Friday, June 19, 2009

Dog Training 101

She is the sweetest dog we have ever owned.  (No disrespect meant Rosco.  You were sweet too, and definitely had one of most distinct personalities ever; but in the sweetness department Henna is the winner.)  She loves people, she loves kids, she doesn't get into things, she rarely barks, and she has never had an accident in the house.  What could be the problem you say?  (Here is where I wish I had a picture to illustrate.)  All you would see was her tail moving away from me as fast as those legs could carry her, dragging her leash behind.  When given the opportunity she bolts, she dashes, she runs, she flys.  It's a game for her.  But one that scares me to death because we live so close to a busy road and she has run away when we are out of town.  That makes her a stranger in a strange land and I'm not certain that cute little nose could find it's way home.  Add to that the fact that she just doesn't listen and you know why doggie obedience school is the order of the day.

How does she feel about it you ask?  I'll show you:

She wasn't too excited about the prospect.  

But it doesn't matter.  We called for an evaluation which took place a couple of weeks ago and it  went something along these lines:

Trainer:  What seems to be the issue with Henna?

Loyal Pet Owners:  She runs away, she jumps on people and while she is a very good dog, she doesn't listen.

Trainer:  I understand.  Hand me her leash and we'll see how she does.

Loyal Pet Owners:  Sitting back with smug looks on their faces, knowing that our Miss Henna would hang herself with her independence.

Trainer:  Tempting her with dog treats, puts her through her paces.  Henna  sits on command, lays down; she sits again, she stays.  She stays when the door is opened.  She stays while the door is open and the trainer takes a 3 mile hike.  She stays until trainer returns and rewards her with one of th0se tempting treats. She performs like an obedience school star.

Loyal Pet Owners: Stunned.

Trainer:  Sits down and in a quiet voice states the obvious.  "Henna seems to understand.  I think her owners are the ones who have the problem."

Loyal Pet Owners:  Humiliated  and speachless.

Trainer:  You're just not important enough to her.  I think all you need to do is sign up for some basic obedience group classes and you'll get the hang of it.

Not important enough?  How can that be? We feed her, take her for walks, talk to her, lover her, care for her and treat her like the princess she is.  

And so after signing up for Dog Training 101 we slunk out of the evaluation,  our egos deflated but firm in our conviction to become the most important things in her life.  How's that working out you ask?  We just completed week three and we're making progress.  We have hope. 

I am secure in the knowledge that as long as one of those savory dog treats is in my hand I am the most important thing in her life.


Anonymous said...

GREAT POST. I laughed and chuckled - and sympathized. A trainer did that with us and two of our Sammies once. We wouldn't have believed it was happening, except the proof was in front of our eyes! Good luck. I'll be standing by for the next update. Karol

jodi said...

Well...we do love Henna...but Ross...we miss Roscoe.

Life in Color said...

Yes, we do. I think we always miss Rossy.