"Good boyo, Nico!" Morgan said, admittedly a bit excitedly. This was winding up to be as easy as Morgan had grown to expect from Nico, who was quite good at learning behaviors. Perhaps it was a houluh thing? Morgan admittedly did not know as much about them as they did, say, about sarane, which had substantially more information given from the Labs. It was all repetition from here! Morgan gave the creature a lot of praise and a treat, and began the process over again. It required a lot of practice; the verbal command would be given, and then the houluh would pick somewhere random on himself to lick. Morgan figured that when the creature was actually injured, that the creature would probably choose to lick that instead. Each time the houluh would lick somewhere on himself, Morgan would give him lots of praise and a treat. Finally, after a half of an hour of work, Morgan was pleased enough to feel like the houluh would remember the lick command very well.
Morgan figured that they had just enough time today for one more thing; and it was going to be fairly simple. Morgan had a basic harness to use in the meantime, but they were getting a special one made for the houluh just for him. Morgan wanted to teach him to wear restrictive clothing, and figured that it was as good a time as any to start. "Alright Nico..." Morgan said calmly, as they reached into their backpack gently and brushed their knuckles across the egg, reminding it that they were there. Morgan gently grabbed the makeshift harness, figuring that it was better now than later to teach this, since it was simple enough. "Let's put this on you, okay boyo." Morgan said, not even a question in that at all tone-wise. Morgan bent down to the grass where the creature was. Hopefully the tolerance training would manage to make this a tad easier...
Morgan had figured that this would be simple enough, since the creature would tolerate Morgan moving him around quite a bit; but one look at that makeshift harness and the little critter took off a bit, tail between the legs. Morgan's brow furrowed slightly. "What are you doing Nico? You never do this boyo. Come here, come here boyo..." Of course the come command was a whistled one for Nico, but Morgan's voice was calm and quiet, beckoning. "Are you afraid of it? Come here and look at it." Morgan placed the offending thing on the grass, and then made a grabby-hand motion at the houluh. The creature slunk back to them, tail between the legs, but avoided the makeshift harness. "Is it because it stinks or something? I mean, I washed it, boyo. Maybe that is it, right?" Morgan dragged the material over to the creature, and gently petted the houluh while the harness was near him.
Morgan generally did not at all enjoy coddling the creature; in fact, up to this point, they had not truly done so. However, Morgan was very interested in getting this trained; so that he could eventually carry some customized creature pockets that Morgan was wanting to get the jackalope to make. It would be a shame if the creature was too afraid to actually wear a harness for some reason. Morgan had indeed gotten the creature later on into his life than they would have otherwise have liked. "Alright boyo, see, it isn't bad?" Morgan gently put the harness very close to the houluh's body, and then kept petting the houluh. The bespectacled human knew that the calmer he was, the better. They waited for a moment, and then gave the creature a jerky piece. After a moment, the creature leaned forward, and sniffed the makeshift harness, as if he was trying to figure out what it was.
"Good boyo, Nico. Very good boyo, see, it's not scary, it's not bad." Still, Morgan gave him more time to sniff it, to become acquainted with the harness. After he seemed to be done sniffing it, Morgan gave him another piece of jerky and a lot of petting. "Such a good boyo, see, it's not bad." Morgan cooed. Morgan hoped that they would not ever have to do this whole coddling thing again like this, it was ridiculous. "Alright, now let's get this thing on you, boyo." The bespectacled human gently and slowly picked up the makeshift harness, and slipped it over the top of the houluh, quietly. "Shh sh, shush... You're a good boyo." Morgan said quietly, as the houluh began to whine. Then, Morgan gently fastened the harness down, and then let it go. "See boyo, it's just fine. You're fine." Morgan said, petting him and giving him a jerky piece for accepting the harness.
Now they just needed to get the creature used to taking it on and off. Morgan knew that it would be easy going from here because the houluh was acting a lot more usual now. Morgan ran the creature through some commands while the creature had the harness on, to get him used to having it on, and then gently called him to them and then took the harness off. "There we go, better?" Then, they ran through some more commands again. Soon enough, Morgan was putting the harness back on, and running him through some more commands again. They continued repeating this process back and forth and back and forth until the houluh barely even seemed to notice the harness being put on and taken off. "There you go, Nico, good boyo!" He was given a treat and a lot of petting. Now it was time to go home!
 - [END of 'Wear Harness'] - [The two go home.]
Morgan and Nico returned to the park the day after the two had trained at the gym. Morgan was pleased with the visit, to be honest; because the tiny creature seemed to have already become much more agile than he was before. Nico learned quickly in all things, but who had really expected the creature to manage to get that much out of a single day of work in the gym? Morgan definitely planned to return at some point, but didn't want to be too hard on the creature's young body. He was still a puppy, after all! So Morgan was going to take the time to work with him on a few more tricks and some other things before bringing him back to the gym. That should take enough time to allow the houluh to rest in the meantime, so that they didn't overdo it on his poor small frame. But what to start with?
Morgan had brought a lot of stuff today to work with the houluh with; toys and equipment that would assist Morgan with teaching some of these things that the houluh would need in future contests. Morgan had heard that the contest hall had finally opened back up after some time being closed; so now they had even less time than they thought that they had previously to train all of this stuff in. Of course, they would be waiting for an agility or even an obedience competition, and the current beauty contest was... Not something that Morgan cared about. However; the houluh would do great in one of the other contests, they just knew it.
That being said; the first thing that crossed Morgan's mind was the 'stack' command. The creature would need to stand still, and tolerance would really help with this one, they were sure. "Alright Nico, let's start." Morgan said, petting his head.
Nico was of course as responsive as always, surprisingly so. He stayed standing, watching Morgan's face as if each twitch was giving him a new command all its own. Morgan felt a bit odd, sometimes, knowing that he was watching them so carefully, but hey; it is quite important, right? Creatures were built this way by the Labs on purpose, to make them more useful. And useful, it was. Morgan gave a quick snap command, and then moved the creature's legs into place, as well as gently putting the head up and the tail more held-out longwise rather than up. Since he had already been taught tolerance; Nico held all of these parts in the correct way; now looking like a very handsome example of a houluh. At this, Morgan cracked a smile, and waited to see if he would hold it. He continued to hold it until he was treated and given lots of praise!
Lots and lots of praise, indeed! Afterwards, Morgan snapped their fingers again, and waited. The houluh knew that this meant to do something; he'd been trained extensively and knew that he was to do something, but hadn't quite put it together. Morgan reached out to move his body back into the same position from earlier; and this time the houluh worked on memorizing it. After being treated and petted again with lots of praise, the houluh moved right into position after the next snap. Morgan barely had to make any movements to his body, which was great! Morgan was pleased with his speedy learning style. The bespectacled human gave him lots of praise and petting, as well as a treat for this, and then snapped again. Nico moved back into position immediately. Morgan carefully observed it, trying to see if anything was amiss. Finally; Morgan was sure that he passed the test!
Now it was just repetition time, and Morgan was oddly refreshed by how quickly it had been for the houluh to take to this training. Of course, he was already extensively trained and honestly, this was the first thing they should have been aspiring to do; but Morgan hadn't really thought of it at first. They had been so excited to work with the houluh after they had gotten him that it was just not on their mind. The pair began to practice the 'stack'. At first, the houluh had a bit of difficulty every now and again. All Morgan did was correct them, give the houluh a moment to memorize it, and then treat him. Eventually, every time the command was given the houluh would get perfectly into position and then stay perfectly still; only the rise and fall of it's ribs with the breathing to be detected. Morgan was very pleased, and felt like he had gotten it.
 - [END of 'Stack'] (note: This 5 + extra five in Gym = 1 Level to balance)
Once Morgan felt like they were done with the 'stack' command, they knew exactly which one to start on next. The 'heel' behavior was not one that would require a command at all; it was just something that Morgan wanted the houluh to do while on the leash, to make him even more easy to handle than he already was in the ring, and for him to look and act properly in all situations in front of others. It would be easy enough to train, Morgan was sure, though they needed to get the houluh back on his leash. Morgan took the cheap leash they had and gently clipped it on to the houluh's collar. Immediately he wagged his tail, thinking that they were going somewhere, since Morgan always leashed him when they were going out somewhere. "Alright boyo, we need to talk you how to walk the walk." Morgan said, jokingly. The houluh looked up, happily and curiously.
Most folks would probably teach heel off of the leash before teaching it on the leash; but the 'follow' command was working well enough as a heel, since the creature needed to know where Morgan was walking before actually moving there, so on the leash it was. Morgan put some treats in their right hand, where they typically held the leash since Morgan liked to have the hound on their off-side, and then took the leash, like they were going to begin walking. Soon, Morgan began to walk, keeping a fast movement. The houluh could smell the treats; and they were relatively close to his face; so he was putting his nose directly up toward it, not trying to go out in front of Morgan. The bespectacled human walked around and around, keeping him at heel using the beef jerky, and then stopped, and gave him some. "Good boyo, Nico!" Morgan praised.
This got the houluh thinking immediately; he was wise to the whole 'training' thing. Partially because he'd began to be able to understand through the RoT, at least in a rudimentary fashion, what Morgan was saying based off of what they were accidentally transferring through the RoT while doing such. Nico didn't really understand how it worked, just that they were able to triangulate things more clearly based off of this and the emotional link. Right now, they were doing something that Morgan wanted, and they wanted to do what Morgan wanted. Now, they would just have to see what Morgan was trying to hint at.
The bespectacled human started again, walking, while holding the jerky in their hand. The houluh followed, interested in the jerky of course, but more interested in figuring out what Morgan wanted him to do. Eventually, Morgan stopped, and praised him like he had done something right; and it clicked.
Morgan noticed immediately when the houluh stopped following at heel just because there was jerky (because he was looking up and sniffing the jerky) and when he started doing it because he seemed to get it. He stopped looking up and sniffing the jerky, and instead held his head up in a more confident way, with his eyes forward. Then he glances up at Morgan as if to say 'hey, I'm doing it right, right?' Morgan stopped, and immediately gave him a treat. This was exactly why Morgan had wanted to teach the creature on the leash first; he would understand this eventually. "Good boyo, Nico!" After this, Morgan stopped using the jerky on subsequent repetitions on the leash, with the houluh walking exactly at the side of the bespectacled human every single time, with no mistakes. Morgan was able to speed up and slow down during this, and he stayed exactly the right distance at Morgan's side each time.
Twilight-Claw: Lol, those puppies are comically cute in appearance! I feel like I might have seen them from somewhere else with their baby stage, but more because of their pudgy stage and short limbs. x3
Jun 8, 2022 0:20:35 GMT -6