How To Properly Train Your Humans
If you wish to understand your humans better then you need to pay attention to all of their communication. This can be verbal and non-verbal. It can be with other humans or to us, their "pets."
First, let me introduce the two of us, Maggie Mae (the one writing this blog for Lola) and Davis who are patiently working with our own two humans, lovingly nicknamed by their granddaughters as Lola and Smiley.
Together they have four wonderful children and four beautiful granddaughters. They felt like their jobs prevented them from ever owning one furbaby, much less two. But once, Lola retired and was home working on her writing, things changed. While Smiley was off at work, she really started to look around and talk to others, as well as Smiley at night over dinner about maybe getting a dog. It was a big step. They both are dog lovers and had dogs before, just not the two of them together.
After some research things just fell in to place. It was like magic. They had a name, just not the goldendoodle that they wanted so much. The two of them did shopping on respectable breeders, as well as looking for re-homing and local animal shelters for dogs that had that 'goldendoodle' look. Both of them are most definitely hands on parents so it was not going to be pick one out on line and have the pup flown to them or drive to go and pick him or her up. Their philosophy, as I heard them talk about it many times, is that the dog will find you.
Turned out that a FaceBook friend that Lola went to school with thought that a friend of hers had a Mom close by that was a breeder. So she got the name and number and she made that call. Turned out that there were two litters of pups waiting to find their forever home. Lola and Smiley were cautious, wanting to do the right thing, as they took this very seriously. Lola talked to Kim, the breeder, got directions to her home and went to see the puppies. She had converted their garage into the home for all the puppies and their Mommas. She even had a place where she could be out there with them and it was heated.
Lola and Smiley could see that she loved them with all her heart. Turns out she has been a groomer, a trainer, showed dogs in Dog Shows and was into breeding dogs. She had two black standard poodles and an English Golden Retriever who had puppies a few weeks apart. They were all black puppies. We sat on her kitchen floor as she brought a couple out at a time. One little fellow kept trying to climb up on Smiley. Even when his sisters kept pushing him away. They all were about the same size and all were cute as could be but according to our two humans, Davis melted their hearts and that is who they chose. Deal done.
Look at just how happy he seems. He is still that way, even though now, he has me, Maggie Mae to play, snuggle, protect, share, get into shenanigans with as well as to put up with my pestering him. What else are sisters for?
Lola kept in touch with Kim and noticed that about two years later on her Goldendoodles by Kims Design page that she had two more litters of pups. Some were apricot blonde, one chocolate and a few black. Everyone kept telling Lola and Smiley that two are better than one. Hmmmm.. I certainly don't disagree with that philosophy. We do have two smart humans so they decided that they would drive back out to Kim's and take Davis with them.
Kim now has a proper building for her pups and their Mommas. There was even a doggie door so the pups were learning to go outside in the fenced area for their duties. Kim patiently took one pup out at a time and we all watched to see the furbabies' reactions. Davis acted like he could have cared less. So did all of the pups, that is until I came out.
Both of us kissed and snuggled and our tails were wagging like crazy. Yes, we picked each other out. Davis even put up with me pulling on his tail. Once we got home
all that Davis wanted to do was to protect me. He guarded me in my crate. Little did he know that even though to this day, he outweighs me by 20 pounds I am the most vocal in every way that you could imagine. Davis rarely uses his vocal skills. He relies on his body language, which at 61 pounds, I suppose he can do that. All you need is patience and you too can have obedient humans. They really want to please you and make you happy.
First of all, humans want to be sure that we go to the bathroom outside. Our silly humans bought these jingle bells that hang on a ribbon for Davis to use when he was a puppy. The nickname for them is "Tinkle Bells." He fell for this trick hook, line and sinker. I learned to use them just like he did on my first day. The second or third day, I decided to use my own way. Bark! I just went to the back door and gave one bark. They learned what that meant almost immediately. I just wanted my own way to express myself. If at first they ignored me, I let out little woof-woofs or used my paws to pound on the glass at the backdoor. It did not take long to train them.
If either Davis' or my water bowl goes empty, I watched Davis just go to his and then to mine and just mope around, like, "Woe is me!" I found out if I put my two front paws in the steel empty dish and played it like Ringo Starr plays the drums, they come running with water to put in our dishes. My nickname seems to be Ringo and they laugh when they call me that, so I suppose they like him, whoever he is.
Lola and Smiley had to feed us from different bowls for a while. Mine was puppy food, while he had big boy food. His was better and I would sneak it now and then. He seemed to like mine and he would do the same if our humans did not watch closely. We learned another trick too. When they were cooking, stay nearby. They usually drop something, or we give them the pitiful eye look and they will put some cheese or some other treat down for us. Works like a charm every time.
Another trick that have taught our humans is that they are allowed only so much reading time without paying attention to us. If Smiley has the newspaper held up with both hands, Davis jumps up and smacks the paper with his giant paw. Since I am the smaller one, I simply curl up in their laps and put my head across their books. This is for their own good. It has been scientifically proven that petting your furbabies reduces stress significantly.
Our humans seem to love taking pictures of us. We need to be sure that we are in charge of what they snap to share with others. Sometimes I want to appear like a little doodle angel with my sidekick, Davis. For example, Lola wanted to get a picture of the two of us sitting perfectly in front of the Christmas tree, possibly for a Christmas card. On other occasions, I just want to be the Wild Child.
Somehow SantaPaws still came to see us and left goodies.
Both of us love to watch TV when our humans settle down at night and turn something on. I love shows that have dogs in them.
Davis, not so much. He prefers TV shows that have balls in them. Well, none of that lately. He always loves playing with balls. He will take them to Lola or Smiley and they throw it and he catches them in midair and returns it to them. Me? No way! My thoughts on that game is, "Hey, you threw it. You go get it." I prefer chewing on bone marrows, bully sticks, Oinksies and squeaky toys. Those bone marrows make a lot of noise when I drop them on the hardwood floor and the squeaks that I can make from the Kong balls? WOW! Plus, they usually give one to each of us. But the fun is taking Davis' stick or marrow away from him and hiding mine under me. This is why he usually walks around with his bully stick hanging out of his mouth. Lola and Smiley have nicknamed him Sir Churchill. They say he looks like Churchill with his cigar.
If we act a bit too rambunctious one of the best things that our humans do for us is take us to Walnut Grove Animal Clinic. We go to see Dr. Taylor for everything, starting from the our first puppy shots.They already knew Davis so I was quickly known right along with him. I watched him go to Doggie Day Care without me for a few times. I had to wait until I had all of my shots. Then the day arrived. WOW! So many dogs. In all sizes and shapes! It was rather scary. But the Day Care Crew took good care of me, as did Davis. Now, I know my way around and no big dog intimidates me. Davis always has my back. (even though I really don't need it - he is such a proper gentleman) Then, there is Amber who grooms us keeps us looking spiffy. This last time she put little bows on my ears and a bandana for Davis.
We know when it is Doggie Day Care Day. Some talking box that they call Alexa wakes up our humans earlier than they usually get up, both get dressed quickly, Lola gets her purse and shoes and we stare at the leashes while Smiley tries to take us out for our business before getting in the car. We LOVE LOVE LOVE WGAC! They are the best!
With a little extra work, you too can have well trained humans. We all have that duty to help them. We are not spoiled. We just happen to be great at training humans.