Thursday, November 24, 2005


It has occurred to me that I might offer some wisdom to you young pups out there. You may be just at the beginning of your relationship with your human companions and are just beginning to realize how important it is to train them.

It Takes Dedication

Don’t expect it to be easy. Sometimes they are very slow to learn. Or obstinate. Perseverance and determination are important. Don’t give up. Eventually they will fall into line. 
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How To Get Them To Move Quickly

One of the ways to get a human's attention is through urgency. Want to go outside? They are terrified that you will poop or pee in the house. So out of the blue go running up to him or her dancing, whining, jumping around and acting as if you are having a genuine panic attack. Then run to the door. If necessary, repeat.

A Fun Game

Another way of enjoying the great outdoors and amusing yourself is playing with the distracted human. Are they busy typing away on the computer? In the middle of some complicated and only understandable to them project? See how many times they will let you out and back in, out and back in without realizing it. The key is to wait until they are obviously absorbed. You don’t have to begin with urgency. Just use your traditional way of indicating you would like to go outside. For me it is sitting down next to the human, staring intently, and if that doesn’t get a response I give off a little sound. Kind of cross between throat clearing and a whimper. If that doesn’t work I lay my head on whatever body part they are using. If typing, the arms or even hands work well. I continually move more and more of my body into the area. I weigh seventy pounds so it’s hard to ignore me. If you are a smaller dog you might have to adapt other behaviors.

The human will get up and let me outside. I like to vary the times before I give a few sharp barks to come back in. Sometimes it’s as soon as I can hear them resume their task. Other times I give them a few minutes to become absorbed in what they are doing first.

Barking Can Be Productive

Unless you live in the middle of nowhere most humans won’t leave you out there to bark because it disturbs the neighbors. So they will let you back in. Take a few minutes, and then repeat the process. How many times can you get your human to do this before they catch on? That’s the fun part, keeping score.

Now I don’t bark very much anyway. But I have learned that it can get a faster response, especially if it is late at night. Realistically humans often react negatively to barking, so you have to apply your barks judiciously or they may punish you by shunning or banning of treats.

An alternative to barking is moaning. Not whimpering. Groaning and sighing and behaving as if you are put upon and oppressed beyond any imagination. Sounds odd but this seems to amuse them enough to respond as you wish.

Treats Glorious Treats!
  Posted by Picasa The moaning works really well if you want a bonus treat. Go to the place the treats are kept and stare intently. Sigh, moan, and whimper as if your heart would break. Get your human’s attention and repeat. Stay in that spot and look desperate. They usually resist at first but enough repetition will break them down.

Well that is all for today. This is a big human holiday so chances are there will plenty of people and food around to help you practice. Keep your paws clean!


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