Tricks my puppy, Bella, can do.
Up. (both paws on my forearm)
Spin in a circle.
I've had her for almost three weeks, and like most relationships-I fell in love hard and fast. She's 16 weeks old, and she has completely changed the whole atmosphere in the house. Kids complaining, that's ok, Bella will sit on my lap an cuddle. The Man is being grumpy, no worries, Bella is always there to give puppy kisses. I'm exhausted, she's a great nap buddy. I have errands to run, no sweat, Bella is great in the car AND in her little carrier bag. Jerkface is paying too much attention to his video games, and not her- she pooped on his bed. She makes me just STOOPID happy.
So I have to talk about how I've learned how to train this angel. Zak George. He's on You Tube and there is a world of wisdom in these lessons. His videos are short and easy to understand. He does do a lot of advertising, but you know, the guy has to make a living, so I get it and I'm not bothered by that. As someone who has blogged for years, I understand affiliate dollars. Anyway, these videos have taught me a LOT about how to communicate with both my dogs. I have mixed in what I've learned there, and the private lessons Max and I have had to come up with training that works for me, and hopefully my dogs. Bella is easier because she is brand new. Max has a lot of bad habits that I have to smooth out.
The biggest problem I have with Max is communication. It's hard to physically get down to his level, because he is so hyper and he jumps on me. Often knocking me down. So we are working on that. Getting him to NOT jump while I go into a kneeling or squatting position. Talk about your "leg days." I think I will be able to get his attention better by closing distance between us so I can be more proactive, but also not get a concussion in the process. I'm determined though. He's not a bad dog, he's just an untrained dog. So that's what I'm working on. Before I can teach him anything new, I need to teach him how to be a little gentler with me. Not so aggressive in his playing. We can't play tug anymore, because he doesn't go for the toy, he goes for the hand that is holding the toy. Raising it in the air is no help either, as he can jump higher than I can raise my arm. So no jumping is priority #1, unless I want to end up with nubs for fingers.
Now I know you are wondering how in the world I'm teaching Bella to pray. Well, it's the cutest trick I saw where the dog puts their paws on something (starting with my forearm) and then goes for a treat that is below and between her legs so she is basically putting her head down. It's fucking adorable. Starts on the arm, and will move to maybe the chair arm or something, but right now, its just the forearm and she's picking up fast what I'm asking her to do.
There is something really cool about using tools and watching them work. It's amazing for me to see the twitchy restraint and how she thinks it thru before her next move. I want to teach her all of the things. Jumping thru hoops and over stuff. She's the only little one in the house who seems to benefit from my advice these days, so it's good for the both of us.
And while Jerkface does take an active roll in her care, it's more about the cuddling and play time for him. He is also helping me teach her tricks and we are both going to puppy kindergarten with her next month. As his ESA, as long as she is there for him when he needs her and he utilizes her in that capacity, then she's fulfilling her job. Otherwise, I am completely ok being with her all the time. I mean, I wanted a little dog too.
I will try to get some of her tricks on video so I can share them- cause who doesn't want to see THAT????