Sunday, June 3, 2012

Abysmal dog training while living with my brats

Living with two dogs that shed astronomically in the Southwest is beginning to change my habits. I thought the snowfall drifts on the hardwood were all Gracie till I took Brody to the vet to get stiletto, killer nails trimmed just two months after they last were cut. Mopping and sweeping intervals have picked up.

(Brody, my city dog, isn't too fond of grass and icky dirt. He runs around only a little. I have to shove him off the deck to pee. Gracie lures him into games of chase every so often. Gracie mucks about in the yard and her nails grow more slowly.)

When both sprawl, you really see Brody's half-Corgi factor: both lie on their bellies, legs behind, white feet and ankles making dashes at their ends. Schematic: head:o body:-- feet: |, hyphenated by two feet. So they both lie o--|

And sometime soon, I will learn how to insert photos to illustrate.

Brody remains highly unsocialized with other dogs. The bigger they are, the more scared he is and the more he growls and lunges. I have a good collar on him now to catch him at it. Right now, I doubt if I can ever take him to a dog park. Fortunately, he and Gracie hit it off except for a few jealous skirmishes immediately. They are both "of the home." Both understand that.

On the other hand, with new people he lunges, they both do, for attention. They are horrible for my friends, and it is my fault. I have at least begun training again with Gracie and for the first time with Brody. I do not know what to do except to make both absolutely obedient to sit and stay. So I'm beefing up on that.

I have stopped responding to Gracie when she does her demand yell--a loud, almost window-shaking bark. That's helping slowly.

Gracie loves to work. Brody also likes to keep busy. Lessons help them stay content. They also need about twice the personal attention: talking to, walks, petting, of any other dog I've ever had. Corgis are smart. You don't let them dwindle away to boredom. Other dogs will sleep. Gracie and Brody will, too. Awhile. They also find something else to do. Given that Gracie is one and Brody 2, a great deal of what they find to do is chewing.

Gracie digs holes that look like a posthole-digging madman has run about the yard. If only I could train her to dig where I wish! Oh, Gracie, the beautiful back yard we would have!

I still catch Gracie jumping in my vegetable garden now and then. When I do, I yell. She pauses a second before jumping out. Huh. More alpha work.
And last night, I found a half-eaten large tomato. I hadn't seen it--I have a bunch of ripening ones on my four plants.

Oh, Gracie. Now you've torn it. Shoes, books, paper, clothes, electronics, you have chewed them all. But Gracie, this is tomatoes.

Gracie, you're in real trouble now.

No comments: