Teach them

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This morning I woke to snapping teeth and growling.  Elsa was tucked under my chin, across my neck.  She had crossed the pillow boundary again in her quest for touch.  My eyes opened as I heard her teeth and I could hear her whole face in action.  I wondered what she was dreaming about.  As far as dreams go, I had incredibly strange ones last night myself. 

This of course had me wondering if they dream as oddly as we do.  Do they have complicated, twisted and unrealistic dreams like us or are theirs more real life like?  I lay wondering as she twitched away.  Elsa has an incredible mind, as do most dogs.  But sadly most dogs never have even a fraction of their brain tapped into.

 I try very hard to teach Elsa new things all the time.  Over the weekend my husband had his hands full and was struggling to open the bedroom door when I said "I should teach Elsa to open the door."  Then I thought, "would that be a good idea?"  Hmmmmm?  Our inside doors would be easy because of the type of handle.  They are the type that you just push down, very different from the round knobs that you have to grab a hold of and turn.  I am still thinking about whether or not I should teach her this.  It would definitely change the whole "putting her in the room" thing.

Teaching your dog new behaviors does not have to revolve around "official" obedience type.  I find those to be quite boring although they are behaviors just like any other behavior.  I think the whole rigidness of official obedience is what I don't like about it.  I am not strict as far as sitting straight or moving one paw.  I like my dogs to listen and obey but if they move a paw or sit an inch from straight, I don't mind. 

So I am always trying to think of new things to teach Elsa.  She is like a sponge and the more action involved in the behavior the more excited she gets, like the reverse in the video above.  She will often offer me a reverse when I ask for other things.  This is very common with dogs.  Ask for one thing and they will go through their whole repertoire of behaviors for you.  When this happens you just wait.  Excitement is usually at the core of this.  You can also give them error markers so that they stop and think.  I use "nope" as my marker and when I say it Elsa will stop, listen better and think before offering her next behavior. 

Today we will learn something new.  Not sure what yet, but I'll let you all know.  What are you teaching your dog today?

Leave me a comment, I love to hear from you.