Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Princess in Progress

Remember Lucy...the Demon Dog? The tiny Tasmanian devil? The hyperactive Chiweenie with an attitude? Well, I have an update for you. Lucy has made it through week 5 of Petsmart's
puppy training classes and she is actually learning to BEHAVE!

Our trainer, Kristen, uses the Clicker Training method to teach the puppies what behavior you want them to do. She explained that dogs aren't born with an understanding of the English language (who knew?) and that we shouldn't think of our pups as having human thought processes. (Yeah, but she hasn't met my Mother-In-Law's pekingese...that dog KNOWS it's human.) You see, when Lucy jumps at my face and attaches her teeth to my nose with her jaws of death, it's only because the last time she did that she was REWARDED with ATTENTION in the form of me screaming, detaching her wiggly 7 pound body and flinging her lousy carcass across the room...I mean, uh, gently removing her and asking her in a soft voice not to eat my face again, please.

But fear not! With the introduction of the Clicker, Lucy has been magically transformed. You see, the Clicker, AKA "The Noise That Feeds Me Treats" is Lucy's new best friend. She has learned to Sit and Stay, Lie Down, and Come on command. She's also working on "Shake Hands", a favorite of the two little twins in the house. And...get this...you can hold a piece of steak in your hand right in front of her little doggie nose and Lucy will not take it until you tell her she can have it!! Oh, her nose will quiver and her tail will wag furiously and she may let out a whimper or two. But she will not take the treat until you say "Take it." Or until your attention is distracted for a split second and you look away long enough for her to snatch it like a Ninja on speed. And then she sits there looking innocently at your hand as if to say, "Me? I have absolutely no clue where that delectable piece of meat has gone."

So, I want to thank Kristen from Petsmart. Because of her expertise in puppy behavior we no longer have a Demon Dog. We have a little Princess. Well, almost. We're getting there. We may have to invest in a new princess doggie harness (she's chewed the one in the picture to shreds) and we are thinking about putting her in pink princess doggie diapers (she still has bladder control issues...only pees in the kitchen floor or on the deck) but we've come along way. There's hope that one day we will have a sweet little dog that can venture into other parts of the house. For now, she's going to remain in Chiweenie Land. The kitchen. Where she can continue practicing the art of sculpting my dining chair legs into masterpieces with her teeth.


Jo said...

isn't it fun to watch them show off tricks when they have mastered them? I know when Cheech learns a new trick he is proud of himself....he usually doesn't need a treat cause he would much rather a good rub down.

Way to go Lucy!!

poppy fields said...

My oldest step-sister had the same kind of dog. And it was a demon, too. I don't think she ever was lucky enough to get a trainer, but boy did she need it.