I wasn’t the only one who started school last week. Last Sunday, Happy had her first day of school—obedience school!
Our little nugget wasn’t exaaactly the star of the show (there were many tired pups sprawled on the floor who had much less energy than Happy, therefore they didn’t squirm around as much) but she sure was the spunkiest!
Dogmaster Anthony (the instructor) said that Happy is one intelligent cookie (okay, so maybe he didn’t use those exact words…) and that she has a TON of potential. In fact, he even suggested that we take her to agility circuit training.
Say wha…?? *Blank stare* Agility circuit training? What is that?
Apparently, Anthony thinks Happy’s got the smarts to be a star on one of those TV shows where you see dogs doing all sorts of crazy tricks… like zigzagging between poles that are ohhhh… say, about 6 inches apart. Right, sounds good, Antwon. We all know I want my dog zigzagging between the legs of our dining room chairs and running in circles around the dining room table (only to then finish with backflips off the side of the couch) while we’re trying to eat dinner…
Uh huh… yeah. Fat chance.
We’ll stick with the basic “sit” (nailed that within the first 10 minutes of bringing her home), “shake” (done by day 2), and “stay” (still needs some work… she’s mommy’s little lamb and loves being by my side). She even rings a bell hanging off of our front door to signal us when she needs to go outside and potty (learned this by day 4). She also knows words, like “potty,” “carrot,” “kiss,” “crate,” “bed,” “food,” “wanna-eat,” “off,” and “carpet.” I’d be really interested in testing this dog’s IQ. She’s a freakin’ genius, in my book.
By the second week, Ryan taught her how to “nutmeg.” Yeah, you heard that right — nutmeg. I walked through the door after getting home from work one night and Ryan told me “Watch Happy ‘nutmeg’!!” “Um… what? You taught our dog how to cook?” Not quite…
Since Ryan was so big into soccer, he wanted our dog to learn a soccer trick. A dribbling trick some soccer players use is kicking the ball between another players legs. This trick, as Ryan tells me, is called nutmegging. Essentially, Happy “figure-eights” in between Ryan’s legs and then returns to her starting position out in front of him, and sits (of course). I was impressed.
Okay, so back to Happy’s first day at school. We spent an hour working on sitting and staying… working up to “staying” even when we left her side. She did pretty well by the end of class, and we’ve been working on it all week at home.
I’d say she almost has it nailed, unless there is food involved. In this case, it’s hilarious to watch her sit with her butt glued to the floor, staring at her food bowl. When she’s anxious to move (to get her food dish!) she stares up at us and howls like she’s being tortured. She wants to run to her bowl so bad but she knows she has to “stay” until we give her the go-ahead. This is still a work in progress, but she’s making great strides and figuring it out.
Ah, if only this dog could talk… she’s got the best personality, and I just I know she’d have the wittiest things to say. Maybe we’ll work on that next. (I wish).
Do y’all have any suggestions for other tricks we could teach Happy? We’d love to hear ‘em!
In the meantime, we’ll be workin’ our way through Day 2 of obedience school.