Years ago I watched in horror as my dog decided to run across a very busy 4 lane road.
To my amazement there were no screeching of breaks, no sickening bump and no maimed dog to pick up from the tar.
You can say that some four legged angels watched over him that day…. Lucky mangy cur!
It made me realise though that things like this can happen so quickly and I needed to find a way to stop any dog of mine from emBARKing on such a potential suicide mission again.
Since then I’ve trained all my dogs to SIT at any road and wait for my signal of CLEAR before running over. It took a lot of dried sausage, some major alpha dog posturing and perseverance – but eventually every single dog of ours did it.
Of course it provided for some funny entertainment along the way. Its hysterical to watch them run up and down the side walk, plonking their asses down every couple of centimetres and huffing and puffing in indignation because nobody wants to give them the CLEAR command to cross the road. My friend once took them for a walk as a favour and when he came back he was fuming! Apparently the only way he could get the dogs to cross the road was to pick each one up and carry them over. According to him – my dogs were all possessed! Oops! I forgot to tell him about the CLEAR command.
When my sister’s puppy arrived – I started the same training with her. This unfortunately kicked off in the middle of winter while it was still dark and freezing every morning and every night. You know those days right? It’s when the wind is howling, the rain is lashing down and no amount of coaxing will unlock any dog’s butt. And the rule is… no POOP no going back to a nice warm house!
My sister’s puppy is a bit of a strange breed. It has the long elongated body and short legs of a Sausage Dog and the sturdy body and big head of a Jack Russell. So basically she looks like a little tank with an extremely low chassis!
Now I will admit to a certain amount of night blindness. Every time the two of us got to a road – I would say SIT and then put my hand under her butt to see if she was indeed sitting and then off we went with the CLEAR command. This was basically done because she was so low to the ground you couldn’t really see whether she was sitting or standing.
Now with Summer drawing closer, we can finally see on our night and morning walks! While twilight still reigned supreme, I kept on thinking to myself that this dog is sitting VERY strangely. When it became lighter – I kept on staring at her confusedly because I became more and more convinced that something was indeed seriously wrong. When people started pointing at us and laughing – I realised that I was not imagining it!
I asked her to sit again and then looked at her from the side and then the penny dropped…..
She wasn’t sitting – she was doing a bizarre Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon impression!
Was she doing this because I kept on putting my hand on her to see if she was sitting down? But I never pushed down – I just gently patted – so what started this bizarre behaviour? I swear I’m forever cursed to never have a normal animal in my house – EVER!