Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Moray's Nemesis

Every Monday for the last fourteen months, Moray and I have sat in the driveway to do his grooming.  He cradles to trim nails, stands to have his shiny black fur brushed out, and sits to flush his ears with cleaner before it's back inside to clean those pearly whites.  

But every time the bottle of ear cleaner comes out, Moray does the same thing.  He looks at me, back to the bottle, and jumps back to the end of his leash.  
 Of course I'm armed with kibble.  And believe me, kibble is a step-down from having used pieces of cheese for a while.

Moray looks at the bottle.

"Yes!"  I mark his behavior.  Moray locks eyes with me, pleasantly surprised for the praise.  I deliver a treat.

Moray looks at the bottle again.

"Yes!  What a good boy! This is fun!"

He's not quite believing me, but hey, there's food so he's in.  

Moray looks at the bottle again, then back at me.  By this time he's gotten the rules of this game, which means it's time to take it a step further.

I wait.  Moray shifts his focus back and forth a few times before taking a hesitant step toward the bottle that sits a few feet away.

"Yes! Nice job!"  More treats.

A few more reps, and he is touching the bottle with his nose before receiving his precious piece of kibble.  Time to amp it up some more. 
I pick up the bottle.  Moray steps back.  

I hold a treat about a foot away from the bottle, give Moray the "okay," and he steps forward, able to push the limits of his comfort for a single piece of food.  He's certainly a labrador through and through.

"Yes! Oh you're so brave, Moray Man!"

A few more minutes and I touch the bottle to the outside of his ear. Several more, and ear cleaning in over with.  'Till next time...