Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Homemade Puppy Puzzle

Well, they are predicting SNOW in the Southern California desert and it is almost April! Last week I almost died from heat exhaustion. It is really windy and rainy so it was time to find some things to do inside.

I decided to try making a puppy puzzle. Super easy to do...just take a plastic bottle and carefully, using all safety precautions drill two holes across the bottle from each other so you can insert a dowel or some stick type thing. If you put the holes about half way down the bottle that is a pretty easy setting, I made mine with a couple of different holes, if you put holes further up then it is harder.

I did figure out that the treats come out really fast, so I just put in a few at a time, or I was thinking you could put the top on and drill a smaller hole in that, but then it is getting complicated ;-). I have also seen this type of thing where they made a base that could hold the bottles so you did not have to hold it, but again this was a rainy afternoon project that I wanted to try NOW. Of course different size bottles would give a totally new challenge! I used am empty soda bottle because that was closest to where I was sitting, and I used some kibble for the treat.

Each of the dogs did things differently, Cricket....true to her nature, attacked the thing and started grabbing it and forcing it to yield its treasures. Breeze was ever so delicate and just gently nudged the bottle and Lizzie sort of sat and tried to figure it out before she wanted to really work on it.

I am playing with fetching, the dogs sit and fetch the remote while we are watching tv, which could be a really super useful trick....they fetch the cell phone-probably not the best thing for them to fetch because this is my new cell phone that has to last two years and it is super nice ;-), and a plastic dumbbell. Actually they will fetch lots of things. I am going to teach an obedience fetch, but am just working on happy fetching right now and getting the idea and being very happy about it. I have been reading two books with some excellent fetching ideas...Schutzhund Obedience-Training in Drive--I had got that book when some agility people I really admire were talking about training in drive which simply means always making the dog keen to work and having a very excited attitude. So the way they start out fetching is very interesting, and I am going to try it, and I will report back on what I think. The other book that I am using to formulate a plan to teach the retrieve is the Clicked Retrieve book, hummm, not sure that is the correct name....and I don't see where I put the book at this moment, but it is excellent too. So I just did a video of the dogs playing with retrieving different objects.

On a side note, gosh what is the deal with Youtube? Every time I figure out just where everything is and how to get all the info they change it again. This afternoon I was thrown for a loop trying to figure out where to find the embedded code, grrrrrrrr. Don't they know the stress that change causes me?


Sam said...

That's a pretty good idea! And, I like that you can make it both easy and hard. I'll have to try it sometime! (Wish I had an empty water bottle right now, LOL)

kiwichick said...

I have a retrieve that was taught with a clicker with Rift and he is a fantastic fetcher. He will bring anything, and I mean anything if I ask him to get it. I love it and everything is bought to my hand :-)

Diana said...

You are crazy to throw your cell phone. I would be freaking out. LoL It looks liek the dogs all had fun. Dianaw

Kathy said...

Well, I was not being too smart, when I started throwing things for the dogs to fetch, it was usually on a pretty soft surface and they were not as into as they are now, LOL, but it was stupid to let them start fetching the cell phone, esp the new one, I did not think until my daughter pointed out I could have let them fetch the OLD cell phone that does not work, now that would have been much brighter, LOL. I do feel a little silly over that one!

Sara said...

What a great idea! I can't believe they are predicting snow in southern california. That is crazy. Its april!

YouTube has been very annoying lately!

Jules said...

Kathy, LOVE the puppy puzzle idea. I am going to have to make one this weekend!

Also, fetching would be a great thing for us to work on.

Dawn said...

Great ideas, though throwing the new cell phone is a bit..well...extravagant!

AC said...

Great ideas again! You always seem to look for different ways to challenge your dogs. Keep it up!

I think our clouds are drifting your way! We've had these huge thunderclouds but they keep moving through. We've haven't had a drop of rain!

Ricky the Sheltie said...

Love the puzzle idea! We might have to try that.

Mom is very interested in teaching me a retrieve and also in training drive. Thanks for the book recommendation!

YouTube is always annoying. I see that they have changed the layout of everything again. Crazy.

Nat said...

You always make such cool stuff!