Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Greatest Training Successes

As we've noted before, Pappy was one of the champeen students in his doggy class. He's reached some level of mastery with come, sit, and down when he's inclined to obey. But there are some things we seem to have inadvertently taught him with absolute success:

A) We have accidentally taught him to stand at the back door as if he wants to come in, then, as soon as we open the door, race out in the back yard to coax us to come out and play.

B) He used to flop down in the grass to gnaw on his squeaky ball in relative peace. In the past two weekends we have somehow trained him to come up to you sitting at the patio table, walk under your legs, drop the ball, and then start scrambling around for it so that it feels like you are sitting on a washing machine-- until you finally pick it up and throw it.

C) We learned him very early on to take his squeaky or tennis balls into the TV room, place them right next to the bookshelf, and then "accidentally" poke it under the bookshelf with his paw or nose. Then he scrabbles around with his paw under the bookshelf, occasionally whining in complaint until you pull it out. (Thankfully he never starts barking, so you have the option to ignore him until he settles down.)

It takes constant repetition and reinforcement to train one's dog to do these tricks, but you can do it too!

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