I don’t know if Honey is well-trained.
She walks loosely on leash, never poops in the house, and will “high-five” me if I ask her to. She also has a rock solid sit and stay, even if I place a cookie on the floor in front of her.
But sometimes I think my dog is better at training me than I am at training her.
I usually let Honey choose the route and length of our walks. Why shouldn’t she get her say? After all, we’re walking for her.
But often, when we’re approaching the house, Honey will stop to let me know she’d really prefer to keep walking. I don’t want to bribe her with treats to coax her home. Then she really would have me trained. Instead, as we approach the house, I’ll stop for short and fun training sessions.
Lately, I’ve been teaching her to weave between my legs.
Honey gets excited by the training and forgets to stop our progress home. I feel pretty clever for coming up with a new way to train the dog. Or maybe Honey just did a great job training me.
But Honey’s trying to train me in another area and I’m struggling with my response.
After I let her outside in the yard for a break or play time, she stands out on the porch and refuses to come in. Even if I call her (despite her usually having an excellent recall).
If I ignore her reluctance and go about my business with the door open, Honey will eventually come in. Then I go back and shut the door.
But it’s getting cold. I don’t want to leave the door wide open when it’s 30 degrees fahrenheit outside.
If I lure her in with a treat, then my dog has trained me. If I call her and she doesn’t come, I’m teaching her that it’s ok to ignore me. And if I continue what I’m doing now, the local gas utility makes a huge profit at my expense.
So people. What’s the answer? Can you tell me how to train the dog to come inside the house when I ask her to?
Or does your dog have you so well-trained that you’ll suggest I give Honey a big piece of liver every time I want her to come in the house?
Your Turn: Who is the better trainer in your house? You? Or the dog? And can you share any advice for my dog training dilemma?
Congratulations, Jodi Stone of Heart Like a Dog. You’ve won the giveaway of A Sea Dog’s Tale. Thanks to everyone who entered.