Alvin sticks out his tongue when he is nervous

Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Sleight of Hand

It seems as though I am discovering a great deal recently about Alvin and the latest discovery has me baffled.  As you will recall, a few months ago Alvin learned to sit.  I taught him by holding one hand above his head with a treat in it.  I have always held it with my finger tips and my palm pointing towards the ceiling.  Last night I gave him the command while holding a treat, but my palm was pointing towards the floor.  Alvin just kept looking and looking at me but he would not sit.  I gave him the command several times and Alvin frantically searched my face while licking his lips but he didn't seem to understand what he was supposed to do.  I then flipped my hand over the usual way, gave him the command and he immediately sat.  I knew the only difference was the position of my hand and over the course of hours I have periodically given him the same test and every single time he won't sit until my hand is held in the usual way.  I tried to record it but I had difficulty holding the camera and he kept getting distracted by the it.  I will figure out how to video it because one really has to see it to believe it.  I have often commented on how observant he is and he is a little guy that largely depends on predictability but this one is really odd. 

I have grown increasingly impressed with Alvin's ability to now take treats gently from my hand.  Every day he gets better at it and is has become a rare occurrence that he nearly bites my fingers off.  On the contrary, he has actually become particularly gentle when taking them.  The gentleness coincides with his general demeanor and in the past, he just didn't know how to take the treat and had to get a lot of practice in.  Luckily, we do a lot of treat taking practice here.  Thankfully I still have every finger, which has come in handy (bad pun intended).

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