Friday, May 19, 2006

Who’s training who?

We have been doing our homework for dog obedience class, including exercises on attention, walking on a long line (well, maybe we will do this one when the deluge abates), and sit and stay. With roast beef rewards, my two dogs both want to participate.

Cassie is a little shy today, so she retreats to the dining room, and I work with Toby on “stay.” I have him sit, then I put a palm toward his forward and say “Stay!” To my amusement, he slides down into a prone position and executes a perfect stay.

I try it again: sit and “Stay!” Same result. Almost furtively, he slides down. He looks at me apologetically, and he stays. Perfect.

Again and again, the same result. The stay is flawless, but he will not stay in a sitting position, only prone.

Ha! Now I have it.

This is how he was taught to stay when he went to obedience class with my mother in….are you ready? 1998. Eight years ago. A command never practiced, but Toby remembers. He knows “Stay” follows “Down.” And he is mildly embarrassed that I do not know something so simple.

Who’s training who?

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