Cross Your Paws

Discussion in 'Dog Tricks' started by tx_cowgirl, Jan 10, 2009.

  1. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    Mud and I have recently started working on "cross your paws." I've never taught it before, but it hit me like a ton of bricks last week how ridiculously easy this trick is. It's cute too, so we decided to give it a go. We just started a few days ago.

    I confused the heck out of her, because I started out using a target stick and slowly moving the target over so that she had to reach across her other paw. Then I thought that it would be easier to use my hand, essentially asking to target my hand and using the same principle--moving it further over. This worked quite well, although the first few times she was just a tad confused by the change. I bought a tub of treats yesterday that have a little red plastic lid...and while we were working on random things last night, I decided to do some targetting with it. She was in a down, and I accidentally dropped it and it landed just to the right of her paw. She immediately cross her paws to target it.

    Great! So, I started using this. It's worked wonderfully and it's really clicking(no pun intended) with her. Today we had a breakthrough without the target lid and she offered the crossed paws a few times. So here's my question: if I add the command now, is she going to associate this with the target, and everytime I want to use the target for something else is she going to try to target it with this behavior? That sounded confusing...lol.

    We do lots of targetting(nose and paws) so she fully understands this type of behavior. The targetting isn't a problem, but rather just the behavior with the cue...

    Anywho, I know even if I add it now she'll catch on later that the target isn't just for that. But I just want her to understand that the "cross paws" cue isn't solely based on the target, but rather the behavior itself. So...tips anyone?? :) Much appreciated.

  2. szecsuani Experienced Member

    Oh I just love this trick, and I tried all the methods you described here, and we just can't get it to be good. She jsut can't do it....
    So I can't give you too much advice... :(
  3. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    Lol. :dogblush: Does she have trouble with the targetting, or just moving far enough to cross her paws? If she normally crosses her paws when she lies down(if she ever crossese them), you could try just click&treat every time you catch her....a bit lengthier way to learn, but she might be able to figure it out. =)

    Our issue is just me not knowing when to introduce a command. :dogblink:
  4. snooks Experienced Member

    I had a dog that did this naturally every time she laid down and it was so cute. The only thing I can think of is teach to target a spot on the ground you point to. I've been able to teach my dogs to target things on my body by pointing to them like my knee. It also works for spots on the floor. If Mud has a preferred paw maybe you could try that. Maybe a piece of scotch tape that would be a more insignificant target that could go away more easily later.
  5. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    Mud crosses her paws once in a while when she lies down, but very rarely. She does target things I point to, I hadn't thought of using that. For this trick she does seem to favor one paw over the other so I've been going with that. She's doing great with the trick, I'm just not sure when to introduce the command without inadvertently teaching her to just touch the target when I give that command...obviously that's not exactly what you want with this trick. ^^ The scotch tape is a great idea though. Thanks!

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