Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The not-so-trained-sorta-good-dog

I had high hopes for obedience school.

I was sure I would come out, Master of Crazy, the family dog.

She would sit, down, stay and, shoot, even roll-over, on a word or a look from me... one raised eyebrow and on her haunches she goes....

So she sits. If she knows that nothing will happen until she sits... but she's willing to wait it out... EVERY SINGLE TIME. You know, in the case that I slip up.

She can lay down.... but she's crankier about it and tries to do it in half-measures. And she'll stay/wait, if we're in the house and she suspects that I'm holding food.

Forget good doggie behavior outside. Oh sure, bicyclists and joggers often thank me for holding the dog back, and she patiently waits until I let go, so she no longer looks like a manic rabid hunting dog looking for some cyclist leg meat, but she still hasn't graduated from the gentle leader, which on her isn't really gentle since she pulls anyhow, especially if there's a bird, squirrell, cat, leaf, or butterfly to chase.

And jumping? I can only suggest that if you come to my house, bring chicken and toss it. It distracts her, and will help the training program with jumping.

But the thing is, despite her stubbornness, despite her successful attempts to pit her patience vs my consistence (I DO try) and despite her complete lack of willpower where food is concerned, (no training can successfully stop that dog from snagging left-out pizza on the table) she's a GOOD dog.

She doesn't bite the kids. She's jumping on them less and less. She's even curbed her nippy tendencies (she's a cattle dog, what can you do) to a large degree. And her eyes? And her waggy happy tail? And how she follows Turbo around with her little tug o war toy? And how she loves his bed? And puts her head in his chair? And her utter contentment with the bone? And how she jumps up and rolls on her back in your lap (until she gets bored of your lap and leaves)? And her futile and misunderstood attempts to befriend the cats? And how she paws you ONLY if she DESPERATELY needs to tell you something?


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