For months together people who know me well and have had the pleasure of meeting our darling Annie were all of the opinion that she called the shots in the relationship.
No kidding , in Va’s words ” Annie takes you out for a walk” . Lol ! I made a spectacle of myself many an evening with me being dragged on carter road as Annie and I embarked on our mini adventures meeting pups, dogs and children on Carter Road in Mumbai.
Then one day ( this is the evening of the race when we all went over to Va’s to munch pizza and gossip) I decided to take the “leash” in my hands. That’s when I changed the way I spoke to Annie and I think that made all the difference.
All the dog lovers who have seen / read Marley and me can only agree that dogs are warm and loving but definitely need to be trained and taught. Now things are different , Annie sits when she is told to and stops when we say ” NO” . While I would love to take all the credit for this change in her behaviour , it wont be fair but I definitely think that the following things have helped us out break into this routine :-
- The VOICE :-Using a stern and in control voice with her really works. When giving her orders like “NO” , “SIT” , “STAY” we now use a stern and in control voice , vis-a-vis the “please Annie can we go “
- Gestures – Try to use your hands to communicate with the Dog. Over a period of time she has begun associating with certain gestures. Last evening I realised that she kept looking at me when I spoke to her, looking for cues I guess.
- Don’t spare the rod and spoil the dog :- In NO WAY am I recommending that you hit/beat/hurt the puppy/dog. Yet now as a co pet parent , I now have now started understanding the true meaning of “Spare the rod and spoil the child”. There are moments when Annie deserves a light tap on her nose and she gets it but now we have come to a point when my tone and hand gestures are clear indications that if she doesn’t behave she will get a ‘tap’ and that i think becomes an ego issue for her. ( The initial taps she walked away from us and sat in a corner with her paw on her nose – almost a “talk to the hand” gesture !).
- Reward – When your dog listens to what you say , let him/her know it. You could do this by cooing , patting her head or even by giving a treat to your pet.
- Spend time with your pet. Dogs are the most loving , loyal and perceptive creatures. It has now come to a point when if I am having a bad day or low Annie knows it and she plops herself next to me with her paw on my arm/foot – almost like a ” i’m here for you’. They need to feel they’re loved and wanted too ! Leaving them alone on their own for a long time makes them angsty and bratty , Annie is calmer when we spend time with her regularly and she is feeling loved 🙂
Having said all this Annie’s craziness takes over when she sees us after a long day at work , or meets somebody new or sees a puppy/animal smaller than her ( ya she’s a bully at times). Coming home to a loved and loving pet is the best feeling ever.
Have you trained your dog ? Do you have stories and tips to share ?