Charlie isn’t really an old dog, but he’s no spring chicken. He’ll be seven on March 22. You’re invited to help him celebrate. Have a milkbone. For every day of his seven years, Charlie’s been our wittle fur baby. Spoiled and catered to, and indulged beyond words. He sleeps in our bed, under the covers. He gets special occasion meals for his birthday, Christmas, and all major and minor holidays. He gets dessert every night after dinner. He has 2 boxes full of toys. We haven’t spent much time training him, because he never needed training 🙂 He nailed the housebreaking early and I think that’s all we cared about. Our only bone (hehe) of contention has been his begging at the table. For 7 years we’ve been allowing Charlie to beg, jump up, and generally be a nuisance at meal times. Why didn’t we teach him not to do that? Lazy.
One night I was watching It’s Me or the Dog on Animal Planet, and Victoria Stillwell was working with a family of dogs. She showed the owners how to train their dogs to stay out of the kitchen without physically restraining them. She made it look so easy, so I thought I’d give it a shot. It really WAS that easy. She used a command, a gesture, and body blocking, so that’s what I did. In a couple of sessions, maybe 30 minutes of effort on my part, Charlie learned to stay out of the kitchen while we’re eating. Magic. He just sits or lies behind the line, and waits to be told he can leave. He doesn’t even try that sneaky belly crawling thing that most dogs do. I love you Victoria.
Usually Charlie only does what he wants to do. I still haven’t trained him to lie down, even though I’ve spent a lot of time trying. He knows what I want, just won’t do it. That’s why this is such a breakthrough. I’m just tickled.