For the past couple of weeks we have been taking Nelson to doggy training. In fact, some clarification is needed here. The training is little to do with the pups present but is all about training their owners.
The assembled dogs, if only they had opposible thumbs, could sit back, have a smoke and a beer and laugh at the idiot owners out there as they go through their paces in the big field that is the training venue.
Megan, the nice and ebullient lady who runs Poochies knows this, but is too polite to say so. Hard to keep customers if you point out to them what morons they are when it comes to matters canine.
Now our motivation is not to turn wee Nelson into some sort of a show or performance dog, we merely want a polite and well-behaved pup. We realized after we started this process how negligent we were with the late Max in this regard. I mean, the boy was saintly (in our esteem) and very polite, but he did have the odd behavioral flaw, and we don’t want to repeat those with Nelson.
So we’re getting Nelson to master the subtleties of ‘sit’ and ‘stay’ and other bits of esoterica. We’re past the point of “Don’t poop on the carpet, you little wretch,” thank the good lord. So the rest of it is kind of gravy on the mashed taters. Leash work. That’s a biggie. And we had no personal mastery of that facet of behavior mainly because we rarely put him on a leash. Yes, we were among the numbers of “those kind of people”.
In any case, we have found, to our delight, that Nelson picks up stuff pretty quickly and not a lot of repetition is demanded with what we have been doing so far. Obviously there will be tougher tasks ahead, but so far so good.
So, as it stands we do our prescribed exercises in the field and then we watch the dogs with various degrees of amusement and we admonish Nelson to not refer to the others as ‘maroons’. In fact the vast majority of the dogs are very pleasant and there hasn’t been even one bloody brawl. One of them is a bit cantankerous but, well, screw her. The rest of us are getting along nicely and the owner training is going well. In a few more years we’ll get it right and Nelson will be a paragon of smooth and easy brilliant behavior – or he’ll become a dropout and hit the skids. Not sure yet.