Teaching a New Dog New Tricks
June 22, 2012
The empty nest syndrome hit full force a couple of years ago. My adult kids just didn’t need my mothering instincts following them through life and being a grandma wasn’t happening for a while, so a furry new baby came to live at our house. He LOVES being doted upon and has captured all of our attention and extra time! I am quickly realizing, though, that as he nears his 2nd birthday, he receives far less disciplining than our children did! This is not necessarily a good thing.
His manners are…well, we need some professional intervention! Here at the Library, I have access to all of the dog training books and tips that I could possibly need. Currently, I am listening to a fascinating book in my car, 30 Days to a Well Mannered Dog: The Loved Dog Method by Tamar Gellar. It’s perfect! He is a very well-loved dog to be sure, and I can imagine only teaching him in the kindest way possible. As I’ve been listening so far, however, I realize that teaching manners to a dog is a lot like teaching an 18-month-old child to say "please," "thank you," and eating with a fork!
And, the author says we can do this in 30 days? Well, we’ll see if her methods and our dedication can make this happen. Dogs, Gellar says, look at us as if we are the center of the universe. Through playing, routine, and positive reinforcement, we can teach our four-legged friends to do just about anything! Whew…I’m looking forward to mid-summer when Snickers has mastered these manners and is a bit easier to live with! Of course, he probably hopes the same for us! After all, these things tend to go both ways!
~ Jan M.