When Dogs Train Dogs

Dog thru dog doorOur dogs are crate trained, so if they’re in the house they’re in their crate. (Did I mention this is Southern California so most of the time they’re outside and when they come in they’re tired!) Tuesday, the lab mix and Pippa the whippet share the same oversized, roomy crate. We keep the crate near the French doors to the back yard. It’s in the dining area of the kitchen so they can see everything going on in the kitchen, dining room and living room from there, and that’s where most of the action in the house is.

Suddenly, this week one of the adults figured out that if we moved the crate underneath the counter where we eat, do homework, work on lap tops etc., and placed the crate door right in front of the dog door, the dogs could go in and out without anyone having to open the crate and let them out the door. The crate was moved.

We’ve thought Tuesday was “Smarty Jones” when it came to being trained. She was easy to train to follow hand and even “finger” movements – palm up for stop, fingers moving down for sit, finger in a circle for roll over etc. When it came to learning to go in-and-out the dog door – nothing! She wasn’t budging. (It is one of the doors with double flaps – one inside and one outside.) Pippa on the other hand got the process after seeing only one demonstration. Then she proceeded to run in and out several times urging Tuesday to hurry up and come out and play. Tuesday would start to go through then back up and sit down. Pippa would run in and out a couple more times as if yelling “hurry up!” Finally, duh, (we certainly weren’t thinking!) we had to get the Full Life for Pets training rewards out, sit on the outside and lift up the flaps so she could get a good whiff of the treats. And, when Tuesday saw Pippa outside getting a treat, she finally plowed right through! It was a family celebration!

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