I 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.
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.