Laura recently posted about teaching dogs to distinguish between a nose and a paw target. Lok know both "touch" (nose target) and "step" (paw target), but I'm not sure how well he can distinguish between the two, as I've never really worked on both in one session or with the same target object. Jun knows the two, but doesn't know them as well and I know she can't distinguish between them. Elo, however, was a blank slate, not knowing either command at the time I read Laura's post, so I decided it would be a fun thing to experiment with. In our first session, working with a round plastic lid as a target, I started with a paw target. Elo picked this up right away and we ended up putting it on cue in the first session. In session two, we continued to practice the "step" cue. In session three, we worked on a nose target. It took awhile for E to stop offering the paw target, or the paw and nose together, but we got as far as putting that on cue in one session as well. In the fourth session we worked on both, but separated them by short periods of working on other commands. That's as far as we've gotten right now. So far so good! I'll update after the next few sessions.
In other news, Jun skied last weekend!!!! After a brief period of craziness before we started down the trail, tangling herself up nicely, she calmed down and sat next to me, looking down the trail. At that point I gave her the "go" signal and she did great!! We had to reinforce "no stopping and sniffing every tree" a few times, but once she figured out the object of the game she was a rockstar! There were a few other skiers out on the trails and we pulled over to the side and stopped while they passed. Passing was not something I wanted to work on with a deaf dog in our first attempt. Lok also did wonderful, you would never know he can't see the trail with how confidently and joyfully he runs full speed ahead. Skiing is a great outlet for him, I think!