Friday, October 7, 2011

Multi-Toy Fetch:
Tanner's New Mental Game

by Carrie Boyko, CEB
© Carrie Boyko
Meet Red. Tanner's Toys Have Names!


© L. Glavin
Well, boss?
Tanner has become so good at Fetch that I began to notice he was getting less exercise when we play. Gone are the days when he romped around the pool with the toy in his mouth, celebrating his retrieval from the depths.


Tanner now dutifully returns the toy to my feet, and gazes at me with a stare, as if to say,


"Well, boss; when's the next toss coming, huh?"

© Carrie Boyko
Tanner Grabs Orbee
I began to wonder if I would soon have a couch potato on my hands, when one day I realized he may need an additional mental challenge. The game had gotten too easy and not as exhilarating. Enter the Multi-toy Fetch Game, our new invention.

Tanner's newest challenge is to remove all of the 4 toys that I toss into the pool at different locations, before I will toss any one of them again. Sounds easy, right? Not so much! This was definitely the mental challenge I had hoped for when I first tried it yesterday. I now have my ADD Dog back!

The Retrieval game looks something like this:
© Carrie Boyko
Double Fetcher:
Yellow & Gator
  • Tanner is released to Fetch and heads off after one of the toys.
  • Seeing another toy in his peripheral vision, he suddenly changes directions and swims toward the second toy.
  • Before arriving at the second toy, he sees yet a third toy floating nearby and redirects himself once again. You get the idea, right?
  • When Tanner finally grabs a toy, I think he's going to bring it to the pool deck. Oops. New redirect and suddenly he's swimming for the steps with 2 toys in his mouth. Great!
  • Oh no! Now he has dropped the 2 toys and is swimming after a third toy that he's spotted in the far end of our lap pool. 
  • And so the game goes. Thirty minutes later I finally called Tanner out of the pool and rinsed him. He was unsuccessful in retrieving 3 of the toys. One managed to make it to the pool deck, but was not even returned to my feet. 
© Carrie Boyko
Relaxing with Firefly
This is going to be a long training period, I fear. Yet I'm excited to see how it goes and to learn what there is to learn from this new approach. I'll keep you posted. Please cheer for Tanner. He may be feeling like a bit of a failure tonight. 


This post is part of the Saturday Pet Blogger Hop hosted by Confessions of the Plume, Two Little Cavaliers, and Life with Dogs. Their rules for participation follow, as copied from Life with Dogs' site on 10/5/11:



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5 comments:



shilohsmom said...

Awwww, poor Tanner was just confused. That was a cute story!



Anonymous said...

You go Tanner..swimming is a good exercise for dogs. If Oliver loves to swim you can have Tanner and Oliver race to see who gets the toy first. Thats what I do with Schooner and Skipper. We will be in the 80's again today and Skipper and Schooner and myself will be in the pool swimming laps and playing with toys. Before the pool is closed for the winter on Wednesday.

Sharon Gilbert



rumpydog said...

I saw on Nature a dog that had hundreds of toys- each with a different name.



melf said...

LOL! This post made me laugh. I have an ADD dog too. I wonder what Jasper would do if I tossed his ball and then another one while he was on his way to retrieve it? I'm going to have to try this one. He's been getting a little boring with his toss and retrieve game too.

Your description was awesome. Smart idea!



Dawn said...

This sounds like what Maya did when they had the public pool open for dogs. Because petsmart gave away a bunch of small orange frisbees, the pool was littered with them. If Maya didn't see where I threw her frisbee, she would just get another one and often came back with at least two!

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