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A Visitor from NZ & Learning the ‘Blanket’ Trick

Well, I was hoping to post about this trick for Tricky T-Day yesterday but I’m ashamed to say – I STILL haven’t managed to learn it yet! :P OK, us Danes can be a bit – um, slow – hee! hee! Sometimes it takes months before I “get” a trick and my human has to be very patient with me and keep trying. Am just not a fast learner like those clever little terriers and Shelties and Border Collies! ;) 

But anyway, I thought I might as well still show you what I’ve learnt so far…Hsin-Yi says it is called a “work-in-progress”! (I have lots of those –  Ha! Ha!) 

Some time last year, Hsin-Yi saw this really cute trick on YouTube of a doggie pulling its blanket up to cover itself – so she decided to try and teach me that too. Here is the little doggie demonstrating the trick (I think it’s a little Border Terrier, like my dancing partner, Bodie – isn’t it cute?) 

Now, I’m not a doggie who likes to pick things up in my mouth much – some doggies always use their mouths to deal with things but I always use my paw. Maybe that’s why I hardly ever chewed anything much as a puppy and never chomped on anything around the house. But that means it’s been really hard for me to learn to pick things up and retrieve things and hold them in my mouth. I only really like to hold my soft stuffies or my ball – anything else, I keep spitting it out! :P 

The other problem is that I have a lot of trouble rolling over, coz of my deep chest and narrow body. Hsin-Yi has taught me to do it and it was easier when I was younger but now that I’m older, I don’t like doing it much and it takes me sooooo long to do it anyway that it looks terrible. Besides, Jan, my dancing teacher back in Auckland, told Hsin-Yi that for breeds like me who can get the scary sickie called gastric torsion, it might be dangerous for me to do too much rolling over, ‘coz it might make my stomach flip and twist. So Hsin-Yi has stopped trying to get me to do it. But she thinks I can still do this trick lying flat rather than rolling over.

Some of the video is from back in Auckland – Hsin-Yi started teaching me this trick in July last year but we only had a couple of training sessions and I just wasn’t ‘getting it’ so she gave up ‘coz she got busy with our Big Move – so yesterday was the first time I’ve tried it again since we moved to Australia and it’s good that I didn’t forget what I’d learnt back in NZ…but I STILL don’t “get it”! :P 

The thing is, I don’t understand. Hsin-Yi keeps telling me to pull up the blanket AND lie flat at the same time! How? How am I supposed to do two things at the same time? Hsin-Yi says it is called “multi-tasking” and that I’m a “dum-dum”…well, I think that’s awfully unfair. I mean, how does she expect me to do two things at the same time? Even when she gives me a treat during training, I have to stop what I’m doing just to chew it…! 

Hsin-Yi says: I’ve tried to edit out as much of the ‘boring’ bits as possible but I have left in some of the times when Honey was just doing nothing on purpose, to give a more realistic view of what dog training is really like – otherwise people tend to think that dogs should learn a whole trick in one session immediately! :P Especially when you have a “slower” dog like Honey, patience is a virtue!   

Actually, I didn’t realise until I started editing the video that she has only had 4 sessions learning this trick so I guess she isn’t doing badly. And I’m probably rushing things – but if anyone has any tips on how I can get Honey to keep holding onto the blanket while lying flat – please tell us! :D

ps. you don’t have to start with the dog standing – you can go straight to the Down position and still mark/reward for interest in the blanket. I just started with standing because that was actually originally a “free-shaping” session and I was just trying things out…

Well, aside from trying to learn to “multi-task”, I have also been having a very exciting week. 

You see – we had a visitor! 

Remember my ‘doggie dancing’ friend – and Pairs Routine partner – Bodie the Border Terrier

Well, his human had come over from NZ to stay with us – and what’s even more exciting was that she was coming with me & Hsin-Yi to the Richard Curtis ‘Doggie Dancing’ Workshop at Camp Tailwaggers on the weekend! 

I love Bodie’s Human – she is so much fun! She plays lots of games with me and she doesn’t mind if I slobber on her… And she always gives me lots of treats! :D 

TUG! Playing a game with Bodie's Human back in Auckland...

She is the first visitor we have had since moving to Australia so I was very excited and I wanted to make sure I gave her a big welcome! 


I have been a very good doggie host and doing lots of things with Bodie’s Human. 

First of all, I helped her unpack… 

Are you SURE Bodie isn't in there?

And then I took her on the Brisbane River Walk that my friend, Lupe the Great Dane, showed me last time – to show her the pretty views of the city… 





I helped her catch up on her reading too… 


And of course, lots of cuddling practice! :D 


And now it’s off to Camp Tailwaggers

Stay tuned for all my adventures at ‘doggie dancing’ camp in my next post! :P 

* Oh! Before I forget – my new blog friend, Norwood, is having an exciting Pawdance Film Festival! You can enter your movies in either the Romantic, Action, Comedy, That’s Entertainment, Murder & Suspense or Special Effects Film categories. Old or new videos are fine. The deadline is May 9th and your movie must be between 30s and 2min long. (You can see the rest of the rules here).  


I’m working on my own entries at the moment – will show them to you as soon as they’re done! I’ve seen LOTS of great movies on all your blogs so what are you waiting for? Send your entries in to Norwood!

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30 Responses to A Visitor from NZ & Learning the ‘Blanket’ Trick

  1. parlance says:

    Hsin-Yi, this is the sort of video I love – the ones where Honey is learning a new trick but hasn't conquered it yet. They're the ones where I get the best idea of how to start off.

    Given that Penny's 'confined to quarters' I'm going to get off the computer and start right now with what you did on the first session! She's feeling much better now and already bored…

  2. Ricky says:

    Hi Honey – we're working on that blanket trick too and it is taking us forever. I don't like to hold stuff in my mouth either. I can lie down on the blanket, take it in my mouth and then the minute I go to roll over, I drop the blanket like a hot potato! So guess it's not an easy trick for lots of dogs!

  3. Wild Dingo says:

    I skipped right to the video on the blanket. I'll come back and read more. BUT, i was totally cracking up! FIRST: um, even the "smarty" doggies (high-drive) have trouble multi-tasking. Remember the retrieve to a sit with the dumbbell in the mouth? i had trouble with that forever trying to get Loki to sit and hold the dumbbell. I backchained. I made him sit then put it in his mouth and rewarded for the longer and longer holds. At the end of the video, you had her laying down and then cued the blanket to her to hold (or cold?) and she took it. I wonder if you can back chain with her? she's learned most of the tasks so far!

    Ya I love the way you call her a dumb-dumb. sigh. we have Retardo Montelban (Ricardo Montelban's brother) here at Wild Dingo.

    i've been dying to work the blanket trick. i think i may try now!

  4. Sasha & Drake says:

    Hi Honey,
    We were so happy to see that video. Our human's been trying to teach us how to walk up a ramp into the truck (we started by putting it on the floor first) and she's been having a tough time with Drake the Dane. When she can get him to put paws on the ramp and walk up a little his bottom end swings from side to side and he gets scared. (Drake doesn't really have hind end awareness yet – Nicki, their human). It's nice to have your videos to remind our human about that patience thing and to go slower with the training.

  5. Hey, Honey, you've changed your blog. Looks nice.

    Watching that first video, we had to laugh thinking of a dog your size grabbing the end and rolling in the blanket. Our Sam has a bit of a problem rolling which is what made us think of it.

  6. Lady the Great Dane says:

    Hi Honey! Great post and thank you for sharing.


  7. sprinkles says:

    My smaller chihuahua, Chico, likes to cover himself with a blanket sometimes. I didn't teach him that, he just does it himself when it's chilly.

    My bigger chihuahua, Shiver, likes to chew. He's gotten much better as he's gotten older but he still has the tendency from time to time. Wish I could break him of the habit. I try to encourage him to chew on his treats or toys instead of other things he shouldn't be chewing on.

    Looks like you were very helpful to your friend in getting her all settled in and showing her the city!

  8. The OP Pack says:

    We know you will get it, Honey – you always do:) Your Hsin-Yi has so much patience too. Is that a bird we hear in the background?

    Your visitor seems very nice, it is always great to have guests who like pups too.

    Have a great weekend.

    Woos – Phantom, Thunder, and Ciara

  9. I think Honey's doing great!!! Lance picked up on this concept quickly since he just loves rollover, but Vito took awhile. I think you've got the idea now of how to progress, but clearly it's hard to see how to backchain from the get go, hindsight!

    And I responded to your question on my blog in the comment section, but their "Feet" is their cue to get in the 2o2o (hind end on object) for agility purposes. I don't have that contact criteria but who knows down the road if I will need it. So I guess technically the dogs have 3 ways of interacting with a stool but the 2 front feet doesn't have a verbal cue, even though it's their default behavior.

    I also look forward to hearing about your new sports foundation class! It was odd to see you on all the equipment right away at your old class so i'm glad you found a class that does it the right way! Flyball will be fun!

  10. Khyra says:

    What a full post of fun stuffs!

    Thanks fur sharing!

    That was furry khool to have a visitor from NZ to see woo in AUS!


  11. Lorenza says:

    I know you are going to do it perfect soon, Honey!
    I love the video!
    Kisses and hugs

  12. Cheryl says:

    Honey you are a darn smart dog, or maybe it is the editing! Either way you are doing a very good job!

  13. Miss Kodee says:

    I loved the detailed video. It always helps me to see the work in progress – I am one of those people that jump to "Z". Becky my 9mth old kept running to my side at each "click" you gave Honey lol

    Dont forget at doggie camp if the Cavalier is there to video tape it ;) PLeeaasseee.

  14. Thor says:

    Hi Honey! Thanks for sharing your blancket trick with us. I am sure you'll do great! Like everything you do! What a great visitors you had! And what a great welcome to them! Thor xx

  15. Momo & Pinot says:

    Hello Honey!! We're behind so we read a couple of your recent posts this afternoon!! We have to say we LOVE the photos by Rachel Hale and we're SO SO impressed by the group shot and a one with a shopping cart. (My mom actually saw this group shot when she visited Ombre's mom…. she loves it!)

    We're glad you had a first visitor from NZ and had a good time together. It's always nice to welcome guests from your home country!

    Momo & Pinot

  16. hello honey its dennis the vizsla dog oh hay i no wot yoo meen i am totally a mowth dog!!! its a vizsla thing!!! i am glad yoo got to see yore frend!!! ok bye

  17. Cinnamon says:

    Hi Honey!

    You are not alone! I am struggling to learn a trick that Mum has been trying to teach me since February. Do you remember the one that I was practising in a video of my trick practise session in a park, walking on three legs? I will have to find a better way to learn it!

    Yay, you met Michelle in Brisbane! I agree that she is a very nice person. I really like her. She always gives me some great advice on my dancing when I practise at Ardmore. I wish my Mum could have visited you with her!


  18. MrsDesperate says:

    How exciting to have a visitor. I love where you are looking in the suitcase to see if Bodie is hidden in there somewhere!

  19. Preston says:

    Hi Honey,

    Great vidieo! Mom and I laughed so hard at the part you were doing nothing but laying on the floor. You are doing so well with this trick. I've been learning new tricks for some time. Mom is going to teach me this one.


  20. JD and Max says:

    Hi Honey,

    Oh, we're sorry we haven't visited for little while, FH has had what she calls a 'really hectic' week which means she hasn't had the chance to visit many blogs. She decided to post for us yesterday and catch up on blogs today. So, she has a nice big mug of tea on the side and has settled down on the sofa with us and we're all going to have a wonderful feast on all your recent posts that we've missed….

    Honey, isn't it great when people come to visit? What a shame Bodie wasn't in that suitcsse though, but still, it meant more fussing for you! We've never been fortunate enough to have visitors stay overnight since we've lived here but we do love it when friends come round as they always make a huge fuss of us, which is only right and proper! You were the perfect hostess Honey, you are such a good girl!

    We're very excited about Norwood's pawdance festival and are pleased that he's extended the deadline as FH can't remember where she put the charger for our recorder….sigh, you see what we have to put up with?!

    Schnauzer snuggles – JD and Max.

  21. Asta says:


    How could anyone evew call you dumb dumb..even affectionately? You'we one of the clevewest most accomplished bootiful giwls I know..I'm in awe of all the things you can do.
    I'm glad you had such a wondewful visitow, and got lots of love and attentions
    smoochie kisses

  22. Mango says:

    Hey Honey! I am not even sure what you are trying to do. What is this multi-task thing of which your Hsin-Yi speaks?

    I see you are like me in that you like to bop your human treat machine with your big old feet. That is super cute and a trick in itself, right?

    I heard bad Hsin-Yi call you a dumb dog. As if. Yuh. Why should you have to put your own cape on anyway? Just humor her. Sigh.


  23. What beautiful photos! And how fun to have an "old" friend come visit! I love the picture of you helping her unpack! Ha roo roo roo!
    Play bows,

  24. Amber says:

    Wow Honey, I think you are doing great at that trick! I think it is a fine trick to learn too…one I should learn as much as I like being covered up. :) Glad you had a special visitor…looks like you showed her a good time! I especially loved how you helped her with her reading. ;)


  25. You are so cute covering yourself with your blanket!!! And very helpful to your visitor!

    Thank you for the slobbers for Herman.

  26. That terrier pooch was very clever with his blanket. When our mama watched you learning the blanket trick she laughed and thinks your mommy has great patience. I (BabyRD) am quite stuborn in learning certain things. Like, I refuse to roll over and I want the treats out of our Yuppy Puppy Treat machine, but I don't want to do the work myself…I'd rather have Hootie make the treats come out & I will then eat them for him!!
    Smooches from pooches,
    BabyRD and Hootie

  27. Tucker says:

    Hi Honey,
    I've never tried that trick but Momma says I have a blanket chewing problem so she can't encourage it. I think chewing on blankets and shaking them in a great trick! It's fun. Did you see my last wordless Wednesday post, that use to be a pillow BOL!

    Multi-tasking tricks are hard for me too. I still can't learn to say my prayers. But I blame the Momma for that cause she's never taken me to church.

    Anyway, I did learn my "who's a brave boy" trick in multiple steps….. walk behind, walk behind stop, walk behind stop & peak through. So I can get some of the more difficult tricks but it just takes time.

    Once Momma tried to get me to learn to open the fridge by tying a rope to the handle. I did pull the door open but panicked and pushed it closed. Momma laughed and said that trick just wasn't for me. Maybe Honey you having trouble with the blanket cause you know your not suppose to chew on them. I'm gonna say your troubles with trick are because you behave.

    Oh and Pee S. I don't roll over any more either. I stopped doing it at about 11 months old. It was getting hard for me so Momma doesn't ask me to do it anymore. I do however enjoy laying upside down on my own terms.

    woof – Tucker

  28. Marjie says:

    Honey, you are most lovely and gracious hostess. You must make your humans very proud! Good job helping with unpacking, sightseeing and reading!

  29. Hi Honey,

    We think you are doing very well with your blanket trick. You made our human smile when you gave a * why am I doing this* look. Humans ask us to do funny things sometimes don't they…hehe
    Keep working on it, you are nearly there. :)

    Having your friend come over and visit must be so nice, it looks like you are going to have a lot of fun.

    A Richard Curtis workshop sounds pawsome, we saw him once do a demonstration, and also do his crufts dance routine with Mary Ray. It was at a doggie show a few years ago. It was fantastic watching them both in action. We did blog it, not sure if you saw it…it was not long after we started blogging so I don't think we followed your blog then. We shall have to look back and send the link across, we got piccies but no video but it was a very cool day.

    Have a great week! :)

  30. You are so close! I know you can get it. Just keep trying. I've never taught this one so I have no suggestions unfortunately. I LOVED the video! It had me cracking up and cheering along. :D

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