I hope you’re happy.
You damn cheese-eating Canadian, you.
It wasn’t enough that you wanted to teach your dog tricks. You had to make me want to also.
I’d curse you, Kristine Tonks…. If I wasn’t having so much fun.
Why I Hate Dog Tricks
I like dogs. I like them as dogs.
Not babies. Not fuzzy humans. Not performers for my amusement. And certainly not as moving mannequins for fashions endorsed by some has-been rock star (?) from a mediocre 1980s hair band.
I saw no need to teach Honey (or any previous dog) tricks. Honey is fine the way she is.
But I’ve been evolving (or, for you Creationists out there, experienced divine revelation).
And I’m starting to see that teaching Honey tricks is not such a bad idea.
Why I Love Dog Tricks
My goal for the Train Your Dog Month Challenge is to make grooming more fun for Honey. I didn’t have a plan. I got out my clicker and some liverwurst and decided to see what happened.
Honey immediately saw our work as a game. And, before I knew it, she was happily jumping in and out of the tub to solicit a click and treat.
Once in the tub, she sat, spun in a circle, offered a “high-five”, jumped out, jumped in again. In other words, she was trying to figure out how she could get more treats. And it looked like she was having fun.
Turning the water on didn’t even faze her.
I’ve realized some important benefits to teaching Honey tricks. Learning quirky behaviors on cue:
- gives her an outlet for behaviors she already likes to offer (pawing; I swear she thinks she’s a Boxer)
- excites her
- help strangers connect with her
- give her something to do when she’s excited besides jump on people
- distracts her from things she usually finds frightening
- stimulates her mind
- builds her confidence
Oh, and I almost forgot. Training tires Honey out more than any walk. After a training session, she’ll sleep long enough for me to write an entire blog post.
Honey is Only Limited by My Lack of Imagination
What fun things will Honey learn next?
Why are you asking me? I have a terrible lack of imagination.
Luckily I know a wonderful, cheese-eating Canadian with a smart, pretty, and crazy dog who has no such problem. I guess it’s time to start reviewing her dog trick videos for inspiration.
And soon, maybe Honey and I will be as good at turning tricks as Kristine and Shiva.
Do you like trick training? Does your dog?
Want to join the Train the Dog Month Challenge? It’s not too late. Just grab the badge below, share your progress at the end of the month, and join the linky list so more people can find you.
One person will be picked at random to win a $25 donation to their favorite animal charity and a prize pack for themselves and their dog. Oh, and don’t forget the kitties, ferrets, guinea pigs, and birds. All are welcome in the challenge.
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