At the Honey Webster household, Train Your Dog Month ended not with a bark, but a whimper.
And yet it was a big success.
What were we trying to do?
I loved the idea so I challenged my readers to join me in doing the same.
My goal? To make grooming and bath time more fun for Honey (and, for me).
Honey is an easy dog. I don’t have to chase her around the house to get her near the tub. She doesn’t wiggle or snap when I clip her nails.
But she looks so sad.
How I make grooming a fun game, instead of something she has to endure until I’m done?
When Honey sees me grab the clicker and treat bag, she gets excited.
Yes, she loves getting chunks of liverwurst or turkey hotdogs. But using the clicker changes her thinking. Working to figure out what will get her that treat brightens her attitude far more than if I just made her sit and handed it to her.
So I bring the clicker into the bathroom to see what happens.
I clicked and treated Honey for the following behaviors, in order:
- walking close to the tub
- looking at the tub
- putting her head into the tub
- holding her head in the tub
- putting her paws up on the edge of the tub
- jumping into the tub
- jumping out of the tub
- turning around in the tub
Yes, Honey learned how to jump into the tub, with water running.
But did we meet the true goal? Did she look happy doing it?
I wish I had a beautiful video ready for you. But life got in the way.
Here’s a short clip from the beginning of our training. You be the judge. Does it look like Honey is having fun?
Hint: watch the tail.
Psssst. Don’t tell my husband I posted such a badly framed, unedited video with crooked towels hanging in the background. You wouldn’t want Honey to end up in a broken home, would you?
If things settle down, I’ll see if I can get a nice video up later.
I didn’t complete all the training I set out to. I never did get Honey to blow bubbles in the bath.
But we’ve grown our relationship and had some fun. So I count The Train Your Dog Month Challenge a big success.
Tell us about your recent training goals. And if you joined the Train Your Dog (or cat or ferret or bird or husband etc.) Challenge, post your link below so we can read all about it.
One person linking their training story will be chosen at random to receive a $25 donation to their favorite animal charity and a prize pack for themselves. I’ll announce the winner on Friday, February 8.
Do you find training fun? Or is it just hard work? And is it more fun for you or your pet?