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Fun with a Box

Fun with a Box

February 1, 2010
Posted in: Dogs | Reading Time: 5 minutes

Last Friday, I was super busy running around to post offices and Visa organizations trying to fix the status of my eaten passport. The chaps at the Visa office and the town clerk recorder's office had a good chuckle at the story. Anyway, by the time I got home, there was no time for a walk and I had a big delivery that I had to unpack. The weather was turning crummy and I'm not one to insist on making strict routines with my dogs as I like them to get comfortable with variety and change in life. Some days they don't get walks, instead, they get lots of training or plays sessions or I take them on errands. So as I was unpacking the box, I remembered all my Internet friends who are training box tricks and decided to do some training with it. And after Thursday night's escalator training fiasco for Loki, I decided he needed some really good confidence building exercises.

At school, they jump into these large, 4 square-foot white crates on command, so I thought I'd give it a try. They never tried jumping into a cardboard box and I thought the "in" command given for the white crates that they both know would transfer. I tried the Sibe first, and after about a minute of no success, I gave up and tried Loki, who's pretty much a plug and play dog. It took me about 30 seconds to get him in the box. He stepped in his first foot, I rewarded and then he jumped all the way in and I rewarded.

"Princess, see? You get inside the box, and mom gives you the goodies!"
"Retardo, why do you have to make this so hard on me? Haven't you learned by now that you do NOT do stuff for food? You simply act like you have no idea what they are asking and they eventually get frustrated and just give it to you!"

I discovered the best way to train a Siberian is to have her watch me train a high drive dog, on meth, like Loki. Because as soon as she saw him do it, she jumped in the box and my work was done. It took me about 3.5 minutes to train it in both dogs.

"I can do anything this punk can do, and do it better. Now pay me twice his salary since I'm cuter."

While Juno was in the box, I decided, "what the heck, I'll send Loki to go 'touch' and see what happens." We had been working on me sending him from a distance to touch various objects with his nose, which is the basis for shaping other important tasks such as retreive a beer from the refridgerator (Internet, can you believe Mr. Wild Dingo has the audiacity to question why I spend so much time training these beasts?)

While Juno made herself at home in the box (leave it to the Sibe to plop and claim it), I sent Loki to "touch." What he did next almost made me pee myself.

"Since I'm here, I may as well get comfortable."

He went over and stretched out his nose and "touched" the SIBE! Of course I rewarded him. After that, if he touched Juno or the box, he got rewarded.

"Dude, touch me again and I'll punch your lights out."
"Dollface, everything is hunky-dory. I'll just touch this here box now."

It started to rain so I took the game inside.

 "I don't like that idea at all Mom. I think I'll stay right here."

If you have nothing else better to do for the next 3.5 minutes, you can entertain yourself with a high quality film from Wild Dingo on how to entertain yourself and  your dogs with a cardboard box. The video is not nearly the quality of Honey the Big Dog's masterful video's on shapping and clicker training. I'm so much looser with my technique. But then again, if I ever had to perform like Honey does, I'd probably clean up my act! My only hope is to someday get the beasts to grab me a beer from the fridge.

Excuse my ratty old pull over with strings hanging off. It's my outside muddy gear. Oh hell, I'll just admit it. I dress like crap.

For the record, Juno also plays the touch game, but she has yet to touch the box with Loki in it. Mango, if you want lessons, just meditate on this video above. You can even watch it repeatedly if you need to study it in detail to organize the steps in your Relentlessly Large Head.

Hope you enjoyed how Loki likes to talk back to me.  If you all really want to hear him talk back to me, then check out the 50 second video below.


He doesn't have his full-on cracker back talk in that video. He can be a whole lot worse. People keep telling me to teach him to talk, like 'I love Momma' or something. I have a hard enough time getting him to shut his yapper, so I think I'll pass on that.

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25 comments on “Fun with a Box”

  1. Hey you guys! Send me a peemail and explain how you manage to train one doggie when both are in the room. We have to go into lockdown one at a time which makes whoever isn't being trained really howl and put up a fuss.

    Also, how do you teach good door manners when only one pup is going out? We both crowd the door, but then sometimes (like when I am going on my car rides) only one of us gets the reward of actually going through.


  2. The whole post is grrrreat today, butt... the shot with the PBBBBBBT (AKA Raspberry)sort of tells the true tale.

  3. What fun and very impressive too.
    I love Loki's 'stand', I think we will try to add that to our skills.
    Thanks for the incentive boost.

  4. Dude,
    just learn 1 thing in human talk. It'll keep the treats coming for months on end! I only say important things....like "I want my breakfast". Wanna hear me?
    That' about the only human-speak I bothered to learn. Still works, though.

    Juno, woo are entirely too obedient fur a Sibe, hnoney. I think that Loki is a bad influence on woo. Come live with me!

    a-roos to yous,
    jack a-roo

  5. I'm sending K over to your house. We tried, a few years ago, to play 'fun with a box' and she was scared of the box. It took a long time to get her to touch it. No way in hell was she going to place even one foot in the darn thing. Maybe watching Loki would help her!!

  6. I'm khounting my lukhky stars mine isn't that 'way' -

    JBJ: I'll repeat my ofFUR of a safe haven fur woo
    I think Loki Retardo is beyond help -

    I think he's another khyss up to Momma type -

    PeeEssWoo: Oh the shame of it all!

  7. Ha ha, I think in the second pic Juno is thinking of sending Loki somewhere in the box!

    They both look really cute in the box, but there is no way you could get me in there! Hmmm...but you are giving mom an idea!

    Great video! Loki does all the work and both pups get treats! That's my kind of game!


  8. BOLing at the photo and caption: dude, do it again... haaaaaaaaaaaaaaa
    And yes, this training technique works real well. Momma picks the one she trusts will learn the game/tick/exercise and the others follow 🙂
    Great fun and a great idea for indoor games for a rainy day

  9. We are quite impressed with Juno's LEAP out of the box, true siberian form with great show!!! Now we are a little worried because the Momster is mumbling about all the boxes she just tossed and where can she find one big enough for TD - why did we let her see this post.

    And that raspberry shot - way to go , Juno.

    Woos, Phantom and Thunder

  10. Wooos Juno and Loki, great new way of getting treats! I will have to find a box too, Mum says it is like our white "sit" box we use at school., and it would be too easy for me. Ha! I am sure I could make it difficult!
    -Kira The BeaWootiful

  11. Great videos! We don't have a box big enough for Darwin to get in, but we've been dumping out her toy box and trying to get her to put toys back in. It's been fun.
    Loki cracks me up! Darwin talks like him too!
    Check out our post tomorrow! We have an award for you!

  12. I think Loki is still trying out for the Mango Minister... um.. entries are closed but I got your harry funballs... I mean oops that special package with frogs ... oh no that box of jodhpurs. wink wink.. bribes are never considered wink wink

  13. It's nice to know that others have two wardrobes, their dog clothes and their rest of the world clothes. My dog clothes now outnumber my others, but that's ok because I prefer the company of my dogs to most of the rest of the world.

    PWDs are very vocal and I listen to complaints and pleas and a lot of what is probably swearing in dog.

  14. Did you see Moose's blog today? That Mr. Wild Dingo dude keeps showing up in the strangest places.


    P.S. The Mango does NOT get into boxes. Even if they have fluffy tails and jodhpurs in them.

  15. Oh Juno & Loki - I loved this post!! You guys are 'way cool', as the humans say! Hee! Hee! 😀 And I think your video is brilliant (please don't talk me up like that - it's embarrassing! :P) - I like how your human talks to you lots and gives you lots of praise & encouragement - and my human is so impressed at how she is training two of you at the same time!

    We've been thinking of trying the box game too but it's hard to find a cardboard box big enough for me to fit in...maybe I need to try "fun with a giant suitcase"! 😉

    Honey the Great Dane
    ps. I love that shot where you're sticking your tongue out Juno!

  16. Fantastic information in your post, I saw a report on the tv last week about this same thing and since I am getting married a few weeks from now and the timing could not have been better! thanks for the info!, I have bookmarked, thanks Phyllis Hagerman

  17. I like the way this is written, and I think your dogs are adorable. I have a very, very stubborn cocker spaniel, and im thinking I should start playing this "box game" with her. Wish me luck!

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