Betty catching up on a walk!
I am really chuckling as I think and write this one 🙂 I am constantly amazed by dogs, how quickly they learn whether it is the right of the wrong thing! The brighter and cleverer they are the more likely they are to learn the wrong things too! Really it is amazing that people don’t have worse problems than I see!
Not long after Betty arrived I remember chuckling to Anne (Betty’s breeder) that Betty was throwing her metal feed bowl round the kitchen because she wanted feeding, she does love her food! I do think there were a few occasions when on seeing her I thought “oh I am late feeding her” and did feed her. I was particularly impressed as metal is the hardest material to teach a dog to retrieve, I am not quite sure why anyone would want a dog to retrieve metal, but anyhow it is tricky! I think it was this that delighted me so much and made me respond to Betty’s antics 🙂 at least that is my excuse! Well anything a dog does that firstly we show pleases us, like smiling and laughing and secondly even gets food in return will soon grow! Betty obviously thought I can do better and by last week this behaviour had grown into throwing the bowl around with great gusto, in between throwing her whole body at the kitchen work cupboard doors, and I mean throwing herself too, it was very enthusiastic! I just stopped myself laughing, just, though I laughed inside! Wow I thought this has gone far enough now, this behaviour could become completely ridiculous and very embarrassing for a dog trainer, in fact it is already!! I turned my back and looked out of the window then made myself busy doing jobs, after about 20 minutes, yes 20 whole minutes, Betty gave up that game and laid down, I fed her! The next few meal times I saw similar attempts, though her efforts started to dwindle until today I noticed her sitting in the kitchen near feed time, just watching me:) she was waiting for her food and she had twigged that sitting or lying got the right result! Now I just have to stick to my side of the bargain:) and only feed her when she is giving me this sort of behaviour!
One or two of you have mentioned the mistakes you have made with your puppies, well I have to tell you I haven’t been so aware with my other puppies as I am with Betty, the process of learning is ongoing, Betty is teaching me so much! Each dog I have lived with has taught me more, pushing me to a new level each time.
How clever is she, how clever are all our dogs? They all do the same sort of thing, just start noticing your dogs attempts to train you:), becoming aware of how they train you or how you inadvertently train them!
I am waiting to hear! 🙂