The Lazy Person’s Guide to the Something Wagging Train Your Dog Challenge


Easy challenge? Teaching an alpaca to spit.

I’m so excited you’re joining me in the Something Wagging Train Your Dog Challenge.

But I see I haven’t persuaded everyone this can be an easy and stress-free challenge. Maybe it’s the word challenge that’s doing it.

Should I call it the Train Your Dog Gentle Nudge? Or perhaps the Train Your Dog Non-Threatening Glance?

Train Your Dog Challenge for the Lazy Unambitious

Ok, we’re not all Kristine of Rescued Insanity, an overachiever if I ever met one (isn’t Shiva getting good at her handstand?).

Is it worth joining the Challenge (or Nudge if you prefer it) if you don’t have much time, are stressed out, or trying to catch up on your napping?

Of course. After all, every moment you spend with your dog is building your bond.

Simple behaviors for the Busy Person Who Loves Her Dog

Here’s my list of easy behaviors you can work on:

Happy Touch

Next time you’re watching television with your dog at your side, gently handle his paws, ears, tail, teeth. Intersperse touches with some of his favorite things—treats, squeakies, tummy rubs, reading from one of his favorite Harry Potter books.

Favorite Place

While your dog is out of the room (outdoors, on a walk, or eating dinner), place rewards someplace you want him to associate with happy feelings. It could be her crate, bed, or favorite chair. If you do this enough, you may find your dog doing what Honey does: standing in her crate waiting for a treat.

TTouch Inspiration

Watch a TTouch video and try one technique on your dog.

A Few Tips for the Slightly More Ambitious

This morning I opened up a great blog post by Eric Goebelbecker of Dog Spelled Forward on Capturing a Behavior and Putting It On Cue.

The idea is to catch your dog doing something as a starting point to teaching him how to do it when you tell him to.

The post has some great videos including some working with a bird.

Which leads to my next point.

Something Wagging’s Train Your Dog Challenge is Nondenominational

If you’d like to use the challenge to work on a behavior with your cat, bird, fish, or husband it’s fine with me. I’d love to hear what you come up with. So don’t be shy. Sign on and join the easy, fun, stress-free Train your Dog (or cat or fish or husband) Challenge.

If you didn’t leave a comment on yesterday’s post and you want to join us, leave a note below. We’ll get together again at the end of the month and see what everyone’s done.

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  1. Wait a minute?! I can train my HUSBAND for this challenge? Well if I had known THAT, I never would have started this nose work business! LOL, who am I kidding? I’ve been trying to train the Daddy for nearly 10 years and he isn’t even half as good at following commands as Kolchak is. I’m sticking with my best shot at actually achieving something and training Koly!

    PS – I’m partial to the Train Your Dog Non-Threatening Glance.

  2. Mike Webster says:

    The Husband Reflects:

    I can’t say enough about the years of hard work Pam has put into strengthening our relationship. For instance, now I know how to clean up after myself when I pee on the carpet.

    Which reminds me, Sweetheart, we’re out of paper towels again.

  3. Ouch . .tummy hurts from laughing!! My hubby always notices when I am using my “positive reinforcement” techniques :) It’s worth a try anyways, right? hee hee

  4. Now you’re talking my language! The lazy way to train your dog.

    I really try to work with my dogs, but not like I should. I should set aside a few minutes each day to work on training. What do you suggest to start with?

    As for the husband, I prefer the rolled up newpaper for him. 😉

  5. Ha ha ha! I want stress free, so I’m going to work on doing something with Bunny, not trying to train the husband! I’ve been working on that for almost fifteen years! If it hasn’t gotten stress free by now, it’s not going to.

  6. Oh, do I agree. Hubby needs a timeout in the crate most of time!! BOL! Much easier and more fun to work with the dogs! Although after trying out my training technique with the cat today for challenge, I’m beginning to wonder if hubby might be a tad easier…

  7. First, I need a husband….sigh. Will be easier to walk a dog a day than make small talk in social gatherings…:). Husband reflections could be a whole ‘nother challenge, er, nudge, er, non-threatening glance.

  8. you’re making me laugh BOL! i saw the title and thought you were talking about me. that alpaca pic is funeee.

    i do a lot of happy touching [that doesn’t sound good somehow]. i try to work on G and my relationship everyday when the Cushion is out by cajoling [demanding] that she cuddle with me on the couch. when [iif] i get her up there, i do all kinds of ear fondling, toe massaging and belly stroking. i think she likes that. but the moment i try to shift my numb leg from under her 43kg bodyweight – she’s off the couch! despite that, i think she might be fond of me.

  9. Husbands are too much work; it’s why I have animals! Although it would be nice to have one to cut the grass.

    Since the challenge is not species specific, I’m going to switch and work with my Senegal parrot. I’ve been wanting to teach how how to put coins in a bank. Now’s the time to do it.

  10. All of the husband talk reminds me of an article I once saw called “What Shamu Taught Me About a Happy Marriage.” I have to admit, I now try to approach my relationships (both with the hubby and others) with positive reinforcement… if it can work on pups, why not people? :) Here’s the link if you’re interested:

    I like this lazy person’s guide… I am, after all, a lazy person. I’m going to come up with something, just haven’t figured it out yet. :)

  11. Nice job making it appeal to all us lazy people! hehe. But you had me convinced from the get-go, I can’t wait to get started!

  12. I like the capturing a behavior option and think I will give that a whirl and teach sophie to stretch/take a bow. Thanks for the idea!

  13. Her handstand may be improving but it’s not perfect yet! *cracks a whip* She still can’t hold it for more than half a second away from a wall. Not good enough, I say! We’re going to practice it until she gets it right or her shoulders give out!

    Okay, I am not really a slave driver. In truth, Shiva probably wishes we trained more than we actually do. That’s why I love the idea of a challenge to motivate me further. I need to get working a lot more than she does.

    But now that you mention it, I am still attempting to work with the cat, so maybe that could be part of our challenge as well. Maybe I should come up with a trick they could perform together… I’d better get on it!

    Thanks again for putting all this together. And thanks for the encouragement!

  14. on an unrelated note –

    i just read your post that was in Kristine’s To Read List. i must have missed it because it was published while i was away. I’m glad i caught up with it! it’s so true. i’m guilty of making up stories, but i do try to move on from there.

    sorry i couldn’t comment on THAT post but it didn’t give me the option to do so.

  15. I will definitely try these techniques on my husband, lol! Although, I don’t have a dog, I can try them on my pet guinea pigs. They may be harder to train but they do fall into habitual patterns. The ‘Happy Touch’ suggestion should definitely help for skittishness and nervousness. Hmmm, maybe I should try perfect this technique on my husband first… :)

  16. Not sure what I will be doing yet, but me and Luna will probably participate (soon as she gets out of the kennel). I may even throw wyatt in there as it will push me to work more on his retriever training. Thanks for the challenge

  17. That spousal training works both ways, y’all know that right?

    The other day we were shopping and the Mr. growled ‘leave it’ at me when I stopped to look at something!

    Gotta make you laugh! (there, there, don’t cry!)