fozzie loves to grab onto things--most often, Florian's leg when he is getting into a humping sorta mood--so it is so great to have a positive outlet for these tendencies.
The grand finale was a couple of really fun tricks I've been wanting to learn for a while.
How great is it to have a big scary looking Mastiff mix man who can do a play bow on cue?
What better way to let people know his true nature?
We call our bow "Bravo" so Fozzie doesn't get confused hearing "Bow" for a behavior that is so similar to "Down."
To do it, we lure his nose straight down from a stand, the treat going from the nose straight down to the floor, but we have one arm under Fozzie's belly to keep that butt up in the air.
We click and treat when the front elbows hit the ground...and then we get him out of it by luring the nose straight forward, so he goes out of the bow into a standing position and doesn't conflate Bow with Down.
The last trick was one we already know, going into a down and then crawling forward. Carolynn recommended actually kneeling over your dog to get him to do this, so he doesn't get up when the treat is moved forward. I didn't find this to be necessary when I taught Fozzie...he just naturally crawled forward as long as I kept the treat close to the ground.
I feel just like one of those ballet moms Florian is always going on about.
I'm so proud of my little dancer boy!