Gracie Chronicles: The Lick Cue

Finally, I have a fairly low-quality video to share with you of Gracie doing her “lick” on cue. I promised you one quite awhile ago, but we had some technical difficulties in learning this, which is to say that I didn’t teach it very well at first. As Leelu’s behaviorist reminded me, dogs are good at keeping us humble. But I corrected my mistakes and Gracie is grateful for better guidance and help! Once I fixed what I was doing wrong, Gracie had it down in a couple hours – she’s so smart! Next step will be to change “lick” to “like” and add foods and such, so she’ll lick when I say something like “like steak?” or “like me?” which will be very fun for therapy visits whenever they resume.

10 thoughts on “Gracie Chronicles: The Lick Cue

    1. It really isn’t, but I mucked it up the first time. I re-taught it correctly in about 2 hours.

      1. The fact that it is a natural behavior makes it easier to teach. You start by giving a treat and when the dog licks his lips after eating, you click and give a treat reward. Do that for awhile (timed very carefully so the click happens during the lick) and the dog realizes that she is getting treated for licking her lips. At that point you can add a hand or word cue or both and work with the dog to do it on cue. Working on a natural behavior like this is called “capturing” the behavior, which is the first step in the process. You can capture cat behaviors too!

    1. She’s quick and it isn’t a great video! But you can know that each time I said “yes” she licked!

      1. That’s ‘pawsome!’ I knew you guys would master it. Well done! I’ve been working with Norman and he’s doing it now too. Not quite as good as Sam did (Norman licks so quickly whereas Sam’s tongue almost lingered but the patients loved it). Hopefully at some point soon Norman will get to try it out on patients and staff.

      2. It’s a fun little trick, and will be fun to add the “like steak?” part to it. I imagine working with kids and finding out what foods they think Gracie will like and being able to ask her and see her lick. That’s the end goal!

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