Push on a Wall

You may have guessed that we are very close to achieving your final trick with the Nose target, which will be to close a door! But be patient, we still have a few steps to work towards to first!

To mimic a door, you are going to position the lid on a vertical stable surface, such as a wall. Working with a stable surface is important.

The objective is two folds:

  • Your dog needs to learn to push on a vertical surface
  • Your dog needs to be confident to move away from you toward the lid. We worked this in the previous weeks when dissociating your position in relation to the target so it should be easy this time

The lid can be fixed on a wall or, as we are demonstrating in the following videos and describing in the text, on a gym step that has been tipped on its side. I used some blu-tack to fix the lid to the step.

Some dogs struggle to transition from a push on the floor to a push on a wall or vertical surface. If this is the case, start by asking your dog to push the lid first whilst it is in your hand, then blu-tack the lid to the wall and gradually move your hand away. In this instance reward in the lid again to bring back value to the lid and build your dog’s confidence

In the following video we demonstrate with Mozzie performing the Push on an object on the floor before reverting to a push an object in the hand. This shows us that Mozzie has a good understanding that the desired behaviour is all about pushing in the lid no matter where it is.

In the next video we start fading from a Push in the Hand to a Push on the object when its mounted vertically on the Gym Step.

In addition to the difficulty of switching to a target to on a wall, another challenge for your dog is the inability to see you when moving forwards to push the target, so be patient.

  1. Work on getting your dog to target the Lid in your hand whilst you hold it against the step. Remember to place the reward in the Lid, do not reward from your hand and try not to drop the reward on the floor
  2. Once you dog is consistently targeting the lid, use some Blu-Tac or tape to attach the lid to the step. Now ask your dog to Push and reward in the lid each time that it does it correctly.
  3. Start moving away from the step and then ask for the Push. Initially move back towards the step with your dog to provide encouragement and reward in the lid only when it pushes it.
  4. Slowly fade you own movement and only start moving to go to reward in the lid. You will build your dog’s confidence that going to the step and pushing is correct without you having to lure it back to the step
  5. When your dog is consistently going to the step and Pushing the Lid, start to increase the distance between yourself and the step. Start to trust that your dog knows what is required from it when performing the Trick.