Of course, it WOULD take the impending end of the world for The Pup to finally start to grasp the concept of dropping an object in another object.
If you've been here recently, you may know I've been tearing my hair out trying to figure out how to shape the "put it in" trick. (Though seriously, WHY would I want TWO dogs that try to drop toys in the toilet??? I must learn to think these things through). It was in our homework for the ST course and we were failing MISERABLY. Seriously. I whined and whined on the class forum about my failures. I whined and whined on a previous post. I stupidly reinforced this trick further with The Dog in order to feel like I wasn't less of a trainer/human being.
I tried about 50 different approaches. But still The Pup just looked at me. Or did 'monster.' Or took the object and chewed on it. Or ran away with it. She certainly didn't bring it back or try to drop it by the bowl. We couldn't even shape the most basic part- taking it and holding it. Every time I clicked, she let go for the treat. Clicking without treats (playing with a toy) meant not a lot to her.
ST told me it wasn't actually about the hold, but the drop. I should let her take it, and click for dropping it, as she was going to do anyways, near the bowl (which would be conveniently close). Then in the bowl.
Big. Fat. DUH.
10 minutes later- she has it.
OK, so I still don't feel like much of a trainer for not thinking of that myself, but whatever. I don't need all the answers. I have to learn too. Click/Treat me!
So, if the world ends, at least we got #4 on the homework.