Every day at feeding time before Sara sets Spencer’s food dish down she tells him to sit and asks for his paw. Spence holds his paw in the air without actually touching anything or anyone and Sara sets his dish down for him to eat. She also likes to pick up his toy, ask for his paw and when he lifts it she hands it to him.
Apparently this has taught Spencer that is how you communicate that you want something. A couple of Spencer’s toys were on the cabinet because they are toys that need supervision when being played with because of Bruno’s big strong mouth. He could chew them apart in minutes if I let him. Spencer spotted the toys, walked over to the cabinet, calmly sat down and still looking at the toys raised his paw in the air.
Later that same night it was a little after his dinner time. He walked over to the spot where he eats, calmly sat down and held his paw in the air. This reminded me to tell Sara to feed the dogs. He waited calmly as she prepared his food and of course Sara made him lift his paw in the air before he could eat.
Since he has now learned that a paw in the air means he would like to have that, I talked to Sara and told her to make sure the "paw" trick remains only holding it in the air with no contact. I would hate for him to start scratching people and things when he wanted something. I also have to make sure he remains calm and submissive about it and does an additional trick on my terms should he get what he is asking for. One thing is for sure, he's one smart pup for only four months old.
Spencer does not get a chance to go up and down full flights of steps very often. Over the weekend, however we were at a house with steps that he needed to go up and down. At first he just looked at them and didn't even want to try it. I picked him up and carried him until there were two steps left and placed him down. Spencer climbed them and was happy when he reached the top. We ended up going out the back door which had five porch steps. Spencer went down those with no problem. The next time we came into the house Spencer had the obstacle of the full flight of steps in front of him once again. He didn't want to climb them. I picked him up and placed him four steps from the top. He climbed them and was once again happy when he reached the top. That same day when we had gone out and back in Spencer took a look at the full flight of steps and went for it. He climbed all the way up by himself! The closer he got to the top, the more his tail would wag. When he reached the top his tail was going good.