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Tricks for Better Thinking Skills DVD
Running time- 80 minutes
Teaching your dog tricks is fantastic for many reasons. It helps to establish a bond, teaches your dog to focus and improves other areas of training. It is also a brilliant way to tire out your dog’s brain, providing some great mental
In this DVD, Silvia Trkman, world acclaimed trainer and agility handler, shows us how to explore the dog’s mind, and test intelligence with 10 detailed tricks for better thinking skills. Working specifically on problem solving, complex thinking and generalisation, Trkman provides us with detailed steps to teach imaginative and fun tricks that will allow you to see how your dog thinks and learns.
Trkman breaks each trick down, explains it in detail, and shows us detailed video footage of her own dogs learning these tricks, meaning that the methods shown are easy to follow. Teaching and mastering these tricks is sure not only to wow your friends but will also provide your dog with the best physical workout.
Trkman begins by explaining that although she is most well known for her acrobatic tricks such as handstands, her favourite tricks are in fact thinking tricks. She continues to add why she enjoys these tricks so much, and how they allow us to explore the dog's mind. Trkman then shows us a video clip from her Tricks for a Great Bond DVD to demonstrate why you shouldn’t be afraid to defer from your original plan in training, and sometimes you can teach great new tricks by clicking ‘wrong’ behaviours.
In the first set of tricks Trkman focuses on problem solving, which she describes as one of the most important thinking skills. She shows us how shaping can be used to teach your dog problem solving and then continues by demonstrating step by step the process of teaching the following problem-solving tricks, starting with easier ones and escalating in difficulty.
- Teaching your dog to ride a skateboard
Trkman explains why this trick in in fact a thinking skill, and lists some of the benefits of teaching it, such as helping to train the seesaw.
- Blanket over your head
Trkman tells us that to begin with she wasn’t sure if this trick was possible but her dogs surprised her with how quickly they picked it up. She breaks this trick down, showing us first how to teach a head shake and then progressing this to a head shake with a blanket resulting in it landing on the dog’s head.
- Hug a pole
Trkman explains how this a great trick for dogs who are still learning the process of shaping as having an object involved helps them.
3b) Hold the bottle
This trick is a natural progression from holding the pole. Trkman demonstrates the variations you can teach using different items, such as toys. She also adds what to do to help your dog if he struggles to balance whilst holding the item.
3c) Pick up a bottle and hold it.
Trkman describes this advancement on the previous trip as a true test of thinking skills.
The next set of tricks Trkman talks us through are designed to test complex thinking skills and principally to teach the dog to think of two things at the same time.
- Wrap in a blanket.
In this trick the dog must learn to first hold an item independently. Trkman shows us how to progress so the dog is holding an item whilst doing something else, in this case rolling over.
- Floor cleaning
Here we learn how to get the dog to paw an object, in this case a sponge, to make it move across the floor. Trkman demonstrates how to begin with a paw touch on a straightforward target, moving on to a paw touch on the sponge and then progressing to adding movement.
This can be taught with front legs, back legs or even with two legs. Trkman begins with explaining how to teach a front leg limp before moving on to a back leg limp.
Trkman shows us this trick is taught, beginning with a nose touch whilst holding a toy. The nose touch is then transferred to a table and one target replaced with another before adding movement. We are also given advice on how to add duration to this behaviour.
The final set of tricks are focused on generalisation. Trkman explains why this is an important skill and is key to teaching a wide variety of other tricks. She then shows us a video of her own dogs performing a wide range of household tasks including cleaning, making the bed, hanging up washing, gardening and lots of other fantastic behaviours. Trkman informs us that all of these complex tricks were taught using either a nose touch or paw touch and transferring it to new objects.
- Nose tricks
Trkman begins by demonstrating a nose touch to a ball, explaining how this trick transfers a known behaviour to a new situation. She shows how we can develop the nose touch to pushing the ball, teaching the dog to move in different directions or push it through a goal. Trkman stresses that it is the transferring of these skills to different situations and objects which is key in getting your dog to learn to generalise. She then list a variety of great tricks than can be taught from this basis.
- Bowl to bowl and more
In this trick Trkman shows us how to shape touching one object with another. She then shows us how to generalise it to other tricks such as loading and unloading the washing machine. She also provides us with some tips on chaining behaviours.
- Drumming with an object
Trkman explains how this version of drumming is different to the version taught in the Tricks for a Great Bond DVD of drumming with the dog paws. She shows us to progress to clicking every second time the dog hits the drum with an object so they learn the repetitive sequence.
This DVD provides a fun and effective way of teaching great new skills. Silvia herself says, "I sure hope you'll have as much fun with this training as we do! And I promise that after mastering the tricks from this DVD, every next thing you teach your dog will be a piece of cake."
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