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Just wanted to post and say that each time I start training a new dog, it NEVER ceases to thrill me when I see the "lightbulb" go off in their brain for the first time! :D

I've been struggling to get Bandit to focus and motivate him to learn. He is just generally very happy-go-lucky and easily distracted in his personality, and didn't seem willing to try very hard to earn goodies. If I tried luring him into a sit, he would follow it just until the point he'd have to sit, then turn and walk away.

Well, today I worked with him again on "Sit", since I want to get him started on NILIF as soon as possible (he is very skittish and insecure, and I want him to gain confidence through his new-found "marketable skills"). Willow was with us, and I alternated between asking Willow to sit and treating her, and then asking Bandit. He was getting very frustrated watching Willow earn her treats, and finally just plopped down in frustration. Oh, did I PRAISE him like mad! He got a nice ball of cream cheese and tons of pets.

He stood up and I asked him again - slowly, his expression changed, and brow furrowed and mouth closed, he purposefully sat down, a little hesitant but hopeful. It was our lightbulb moment! :D Finally! We repeated it several times with food treats, and then instructing him to sit for pets/affection. He did great!

That first breakthrough is always so exciting because it marks the day when learning starts to become easier for the dog. I am so excited! Although Bandit is a slower learner than Willow (not as motivated), his patience is immensely better than hers. I know I'll be able to build a very solid set of skills with him, and that's terrific.

Anyway, just had to share with folks who would understand. ;)
 

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I love that moment, you can just see them working it out. Kali my 8 month old gets the funniest expressions when she gets her lightbulb moment. It's one of those like...'Oh all I have to do is this?' She obbsesses over it too, she'll do it all the time once she figures it out...like spinning left and right, her favorite things to do now.
 

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Yep, always the best moments :)

Wally's eyes get all big when he gets something right. It's almost a little freaky. When he's working something out, or trying to "guess" what he needs to do, his ears prick forward, or sometimes he'll wave them forward and back while looking at me. Kinda his "give me a hint!" expression.

Wally will obsess over it too. There was this point in time where he sat for everything. If he didn't know what I wanted. He'd sit. Trying to learn something new - he'd sit. It was crazy.

Between sit and touch - he obsesses over them both. I have no idea why he's so into nose-targeting :) I can't even have anything in my hand without him trying to touch it.
 
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