My parents were in town this past week, they went to a wedding last Saturday. We had a great time visiting and I think they had a lot of fun playing with Zoe. Over the weekend, while they were away, I watched my mom's dog for them.
One of the best things about my mom's dog is that he knows all the same commands as my dog. One of the worst things about my mom's dog is that he knows the commands, but he doesn't always choose to do them.
I'll relate to you a story from our weekend.
Poor Dunkin, he is not used to the cold, frigid weather of the north. This dog lives in constant summer, which can have cold moments, but does not usually involve a foot of snow. :) Dunkin has never had to deal with going to the bathroom in a foot of snow. He has not had to stand in the freezing cold with bare paws on the freezing snow with someone telling him to "get busy!" for about 20 minutes.
I wasn't too happy about standing out there in the freezing cold either. And after you have said "get busy!" to a dog about 30-40 times, you realize you sound really stupid saying it. I believe I picked up the phrase in one of my dog training books when I first got Oscar. So that's Oscar's phrase and he is usually really good about going once you give him that phrase, especially before a long road trip.
So it's night, it's dark. And it's really cold out. I take the dogs out and Oscar does his normal thing, he runs around and finds a spot. Once he is done he tends to run around and roll in the snow. Picture a pig in the mud, that's Oscar in the snow. Dunkin on the other hand, just looks at me with an expression that clearly says "I'm really cold, can I go back inside please." In response to this expression, I just keep saying "get busy! get busy!".
And then I notice Oscar. Everytime I said "get busy!" he would run and find a new spot to pee in. After about his fourth pee he came over to me very proud of himself for following instructions. I gave Oscar a pat on the head and told Dunkin again to "get busy!". Oscar gives me this look like "again?" and runs back into the snow where he tries with all his might to pee some more. So the whole time I am standing out there freezing, Dunkin is shivering and Oscar is running around peeing on everything he can, while I look like an idiot shouting at a 7 pound Maltese to get busy already!
He refused to go. I took him inside. He has a pee pad thingy. (this is a whole other story...Dunkin doesn't HAVE to go outside to go to the bathroom at his house, which is why I am convinced that he refused to go at my house. Oh wait, he did go at my house. Just INSIDE and not OUTSIDE.) :) (hi mom!)
So I figured he would use the pee pad thing. He didn't. I tried taking him out a few hours later to try again. He still refused to go. This time I left Oscar inside so he wouldn't feel pressured to pee on every tree in the yard. I take Dunkin back in. I place him on the pee pad. I instruct him to "get busy" on the pee pad. Nope, he still refused.
I gave up, put him in his crate for the night, and went to bed. In the morning, I took him out again and he finally went. A really long pee. And when my parents came back to get him? Of course he peed for them just fine on command.
And here I thought I was a dog whisperer. Guess I still need to learn.
Just be careful using the words "get busy" around my house. It means something else to Oscar. ;)