"Go take a nap."

How I taught "Prayers"

Rolling up in a blanket is an advanced action that looks deceptively simple.  It takes most dogs a bit of time to get all the parts smoothly ON-CUE.  This is a clip from The Birthday Caper.

1. I ask Sydney to come to the bed and "Sit."

2. I ask Sydney to target her feet to the bed.

3. I ask Sydney to target her nose to my hand which is held beneath her legs.

How I taught "Rollup in a Blanket"

FEET is a basic cue which means "Put your two front feet on anything I indicate."

NOSE is a basic cue which means "Touch object indicated with nose."

Knowing basic (foundation) cues allows the dog to link behaviors, making it much easier for her to learn new behaviors and actions that incorporate foundation cues.  An intermediate bridge lets the dog know she is doing the correct thing.  It is used only until she understands the concept of the behavior. 

With the dog in a "Down" position, I use the foundation cue of "Hold it" and a previously taught cue of "Rollover". 

I cue the dog "Hold it" and have her hold the blanket for several seconds.  I click and reward (she drops the blanket to get the reward) then immediately ask her to "Roll over" and I click and reward for that.  I do this over and over in short training sessions for several days without trying to link the two actions.

I don't try to get the dog to rollover holding the blanket until she starts to do it on her own. 

With most dogs, the complete action takes quite a bit of patience to get on-cue. 

Most dogs that I've seen trained to do this action go to lie on top of a blanket that is spread out, pick up one corner, and roll over wrapping themselves inside; however, my dogs found it easier to lie down next to a blanket that was loosly arranged and pull it around themselves. 

4. Using an intermediate bridge, I ask Sydney to remain in position.

Note about the "yawn" -- Jyah is the first dog I taught to yawn on cue.  In the beginning, I clicked and rewarded him for every approximation of opening and closing his mouth.  Unfortunately, as you will see in this clip, I often now get a ventriloquist-like "talking" action when I ask for the yawn.