Jyah bakes a cake.
Getting an egg from the refrigerator is an advanced action that is fairly easy to teach -- IF the dog has a strong foundation in the retrieve.
Foundation behaviors used:
RETRIEVE BEHAVIORS: hold/carry item, hold item while doing other actions, drop item where I indicate, pull.
FEET UP: Put feet up on object while holding item.
These are pre-trained, well-established actions.
To train the "Pull", I clicked and rewarded tug-of-war games. I also used the "Hold" and "Back" to reinforce the concept of pulling.
How I taught Jyah to get an egg from the refrigerator:
Since I use my dogs' trained behaviors to tell stories, my goal is to have the dogs perform many of these actions in a natural-looking way -- as if what they were doing was a normal thing they did in everyday life.
This means, as much as possible, I teach my dogs to take cues while NOT looking at me -- which is directly opposed to how most trainers train their dogs.
I worked on three different concepts separately but simultaneously: 1) pull open the fridge door, 2) put feet up and close fridge door while holding tennis ball, and 3) get tennis ball out of the fridge.
The third concept I was simultaneously working on -- in a separate session -- was for Jyah to pick up a tennis ball out of an egg carton which I had duct taped to the bottom shelf of the fridge. Holding the door open, I would ask Jyah to "Get it" and clicked and rewarded each time he picked up the tennis ball.
When I could cue Jyah from across the room to go to the fridge and get the tennis ball from off the top of the eggs, it was time to put all the concepts together.
I begin shutting the door and asking him to pull it open and get the tennis ball. I would only click and reward when he did both these actions. When he was doing that smoothly, I then added the third action to the other two -- holding the tennis ball while going around the door, putting his feet up and pushing it shut.
My next step was to have him do all three actions and then bring the ball to me where I was sitting across the room on the counter, put his feet up, and hand me the ball.
The very last step was getting Jyah used to carrying a hard-boiled egg. When he would carry the egg while doing various actions such as, "sit/down/stand" "go around a table" "heel", etc., I then begin substituting the hard-boiled egg for the tennis ball in all of the refrigerator actions.
In a separate training session, I would have Jyah hold a tennis ball and asked him to put his feet up on the open fridge door. At first I would brace the door until he became confident in doing it. This progressed to where I could stand across the room and ask him to close the door while holding the tennis ball.
Jyah does not like eggs -- Sydney loves them. That's why Sydney is not demonstrating this segment!!