Training the world’s sweetest puppy
November 30, 2010 § 2 Comments
I have the world’s sweetest puppy. Perhaps that ought to be capitalized, a proper title.
Ms. Sophie-Anne: World’s Sweetest Puppy.
This adorable little girl, full of sweetness and light, is driving me bonkers!
If you know me well at all, you know that my experience with animals as pets includes cats (since I was 18 months old), a lizard (an anole, to be exact), a hermit crab, two African dwarf frogs, and a turtle. When I married Robert, that’s when I got to add “dog” to my list of animals that have lived as pets in my home. I got Milton after Robert had already trained ‘im up. Yes, occasionally (sometimes more than occasionally), Milton ignores me and defers to his daddy…even if I’m the one giving the command. (He’ll glance at Robert as if to say, “Dad. Do I really have to sit?” Sigh.) But he is completely housebroken. And he generally leaves the two cats alone. And he sits for his meals. All things considered: he’s fully trained.
And then there’s Annie. Annie has been a challenge. A supremely lovely challenge, but a challenge nonetheless. Friends assure me that she is actually quite good for a puppy, especially for a shepherd/cattle hound puppy. She is energetic, but she calms down fairly easily. Sometimes she gets mouthy, but she’s learning “leave it” and “hush.” (Although, I swear she thinks that “leave it” means “cookie.” I believe this because when I command her to “leave” the cat alone, she does so but also runs over to the kitchen and sits primly, awaiting the cookie reward. Oops.) All things considered, I have fallen head over heels madly in love with this girl. Her sweet little face melts my heart. I just want to kiss her snout and soft ears and cheeks all. the. time. I try to respect her personal space (after all, I don’t want to create a monster with separation anxiety), but I can tell she likes the affection.
And then there are days like today. We picked up Annie and Milton from boarding yesterday after they had been there for five days. Yesterday afternoon, she had an accident or two in the house, but generally she was fine. Today though? Today was much, much worse. I feel like I’ve shampooed our entire house (which is quite the exaggeration, but tell that to my nearly empty carpet cleaner). All told, she had five accidents this evening. There could be a couple of factors outside of boarding for five days. I had friends over, which might have been exciting and distracting for her. It was also pouring rain, which might have discouraged her in general from wanting to go outside. The two rebuttals to those possibilities are as follows: 1. Annie has learned to ring a bell by the door when she needs to go potty–she rings the bell despite there being one person in the house or twenty. The number of guests has never seemed to bother her before. 2. Annie is really quite good at going outside in the rain–she might need a little encouragement, but she will still go potty. (Milton, on the other hand….)
But, no matter how frustrated I got at her tonight, I couldn’t stay mad. We’ll just keep working with the bell and hopefully the accidents will decrease tomorrow.