Last week I set three objects (a hat with zebra stripes on it, the ridged ball and a small pillow) about six feet apart from each other. Zelador was standing on a pedestal. I asked him to fetch the hat. He left the pedestal, went directly to it and returned to the pedestal. (Wow!)
I placed the hat on the floor and asked Zelador to pick up the pillow. He did. I returned it and asked him to get the ridged ball. No problem.
I was amazed.
We played this game a few times and once in a while he’d fetch his current favourite (which was not the one I asked for). He’d bring it to me. I’d take it, then ask him to fetch the one I’d asked for. He did.
One day I introduced the small orange cone knowing that he’d prefer it above the other three because we use the orange cones to hide carrots. He proved me right and brought it to me when I asked for the pillow, then he fetched the pillow.
It’s obvious that he knows what the names are of these four objects. I might introduce one or two more, but I promise that I won’t get totally out of control on this game!
However, yesterday when I was showing the game to some friends for the last round of fetch I placed everything together (each object was touching the other objects) and asked Zelador to bring one of them to me. With no hesitation he scooped up the correct item.
As a finale my audience of two asked, “How’s he doing with moving his tail?” We haven’t practiced this in a week or two so I started with an easy body part, the nose. He promptly wiggled it. I moved to his tail and he lifted it about a half inch. Then I said, “Surprisingly, the body parts that I’m having the least success with are his ears.” I went to his head and asked him to put his ears forward. You could see him thinking about my words. He moved his right ear forward, his left ear to the side. I stood quietly. He brought both ears forward! (The show-off!)