What DOES a Corgi puppy have in common with Indiana Jones?
...So, okay, first, there's a fun little game you can play with your puppy or dog. Start with a plastic cup you can't see through, and place it over a treat on the floor. (See above video)
Your dog has to figure out how to get the treat. Some dogs push the cup with their nose until it falls over, others smack it with a paw...and retriever puppies often pick up the cup and happily carry it around, forgetting about the treat altogether!
At first, puppy Shelby stood back and yapped at the cup like it was the vanguard of an alien invasion. But she got the idea and became so adept at knocking it over so quickly that it was hard to catch on video! She's also mastered "The Tablecloth Trick" -- like the magician who zips a tablecloth out from under china, crystal and silver without so much as tipping a wine glass, Shelby can capture the treat without upending the cup.
So we advanced to the 2-cup variation. You can do the classic "shell game," wherein there are two cups but only one treat, you shift the cups back and forth and see if your dog can locate the treat. Or you can do it with a treat under each cup, which is what we did with Shelby.
As you'll see from the short video (below), Shelby gets the first treat right away. But then she's a little thrown by the second "alien invader" cup, and she tries to knock it over using the power of shrieky-puppy-bark sound waves for a few seconds.
What happens next reminded me of the scene in RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK, where Indiana Jones is confronted by a sinister scimitar-wielding thug in a teeming alley. As the assailant whips his sword around in a display of intimidating prowess, Indy wonders how his bullwhip is going to get him out of this pickle...and then he realizes he has a gun, yanks it out and shoots the thug.
After Shelby screams at the second cup for a few seconds, she suddenly remembers, "Oh, yeah...just knock it down." Which she then proceeds to do with casual confidence worthy of Indiana Jones.
Shelby recommends playing this game with your dog (with the cup and treats, NOT the gun and sword!)...It's fun!
Howard Weinstein started Day-One Dog Training in Howard County, Maryland in 1998. You can reach him through http://dayonedogtraining.com. He's also the author of Puppy Kisses are Good for the Soul & Other Important Lessons You& Your Dog Can Teach Each Other (available in both paperback and e-book at Amazon.com -- http://tinyurl.com/9rah6kg -- or http://dayonedogtraining.com).