How to train your human
It takes patience to train humans. Mine aren’t the worst of the breed, but still it has taken some time to get them to understand the simplest commands. I thought, therefore, that my first blog of the new year could be a ‘how to’ guide on the main points to get everyone off to a fresh start.
I employ a three-stage technique to remind my humans to feed me. Stage one is the paw on the knee. This can be enough to prompt them to check the time and realise I need feeding. Stage two is the nudge. This is a gentle but persistent prod with my nose, usually to the elbow as this makes them break off from what they are doing. If all else fails, I instigate stage three. I weave in and out of their legs until I have their full attention and realisation dawns. As an obvious trip hazard, I would only advise using this at a last resort and when stages one and two have failed.
Teaching your human to play ball can be a challenge and you may have to put in several hours of training to get the desired response. The main difficulty is their inability to repeat actions for any length of time and their low boredom threshold. The key tip here is when they refuse to throw the ball any more, to drop it and walk away as if you are no longer interested. Ignore any request to ‘fetch’. Your human will eventually pick up the ball themselves and usually give it a really good fling to get the game started again.
With only two legs to carry them, never forget that humans will always be slower than you. You may need to keep running back to see if they are still there and to reassure them that all is well. Don’t forget either that modern humans enjoy the comforts of home and may take some persuading to go for a walk in wet, muddy conditions. Employing the three stages describing in the feeding section above can be effective. If all else fails, rub your bottom on the carpet or scratch the best rug until tufts of wool come out and assume the toileting position. This is usually enough to get outside pronto.
Humans can find it difficult to judge the number of treats to give their dog. If you think you have been short-changed in the treat department, sit very still, widen your eyes and cock your head on one side. This can be very effective in getting a human to either dish out a few extra treats – or find that couple they left in their pocket, accidentally on purpose.
I hope these few tips and tricks help you to get the best out of your humans in 2022 and wish you good luck with your training plan.