I am Nelson, a very beautiful, smart, big dog. TRAINING!!! I LOVE training. I could do it for hours.
I have trained my human to: open the door, go for walks, jump up from a sit position when I bark suddenly, give me treats, and my personal favorite, throw the ball. All I have to do is roll on my back and she goes right into the tummy rub routine. She nailed the butt scratch very quickly. I only had to back into her three times and she had it. Not bad for someone who doesn’t seem to understand a word I send her. You would swear she understands sometimes. She just looks at me like she knows what I’m saying. She even tilts her head a little. So adorable.
My human has some habits that I just cannot break. What is this obsession with toenail clipping? It doesn’t happen often, but she is relentless when she starts. Oh, and then the bath. Nothing is more humiliating than the bath. When I find something wonderfully smelly to roll on she goes right into “bath mode.” I’ve tried everything to break her of these habits, but she just doesn’t understand. I’ll keep working at it.
So here’s my problem: Agnes, the cat says I do too much training and it interferes with her sit-still-and-make-a-lap training. Agnes even says I overdo the throw-the-ball work when I won’t give it back when I return it. Manners, Agnes. Manners. She has to learn to say “Please” and “Thank you.” Don’t tell me, “Drop it” like I’m some dummy. Agnes just doesn’t get it, and I’ve given up trying to train her. I just eat her dry food and laugh.
BB, please let me know if I’m pushing my human too hard. She seems very bright and I love her so much and don’t want to hurt her, but I do like to show her off to my friends.
My Research Assistant, Cordless, and I discussed your letter. Cordless – as she is always reminding me – was a race horse. She explained “Training” to me, and I was shocked. I am not a big fan of discipline, and this training stuff seems to be all about discipline. You are so lucky that your human has a good attitude and is willing to learn. Agnes, however sounds like she has what we call cattitude and not a good candidate for training. Stick with what you do well and just work with the human.
Cordless agrees with me that you are not pushing your human too hard. Watch her carefully to see if she gets cranky or depressed. If that happens you might want to back off for a bit, or give her more treats. You didn’t mention treats in your e mail. Treats do not always have to be in the form of food. When Anita is having a bad day we sometimes rest a chin on her shoulder, or nicker to her. She falls for it every time and we get the food treats.
We can’t say much about the toenail clipping or baths. We get our hooves trimmed every six weeks and it’s no big deal. We don’t need baths. If we’re hot we stand in front of the fan in the barn. Cordless does stick her head all the way down in the watering trough sometimes and blow bubbles, or put her legs in it. I don’t do that silly stuff.
Keep up your good work, Nelson, and your human will be a star.