Hooray! Mrs. Pickles accomplished something amazing yesterday. She knows “ball”. As in, “Where’s your ball? Go get your ball!”
Her ball is actually a 1-inch hard foam die. Our dog thinks “ball” is a particular rope chew toy. Why I’ve decided these items are called “ball,” I have no idea.
Anyhow, Mrs. Pickles learned to peck the die last summer for a treat. She taught the others how to do it too. (It’s the only game we can play as a group.) Until yesterday, she would just look at me instead trying to find it. Now if I toss it behind her or off to the side, she still looks at me instead of going to find it but if I say, “Where’s your ball?” She looks around to find it. If she sees it she goes to peck the die. If she looks around and doesn’t see it, I point and she follows to find it. She will then go peck it, pick it up with her beak, and hit it on the ground the way chickens do when something is too big to eat. She runs back to me for a treat, I go pick up the die, bring it back, toss, and repeat.
My dog is 8 years old and cannot do this. It took Mrs. Pickles just 5 minutes.