A billion times indeed; or well, substantially less than that, but it could have felt like a metaphorical billion times? Each time that they repeated they repeated the trick, it went the same way, only with Nico getting more speedy with it, and more confident with it. Soon, he was practically shaking paws like a champ. Morgan would curl their hand out and raise the palm up, and then the puppy would put his paw in it until Morgan shook it a few times. Morgan smiled softly each time, gave him lots of praise and a treat, and then immediately started it again. Morgan wanted to make sure that Nico got it into his mind quite well, and would automatically do it no matter what. That would go over quite well in the show ring, Morgan thought. Soon, Morgan was very sure that Nico had gotten the command to the hand signal for it.
After Morgan was sure that the shake command was learned by the Houluh well enough, Morgan knew it was time to move on to the next thing. Morgan really wanted to finish as much training as possible as soon as possible. Morgan wanted to eventually move from tricks to a few of the more cutesy moves that might help him win contests (pretending to lick wounds and play dead was adorable to think about!), but they wanted to do the tricks, first. The next thing that came to Morgan's mind was the 'up' behavior. Teaching the houluh to stand up on his hind legs would be cute and would make it easier to teach him how to dance later on at some point. Morgan was convinced that soon, he would be the most well trained canine in the entire labs. "Alright boyo, you ready for the next thing?" Morgan was excited, and so was the Houluh.
The next thing shouldn't be that hard, Morgan thought. It would be a lot like training sit in that a 'natural action' could be used to make the creature automatically move a certain way, most canines tended to stand up on their hind legs when taunted with food items above their head. Morgan was planning on using a hand movement that would work with that general idea, as well. Morgan took a piece of jerky in their hand, and then held it in their bottom three fingers while pointing with their pointer finger down to the grass. Then, Morgan immediately moved the hand upwards as high as they could. As expected, the houluh automatically sat down and then leaned on his haunches and stood up, trying to get to the jerky. Morgan grinned, and then gave the creature the treat. "Good boyo, Nico! Good job!" Morgan said, smiling ear to ear.
Nico seemed to not have gotten it so far, but that was generally the idea witch what had happened thus far with their training, it was the first bit after all, the first attempt was always the very start of course. Morgan's mind was rambling on and on a bit, so they needed to get a move on. "Good boyo Nico, let's try it again." Great, now Morgan was talking, just trying to keep their mind from racing in circles. Morgan grabbed another piece of jerky, and then made the hand motion with the finger pointing toward the grass, and then raised it up. As it rose up, Nico sat back on his haunches and then rose up on his hind legs again, but this time, Morgan figured that the creature had began understanding what they were trying to do here. Morgan was stoked about it, knowing that they were going to make a breakthrough soon.
Certain commands needed whistled commands, some necessitated verbal commands, and others were good with hand signals. These would be easy enough for Morgan to keep up with, they often found it difficult to truly forget things (which is what made their dreams as of late especially messed up and difficult for them). Morgan gave the houluh lots of praise as per usual, and petting for his head, as well as the piece of jerky that the creature had been coveting. Morgan was planning to not put the jerky in their raised hand this time, to wean the creature from needed to smell the jerky to perform the trick. Morgan did just so, standing up without a jerky piece this time, using the same hand signal. Nico took a moment, and then stood back on his hind legs, without sitting down first. Morgan was very pleased with that; Nico was really getting the training quite quick thusfar.
"Good job, Nico! Good boyo." Morgan said, giving him the jerky piece from their pocket this time, and gently petting his head. Nico had a sort of grace about him that most creatures didn't seem to have. It was quite odd, to be honest, but Morgan was quite proud that he could stand up on his hind legs without looking like he was swaying much. He didn't know how to move with it, Morgan would teach him to dance at some point, but for now this was good. Morgan knew that it was time to continue doing the repetitious part of training. They would perform the hand signal, and the houluh would stand up on his hind legs. Then the houluh would get lots of pets and a treat each time. This was getting easier and easier to do, it seemed, or maybe Morgan was just getting to where they enjoyed it more? Soon, Morgan was sure the houluh had gotten the 'up' behavior.
The next behavior was going to be a little harder to teach, if only because it was a natural thing that Houluh typically did, but it would be difficult to get the loving creature to react that way to Morgan. Morgan knew that this was going to require a different kind of command; they had decided on a snap of a finger, so that the creature would not have to have a loud command to begin doing it, but it wouldn't need to be from really far off, more like across the room. It would work quite well, the bespectacled human just knew it. However, how were they going to get the relatively docile creature to growl on command like that? Growling on command could be cute, but also could be terrifying; it really depended on the context. Morgan knew that it would go over well no matter what just as an obedience thing, so Morgan had to at least try.
Morgan prided their-self on having at least some dignity; it was all they were given, all they were born with, one of the last things they had to hold onto. Money was a tool, at best, not happiness, but Morgan's dignity was pride, required, absolutely needed. Morgan was not, totally not going to do the first thing that came to mind logically, because sometimes the way someone felt about a plan was important to be factored in too. Morgan was not going to model the behavior needed from the houluh and -growl-. Instead, Morgan figured that they would try to cause the creature to growl. They just had to think of a way to do that. Morgan sat down on the grass again, in order to look at the houluh. Usually, Morgan would not be pleased with the idea of possibly harming a creature, but Nico was very touching about his tail. Even going near it usually made him growl.
Thankfully, Morgan would not have to harm the creature, because if there was a choice that was only between hurting him and remaining undignified purposefully, Morgan was not certain that they would be able to train this particular behavior. Thankfully, they would only have to deal with Morgan almost touching the creature's tail, though he wouldn't like that all that much at first. Hopefully they would not have to do this much at all. The command was going to be a snap, so Morgan snapped, and then reached out toward the houluh's tail, as if they were going to grab it. Nico lowered his head, raised his hackles, and began growling mostly out of habit. Morgan immediately stopped, petted the creature, and gave him a treat and lots of praise. Then, they snapped again, and reached for that tail... The houluh once again began growling. Morgan immediately stopped, petted the creature, and gave him another treat.
Morgan was hoping that sooner or later the creature would get the command and associate it only with the snapping. Of course, eventually, they would have to work on something to make the creature understand that he could stop growling, but that was somewhat tertiary to the easier ones right now. Morgan snapped, and waited to see if the houluh would 'get' it, and begin growling before. Seeing as Nico does not do so, Morgan snaps again, and then immediately reaches for his tail again. The creature growls again, and then Morgan removed their hand and gave lots of treats and pets. Eventually, after repeating this a few times, the snap finally illicit-ed the response that was desired; the houluh growled preemptively. Morgan was so pleased with the development, it would be smooth sailing from here now that the creature was associating the command with the behavior! More pets and praise was to be had now that it was done properly!
Repetition was the absolute most important aspect of working on this sort of thing, and Morgan continued to work with the houluh as was perhaps expected by any onlookers that Morgan would not have noticed in this otherwise remote area of the park. Then again, most individuals did tend to go to the more remote parts of the park, so anything could happen. Morgan would snap, and the houluh would growl, then Morgan would pet him and give him a treat while cooing cutesy words at him to calm him. Wash rinse repeat, as per usual. This was mostly what training was anyway, no matter what it was. Morgan would snap, the houluh would perform the behavior, and then rewards were given. This was repeated of course until Morgan was convinced that the creature had learned the command was well as he was going to. Soon, it would be time to move on to another behavior!
The next thing that Morgan was considering working on the Houluh with was the 'kiss' command. But instead of getting a really nasty surprise, Morgan was hoping to train the creature specifically to lick once on one side of the face, and then once on the other side; like a greeting. The human thought it would be adorable, and would once again, go over quite well in a show ring for obedience. The more behaviors that the Houluh knew, the better in that regard. Perhaps Morgan would also teach the creature how to weave through poles and such? Morgan would like to do that at some point as well... How to properly teach the 'kiss' command, and what to do. Morgan decided pretty quick how to do it; it was going to be a movement about the face; as in, Morgan's face on one side with the 'kiss' noise, and then the other side, each side with the noise should get a lick. Complicated.
Morgan was sure that if any creature could learn to understand this complicated trick, that it would be Nico. He was basically a natural when it came to this kind of thing, and the bespectacled human was sure that he would be just fine learning this one, too. Morgan reached into their backpack and pulled out a tub of peanut butter. It was a safe food for most canids, and it wasn't like Morgan was going to feed the creature the entire thing. Morgan put a dab of peanut butter on each cheek, and then sat down on the grass. It was obvious that the houluh wanted the peanut butter, but he also knew that he wasn't supposed to jump on Morgan without permission, so he sat right in front of Morgan, wagging his tail. Then, Morgan leaned forward, nose-to-nose with the creature with just a bit of space between, and then moved to one side, and made the 'mwah' noise.
At the 'mwah' noise, the spell of the houluh's ability to keep their-self from doing undignified things was gone, and it immediately leaned out and licked the peanut butter off of the cheek side that they were currently on. Then Morgan moved to the other side, and gave another 'mwah' noise, exaggerated, and the creature licked the peanut butter off of that side of their face as well. Morgan was... Pretty grossed out. However, it had to be done. Morgan then gave the creature some praise by petting his head and ears and telling him he was a good boy, of course. The houluh was beginning to get used to the training grind, it would seem, and seemed to understand that he was supposed to perform some kind of action for a reward. Morgan knew that he probably didn't get it quite yet, however. Morgan bent down, and dabbed two more dabs of peanut butter, one on each side.
It was something that Morgan could perhaps deal with. Not all the time, but for obedience-style contests, Morgan figured that they could do it, at least. Morgan just wasn't super huge on being touched much in general. Ah, well. Morgan leaned in again, and did the 'mwah' thing, on both sides, and each time the Houluh performed the single lick to remove the dabs of peanut butter from their cheek. "Good boyo, good boyo Nico!" Morgan cooed to him, petting him on the head and then gently pulling on his ears. "You got the longest ears ever boyo." Morgan said, and then of course the creature was given a bit of jerky so that he knew for very sure that he was indeed a good boy and was doing properly. Morgan practiced this a few more times with the peanut butter, until they just couldn't stand putting anymore peanut butter on their face. They hoped that this had stuck well enough by then.
Silver: Check out the updates thread for character updates! This should be a big bonus for almost everyone so check it out!
Nov 10, 2020 20:03:40 GMT -6
Morgan: You too, Riku!
Nov 9, 2020 16:36:39 GMT -6
Riku: I hope everyone is doing well.
Nov 8, 2020 16:27:01 GMT -6
Silver: Wishing Well has rolled over! For anyone who received late rolls (ie just got their last Oct. roll), please feel free to post in the well for October items if you still need them. :3
Nov 7, 2020 6:25:48 GMT -6
Kadin: Vote for an icon for the discord!
Nov 1, 2020 18:48:32 GMT -6