Friday, January 4, 2013

Weekly Wag:
How My Dog Outsmarted Me

by Carrie Boyko, CEB

Weekly Wag ButtonI have to admit this is a terrible way to begin a New Year with my dog training, but I do love my dog for all that he has learned in order to accomplish his goal. It appears that I must return to basic training in order to get back to Tanner's most important rule at our house: Tanner is not allowed to go in the swimming pool unless given permission. Yes, you read that correctly. He has outsmarted me on this rule.

I thought I had it all under control. And frankly, for 4 years or so he has been very reliable at staying out of the pool until given permission, until recently. One day, while playing with a toy on the pool deck, he accidentally dropped it into the pool. I witnessed this episode, thankfully, and can understand how he easily took this to mean the same thing as 'permission'. 

You see, our "permission to swim" is given when I throw or drop a toy into the pool. Otherwise, he knows he is to stay out. This was a necessary part of training my water-logged Golden who was forever jumping in when the doors to the pool area were open. Which basically is all the time since he can open them. Yes, he can open most anything--Oliver's crate, the dog park gate, our house doors, the porch doors, and the play areas at doggie daycare. He's a Houdini, this dog of mine. But I digress.
© AllThingsDogBlog.com
In the Water Again,
Always with a Toy

Once Tanner realized that he wasn't admonished for jumping in that day, it was all over for me. He quickly figured out that toys could fall into the pool with a little help from him and now we've reached the point of no return. He's beginning to add other strategies to the toy-in-the-pool method.

During some recent repairs and construction at our home, Tanner enjoyed several gleeful rolls in the upturned soil outside, after which I banished him to the pool for a swim in order to clean up. That was clearly a mistake. Yep! He figured it out and now he goes outside looking for a spot to roll in--any dirty spot will do--just to get sent to the pool for a clean up swim.

Today he demonstrated another add-on to this learning curve that disturbed me. He lifted his leg to take care of nature's call, managing to aim directly at his front paw. After drenching it I had no recourse but to send him to the pool for--yes, you guessed it--another clean up swim. I suppose I should have bath supplies at the front door, but I'm not a fan of hose baths at the front, especially in my dry clothing. Thus is the error of my ways.

I have to admit, I do love this water crazy dog. But I'm especially impressed with how he has managed to push my buttons to get what he wants. Does he know me well or what?

How well does your dog know you? Do you sometimes find yourself admiring your dog's mischievous side? You can enter our quarterly drawing right here by posting your answer to my question. We'd love to hear your story.

Join us each week for the Weekly Wag bonding series, held during the Saturday Pet Blogger Hop. The hop is hosted by Life with DogsTwo Little Cavaliers, and Confessions of the Plume. You are welcome to link up here, or check any of their sites for their rules of participation. Happy hopping! 

16 comments:



Schooner and Skipper said...

Tanner sounds alike Schooner and Skipper. They know they are not allowed in the pool unless we are outside with them. Yes they drop the toys in the pool so they can go in to get the toy or they are catching each other and the other one jumps in the pool to get away. Schooner has learned that if Skipper is on my lap and he wants on my lap all he has to do is find a toy that Skipper loves and comes and squeak it in his face ...Skipper will then jump down and chase Schooner. Schooner drops the toy so Skipper can pick it up and Schooner runs to get on my lap. Schooner also knows that you don't take anything off mommy's table by the couch. If I am not giving him enough attention he will run and grab the telephone and take off. I alway do a trade thing with Schooner it's always a little treat or a toy so he will come and drop it. Schooner can open my underwear drawer. It is always my stuff he take to his hiding place. When you get on the phone they decide to romp and play and make all kinds of noises so you can't talk. It is so funny how they are so much like our 2 legged children. Our 4 legged furry children are very smart. You think they are not listening and they really are especially when they here the words go, walk, car they run to the door waiting, You find yourself spelling the words to your husband so your furry children don't know what you are saying. We got to love our furry very smart children that seem to outsmart us.



Jen said...

Ah yes, the curse of the intelligent dog! Funny, but frustrating...makes me glad that we don't have a pool ;)



GizmoGeodog said...

Tanner is one smart dog...I'm impressed at how well he's picked up your cues and managed to shape your behavior...has he tried a clicker yet :) With Gizmo, I hung a large cowbell from the front doorknob so he could signal me when he needed to potty...He picked that up and of course figured out that when the bell rings mom opens the door. So yes, he began to hit that bell many times a day just so he could go out and chase lizards or watch birds...and of course I open the door each time...he's trained me well



Michelle Spayde said...

I needed a smile today, and this post gave me one (sorry)! :-)

Sarah(my Pom)began waking me earlier and earlier to go outside in the morning until it finally clicked in my head that she just wanted to come back INSIDE to get her treats. Now she only gets treats if I have my coffee and the sun is up. Thankfully, we no longer have 4:30 AM bathroom breaks!



KateV said...

Shiloh knows lot of tricks, from putting his toys away to bowling. Cheyenne may only do the basic "sit, shake, play dead" tricks- she really is the smart one. She knows she isn't allowed to take things from Shiloh, but figures out how to get what she wants anyway. If I've given them both a bone but she wants his also, she'll suddenly jump up and run to the door. Shiloh of course runs after her barking, thinking someone is at the door. Meanwhile, Cheyenne circles back and lays down on his bone. By the time Shiloh gives up at the door and comes back for his bone, all he can find is Cheyenne innocently chewing on her own, and his nowhere in site. She also does this with his more annoying squeaky toys- she won't play with them, but she'll lay on them so he'll stop making noise!



myfolly said...

You go Tanner! I love intelligent dogs, you should be proud! :)



Misty said...

Tanner, you are just WAY too smart for your own good! Thanks for sharing your antics. If you run out of excuses to hop in, try rescuing Oliver after he "falls" in!



Rick said...

When Steel wants a snack she walks right in front of me and throws out every trick in the book. She usually starts with an "I love you" and goes through ALL of her tricks. She typically ends with the most perfect play dead. She won't stop until you step around her on the way to the treat jar.



Carrie, with Tanner and Oliver said...

Oh Misty! Don't give him any new ideas!



Dawn said...

How funny!!! I'm laughing so hard that tears are falling. He is so darned clever. :D The only thing I can think of at the moment that slightly compares is Maya and socks. Ever since I made dog toys from old socks, I've had to watch out where I put my good socks when I take them off.



evie said...

what a cutie tanner is...dogs are so much smarter than people give them credit for. i have 3 little girls. the oldest is very much a mess. she knows that she is to stay w/ me when we are outside but w/ all of the deer, moles, voles out, she takes off. she will watch me to see if i am watching her, if she sees my attention is otherwise engaged, she will take off, sometimes she hides behind a tree or in the woods.sometimes, she creeps a few feet thinking i wont notice, until she is out of sight...she will keep turning her head to see if i am watching her, if not she takes a few more steps..part of the deer problem is my fault, b/c i allow/tell her to chase them off of her property when they are out, she does come back after going to the property lines though. however, terriers do have a stubborn streak. she was very good when she was little, now that she is 11, she feels that it is her right to do as she pleases. she talks back to me. recently i bought the red can of noise, and she has started paying more attention to me...she knows what the clicker means, but sometimes ignores it...i guess i have gotten too lenient w/ her b/c i know she is still not happy at having 2 younger siblings. even after 3 yrs, she still does not like either of them. what is so strange is that when we go to dog events, people tell me how well behaved my girls are...i tell them they are not like this at home...



fati said...

A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than you love yourself.
http://your-dogs-diet.blogspot.com



Carrie, with Tanner and Oliver said...

What wonderful stories; thanks to all of you who are sharing, and please continue to do so!



Paul said...

That's a good one. Yes, dogs are much smart than given credit for. Yours is a much better story but one that came to my mind was my dog would always unlatch the gate and gives me the that "Oh oh, i'm so guilty look" when I ever I catch him.

Awesome story on one of many reasons why dog's are so loved.



Carrie, with Tanner and Oliver said...

@Paul: Ah yes, gates are an easy mark for Tanner also. The doggie daycare he frequents had to add special locks to keep my boy from opening all the gates and letting all the playgroups become one!



Jt Clough | Maui Dog Remedies said...

My Carmella, a Weimaraner, is much like me. Not easily told what to do, has her own style, is slightly aloof to what "everybody should be doing", needs her exercise daily and marches to her own drummer.

How's that for a dog trainer's dog!! I love her dearly and much of what I teach is that we on many occasions end up with dogs who make us face our own traits. I have that in my Carmella and I lover her for it.

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