We had been practising this trick since January 2012 when Ozzy was discovered by the worlds media and you tube.
He had been spotted balancing on a chain in a car park and videoed by a stranger, who posted a video, unbeknown to me on you tube, it went viral..
I had not tried to encourage Ozzy to balance for long duration because I didn't want him to get bored of the trick. but....
In December 2012 I decided I would put Ozzy forward for a Guinness world record, he is the only dog in world to walk along a tightrope.. I also decided I would enter him in the talent show" Britain's got talent"...to be able to go for both these opportunities, I needed to build a wooden frame, that I could mount Ozzy's tightrope on and get him totally used to it..
This would mean I could take Ozzy's tightrope anywhere, i.e. on stage, or anywhere in the country that I decided, was going to be the setting of his Guinness record.
Once I built this wooden frame I started working on it with Ozzy. he was so excited, and he loved the new focused training we were doing, he became even more fluent walking along the tightrope.
When I finished a training session I would take Ozzy inside for a rest, while I carried on working outside, and I could hear Ozzy crying to me because he wanted to do some more work on this wooden frame...so I knew he was extra special excited about the tightrope mounted to the frame..it was a very quiet day and Ozzy was absolutely on fire with eagerness to work, now I new Ozzy could stand up for a fair while on a rope but I had never pushed him for duration, I didn't want him to feel a failure. But this day because he was so eager I thought I would time how long he could stand up on his hind legs, but because i didnt want to operate a timer i thought i would just film him and then get the time of the film. And this is the reason he isnt properly in frame while standing upright, i never intended it to be a video. just my own records. But as i thought this was so extra special i later edited the video together.
When Ozzy first jumps up on the rope I use my hands, eyes and voice to encourage him to settle and get his balance, this is the tricky bit because he is raring to get on with it, once he has settled and I think he's ready I ask him to stand up by nodding my head a little backwards and saying upstanding.. I was absolutely blown away by how long he balanced for, I nearly cried, because it touched me so much, I gave him a really big cuddle of screen, I could hardly speak. But I told the camera what had just happened, he had never balanced for that long before. I was astounded..then i gave him a game of Frisbee, which is Ozzys, favourite treat, he loves getting them.
So I suspect Ozzy was working of my excitement at preparing for the talent show and the record attempt and this is why he was so on fire..we do work very closely together
I don't know what made me think of doing the same trick from the other film angle, but I am glad to show how gentle my encouragement is to Ozzy. and the more gentle I can make my encouragement the more incredible Ozzy gets, so Ozzy is teaching me to be very subtle and gentle, he prefers eye movements and little finger movements as opposed to my voice.
Since I filmed this video, I have never asked Ozzy to do a really long upstand on the rope, I always keep it a short duration, I don't ever want him to get bored with his tricks..and so I change what we work on slightly all the time, sometimes we will leave a trick for a couple of months, and then Ozzy comes back to it with huge eagerness once again.
I hope I've given a bit of an insight into the video, any questions, please let me know and I'll try and answer them. NickandOzzyDog