When Pigs Fly

A number of people have asked about the popper treat I used in this video to teach Eko how to walk in his boots.



I picked up the poppers because all treats are not created equal.  The poppers fill an important niche in training in that they are small in size but high in reward value for Eko. Eko wouldn’t budge in his boots for his normal training treats and I didn’t want to use a dental chew or bone (other high value treats) because they take longer to eat and would interrupt training.


C'mon, pop!

Eko with his eyes on the prize

For reinforcing commands Eko already knows, I prefer using his regular training treats as a baseline.  But for rewarding novel behavior (currently I’m working on the “wave” command) I find the poppers extremely effective.  When Eko gets one of those, he knows he really nailed it.


Pops and pops

The poppers offer a fun way to practice the “leave it” command.  I love how intently Eko watches the treat (click image for full size gif)

If you want to check out the Beggin’ Party Poppers for yourself, they’re currently running a giveaway sweepstakes over at Pighead.com. I’m kind of jealous of all the dogs in the video over there who jump and catch the treat midair.  For some reason, if you toss a treat up to Eko he will let it hit him in the head rather than jump for it.

Hm, speaking of which, I think I know the next trick I’m going to have to teach Eko!

17 thoughts on “When Pigs Fly”

  1. We have the same boots for Kaya but they seem to rub on her dew claws, is that a problem for Eko or no? She also has very sensitive feet so might need to look into another brand. Would love your suggestions!

    • I had/have a bit of trouble finding the perfect way to strap Eko’s boots so they are tight enough to stay in place, but not so tight that they are uncomfortable. I found that his dewclaw area is most sensitive to the friction cause when the boots is not tight enough, so it’s a bit of a balancing act to find the right fit. Like I said, I’ve found Musher’s Secret works very well and you don’t have to worry about any discomfort whatsoever.

  2. So cute and what a great idea. The hooman used a similar method to teach a doggy who didn’t want to walking wearing a coat to do that. The treat always wins!

    Nacho, Noah, Buddy & Basil


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