Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Viva learning how to eat out of a kong

As I've said in other posts, Viva is very smart and she's an eager learner.   However, we are hard at work on building problem solving and creative thinking.  These are an important set of skills for dogs as it helps to create more options of how to interact in the world while also building confidence.  

Here are some past posts of us working on these skills:

Viva has mastered eating out the slow down bowl and now we are working on eating out of a kong.  I quickly found out that if you just sit the kong on the ground, Viva doesn't know what to do.  So, I propped it up in the slow down bowl.  It's like a mini bowl in her bowl!

You can see that she finished her food in the slow down bowl and is now sorting out what to do about the food filled kong.

"I'll just start licking out the food!"

This is perfect as she's curious and continues to work at getting the food out.

Now some problem solving...  there's still food in the kong but, further down and she can't lick it out.

She hits it with her nose, getting it to move.  Good thinking Viva.

Super job Viva! She keeps moving the kong around which is what I want.

Before Viva becomes frustrated/disinterested in the kong, I picked it up and shook the kong getting the food closer to the bottom the slowly turned it over as she was licking it so that she could be successful in getting the last bit of food out.

All to often we give up on a dog saying "they can't do (fill in the blank)".  When in fact we haven't set the dog up to be successful, usually in small steps.  If the dog "can't do it" then make it simpler (adjust the criteria) and increase the difficult over time, allowing the dog to be successful through out the process. 

Stay tuned as I'm sure there will be a kong update in the near future!

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