Scary smart

Our star student

“This dog is SCARY SMART!” announced our trainer at the outset of this week’s obedience class.  “You guys just need to focus on channeling this energy and intelligence in the service of good.”  Understood, Obi-Wan Kenobi. 😉

The thing is, she’s right.  Beau is smart as a whip and catches on to new concepts in NO time.  He frequently ends up being the class ‘demo dog’, which is both a good thing and a bad thing–good because he gets whatever new concept the teacher is introducing in mere minutes, but bad because he’s usually selected because he’s exhibiting a behavior that we’re trying to {ahem} modify.

This week was a case in point.  Our little Beau Man is a lover par excellence.  He’s also nurturing a burgeoning talent as a puller and a jumper.  His jumping is impressive.  I’m not talking a few bunny hops around the arena, I’m talking a “full-on, body tackle, Oh my God I’m so glad to see you that I’m going to jump up and tell you so *eye-to-eye*!” jumper.  🙂

And the pulling, well, this is a newer issue.  He does quite well walking on a loose lead when it’s just the two of us cruising around the neighborhood.  But let us get to the obedience facility where there are SO many dogs and people to greet and, well, imagine a smallish woman waterskiing behind a 60-pound Lab and you’ll have just about the right visual. I’m quite keen on curtailing both of these behaviors, but especially the pulling, as I LOVE to go out for a nice walk with the dog, and it is NO fun if you’re being pulled from pillar to post.  Believe me, I know–I’ve been through this before.

My Chancellor Man

Chance, my first Doberman (may he rest in peace), was a prodigious puller in his youth.  Once, when taking him for a walk, he spied a baby rabbit in the yard and took off in hot pursuit.  I was bound and determined to hang on, as I knew the little rabbit didn’t have a prayer if Chance got loose, and hang on I did.  All the way through the front yard and around the house to the back.  Throughout the course of this “adventure” I mumbled a silent prayer that none of my neighbors happened to be looking out their windows, and when I finally managed to get back on my feet, I was sporting a grass stain that stretched from my bum to my shoulder blades.  But the bunny was safe and I still had the lead in my hands.  But I digress….

And “What of Miss Thing?,” you ask?  Not to be outdone, Lola Bug has begun showing Beau her “obedience chops” anytime she sees the bag of string cheese and poached chicken emerge from the fridge.  While Beau is working to execute the down stay that’s just been requested, Bug has already dropped to the floor (from 2″ above  it) and is eagerly imploring me to hand over the goods.  Or running a circle around Beau and quickly skidding to a sit.  Or rolling over or executing a pirouette while batting her lashes at me alluringly.  As her idol, Mae West, once remarked, “I’m a woman of very few words, but lots of action.”

Dogs–ya gotta love ’em…..

3 comments on “Scary smart

  1. David says:

    The picture of Beau and comments on his quick whit are completely in keeping with my experiences with those chocolate boys. As far as what Kath thought she saw in the picture … well, “wink, wink, nod, nod …”
    – David

  2. kath says:

    As always such a delight to read your posts! The group classes are the perfect place to practice all these new skills, as you already know! Dobes are so smart it can be intimidating so this “little” packet of chocolate love should be a cinch….right? haha! Tug simply must be in youe face at all times, and it can make a pretty big roadblock at times! Keep the faith! Kath
    P.S. Is that what I think it is in the background of that picture of Beau?

    • Hi Kath,

      So glad that you’re continuing to enjoy the posts–it’s really fun to recount our daily adventures.

      Beau and Bug make me stop and think at least once every day and they make me smile ALL the time. 😉

      As for what you’re seeing through the window, that’s a segment of our bronze “Minute Man” statue…. Guess I should have cropped that photo…. 🙂

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