Mind Games

As the weather has been so awful this week and I was on annual leave from work, we decided to buy a game that I could play with Tuchena in the house. After a bit of research we chose ‘Dog Tornado’ by Nina Ottosson.

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It has three levels that all spin around, with 4 compartments in each to hide treats and at the top there is a lid that also moves. The idea is to encourage Tuchena to move the levels around to uncover the treats. To make it more tricky you can progress to the harder stage…. It also comes with three ‘bones’ which fit in to the trays to cover treats, and must be removed by the dog in order to allow it to spin.

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Tuchena seems to be getting to grips with this quite quickly and is really enjoying it.

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Last night we attended our second ‘sniffer dog’ class. The weather was awful, so I went dressed in welly boots and waterproofs as it took Tuchena so long to enter the hall last week that I thought there was a good chance that I could get very wet! This week however, she went straight in, cautiously, but with out backing away or getting spooked. I was so pleased with her progress.

When the other dogs in the class had all had a go at sniffing out the toy mice (scented with catnip) that had been hidden in cardboard boxes around the hall, Shelley asked if we would like a turn. Last week Tuchena had to be coaxed across the hall with bits of cheese being dropped in front of her, and even then she did it by moving her front legs as far as possible, but keeping her back legs firmly where they were! But we had practised at home during the weekend and as Tuchena seemed to be feeling a bit braver I thought we would give it a go.

Instead of going out of the room while Shelley hid the mouse, we agreed that it would be better if we just turned away as Tuchena might not want to come back in…..and then it was our go. I asked Tuchena to ‘find it’ and slowly and cautiously we were off on the scent. Apart from Tuchena deciding she was going to scent mark the hall herself and having a wee in the middle of the hall during the search, it was successful and we found the mouse! Yay Tuchena! In all we had 6 successful finds, and although Tuchena is not as focused or as excited during the lesson as she is at home, I am hoping that will come when she gets braver.

Tuchena did get quite reactive during the class when it wasn’t her turn and other dogs were getting excited, she would start barking at them. I think this was due to some stress as she is obviously still not entirely comfortable with the situation. All of the dogs in the class are also female and a similar age, so I think that the competitiveness is also a big factor in her being reactive and barking.

All in all I was very proud of Tuchena, she has made huge progress from last week and I am looking forward to doing our homework again this week!

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3 Replies to “Mind Games”

  1. That game looks really neat! I love mind game toys. Tuchena looked like she was having a great time. It’s also great to hear that she’s had some improvement. I’m sure with time, she’ll have more confidence. Are you going to train in Tracking?

    1. Thanks, she is such a cautios dog that any progress is an achievement, but small steps seem to be paying off. We are just attending a local sniffer dog class for fun, but unfortunately it is only 4 weeks.

  2. I’m finally catching up on some of my favorite blogs! I finished my MBA this week, and the Border Collie has had us on our toes!
    I had one of these puzzles for Rosie. She loved it! It was a great way to let her think and problem solve.. It also kept her busy! Enjoy it! If Tuchena gets bored with it, put it away for a week or so, then bring it back out.

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