Try It A Different Way, Barefoot

Albert Einstein once stated, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”  Somewhere I remember reading, either in a book about dogs, Debbie Jacobs’ fearfuldogs site, or Mary’s Dogs blog, if something isn’t working one way, try it another way!

For many months I have been doing everything and in every way possible to have Honey take a treat from my hand, to no avail.  She will, most times, pick up a treat I dropped on the ground with my hand directly over the morsel, but not from that scary hand thingy.  Fingers pointing down, fingers open, closed, sideways, thumb in, thumb out even with clean fingernails, not interested.  I believe I need her to take the treat in order for the next step to happen, touching.

Taking another quote from Einstein “A person who never made a mistake, never tried anything new” this morning I tried something new, and it worked, sorta.

First it is cold here in the Northwest, at least for these bones, but I was outside trying the some old, same old with Honey.  I was dressed in my sweats, slippers and coat, when the silly idea hit my, only one cup of coffee, brain, to put the treat on my barefoot.  Off came the slipper and the treat placed on the top of my foot, bare foot standing on the cold cement.  To my surprise Honey came right up to my foot sniffed the goody, the foot then took and ate it.  20 minutes and a frozen foot later of treat on the top, or stuffed between the toes, she continued taking the treat.  I know I have nice looking feet, but why the feet and not the hand.

I don’t really care why; it will become the first step to the hand.  Please no cameras allowed while I put my hand under or around my foot, I know I’m going to crash.  Placing my hand by my foot is going to be interesting, because I think I’m getting taller as I get older, it takes me a lot longer to get up from the ground than it used to and my arms are futher away from my feet.


Posted on December 17, 2010, in Our Blog. Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. What a fun mental image – but good for you for thinking outside the box! 🙂

  2. Good for you George, you have to think outside the box with dogs like ours.

    You remember perhaps that we have a similar problem with Gracie not allowing my husband near her, although she will, now, take food from his hand, it did take many months to achieve this however.

    I have always thought Gracie to be obbessive in her behaviour, it seems to be the way that her brain processes information, and as such, as you say in this post, she does the same thing over and over again, except for her the results have to be the same, it’s what keeps her sane, or at least secure in her own little world.

    Change is very scary especially for our dogs, and sometimes I guess it may be something that some of them just can’t handle.

    • Lizzie thanks for the comment, and you are right. The magic word is ‘predictability’ They need to know if “A” happens the result must be “B” or there is a problem. I realized that after a couple mistakes I made which had some not so good results.

      The truth of the fact she took the treat off my foot, came after many weeks of getting her to come closer to my feet inch by inch. As she did , I just tried the barefoot thing. It may have been her way of just sucking it up and going for it, because nothing bad happened before, only good stuff.

  3. Yes! Way to go, Honey. That’s brilliant, George. And, it worked… and… I don’t think I’ve ever heard of anyone doing that. All good, in my opinion! Tell me, will she take food off a spoon from you?

    • Thanks for the pat on the back. You know what, even after watching you treat Aaron from a spoon in the videos, I never thought about trying it with Honey. I will try that for pea-pick’n-real, thanks

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