ClickerSolutions Training Treasures

Princess Speaks Out

Hi List!

My name is Princess, though Stacy calls me "Black Dog", I think because she thinks I'm not dignified enough to be a princess, and I *am* a black lab!

I've been staying the past 2 weeks with Stacy and I think we're both really enjoying it! Living with a clicker trainer is not what I thought it would be like. It's not like she walks around clicking and treating me all the time. In fact, she thinks I'm too dependent on being near her (she calls me a "velcro dog"), so she usually only talks to me or comes up to pet me when I'm some distance from her. I've mostly given up on whining and crying to get her attention - it doesn't work (unless it's late at night or early in the morning, and I'm shut outside!).

Stacy says that it's Dave's idea that I'm not supposed to go in the kitchen or bedroom. She makes me "wait" in the doorway. When she's in there for a while she'll click while she's in there and then come out and treat me, or she'll praise me from in that other room. Sometimes my reward is that I get to *run* across the kitchen from the living room to the back door, or from the back door to the living room.

Stacy is so weird. She seldom feeds me my food in my bowl. She puts half of it in the Buster Cube - but I'm getting better at pushing that thing around and getting all the food to come out (and sometimes there's a little CAT food in there, too!). I seldom just bark at it in frustration any more. And sometimes she just *throws* half of my dinner all over the grass! It takes me a few minutes to sniff all the pieces out and eat them, when I'd normally eat it all quickly in a few gulps!

And while I'm playing with the cube or searching the grass, she goes into the office and goes back to *endlessly* typing at that computer. Today she yelled at the printer! I don't know what it did - she's never yelled like that at me, even when I knocked over her soda onto the carpet.

You know another way she's wierd? She praises me and feeds me treats while I'm in my crate, but then after she opens the door she's totally quiet and often just does some laundry or something and ignores me! Then when it's time for me to go back in my "box", when I go in she gets all excited and starts feeding me again! I trot right in my box now!

Our walks are weird, too. She keeps stopping, every time I start to really get under way, it seems. She does bring the clicker and the treats on walks now. Actually, I like walking right near her, or just ahead - not really pulling. When we get to the park she puts the treats away, which is good 'cause I don't want to share *anything* with other dogs!

And she gets out my Kong on a rope. Actually, she *did* use that until her friend Buster grabbed the other end of the rope when I had the Kong. She said, "Give it up, Black Dog, he's a pit mix and he's got strong jaws!" but I *never* let go of my toy! So we broke it. Now we play with a foxtail, which is like a baseball with a kite tail (not the nasty grasses) but we keep an eye out for Buster!

You know the other time she got out the clicker and treats? She would only click when I touched this empty soda can with my nose. Then she'd toss the treat some distance away. Just sitting and staring at her did nothing - she went back to editing her class handbook. But everytime I went and nudged that soda can, there'd be the click! Well, almost every time. Sometimes I think I was faster than her.

Well, I just thought I'd let all you know how things are going with us. I like it here. Sometimes she gives me a rawhide chewie and I'm so happy I roll on my back and toss it in the air! And sometimes my tail wags in my sleep. She says I'm silly.

Princess aka Black Dog

kindly typed by Stacy Braslau-Schneck
copyright 1999 Princess (and Stacy Braslau-Schneck)


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