Testing me or trying a new game?
The other day Deja didn't come back with her toy after I threw it for her but just stood there at a distance, toy in her mouth and watching me. The first time of refusal I called her back with the command "Bring!"(as a reminder) that I taught her form day 1. The second time she found the toy and watched me I knew she had found a new game that I wanted to nip in the bud so I didn't say anything, not even the reminder as we had played this game for three years. So I went inside and left her alone outside with her toy. Half a minute later (they don't watch the clock) I went back out side and she came without me having to call her, body and ears low and quietly released the toy, which I put away without "discussing the issue any further".
Half an hour later I was super curious to see if she had learned her lesson and voila, great returns and she hasn't pulled this trick again.
Other test: she brings me her empty bowl after she is done eating and waits until I take it from her, after which she gets a treat. Then lately, she had become sloppy and dumped the bowl at my feet on the floor so I told her "Bring" after which she did it well. The next time she dropped the bowl (and I was prepared this time), I picked it up without saying anything, put it away and no treats for sloppy performance, no discussing it. Again, she hasn't dropped the bowl since.
This shows that only one negative can teach them fine but you have to do it before it has become a new habit.
A fellow trainer once said, "If you reward 'sloppy', you get (from the dog) 'sloppy'!"
Yeah, I outsmarted my smartie!! I love this stuff.