June 11, 2007
My friend Janyne came to visit last night. She is a really good dog trainer, she enjoys it and it comes naturally. She's always taught her dogs to ring a bell when they want to go outside, so I asked if she'd teach Ruby and me while she was here.
So between dinner and the strawberry shortcake, she took Ruby to the back door with a baggie of hot dogs and went to work. She kept saying how easy Ruby was to train, that she has constant eye contact, but that it would probably take a few sessions for her to really get it. We know Ruby is smart. The minute we put her in a crate at the age of 9 weeks, she sat down in front of the latch and licked it very carefully for about 30 minutes while Stan and I stared fearfully. She'd never even seen a crate before! Also, Luke trained her to sit verbally and with hand signals before I even knew he was attempting to.
So, Ruby got it! She understands the bell thing. All through dessert she was ringing the bell, I was getting up and opening the door and she'd bounce out onto the porch. She'd look up at me for a piece of hot dog (which I'd stopped giving her long before) or a nice belly rub. Then we'd go back inside. I'd sit down to eat. The bell would ring. Janyne would declare proudly, "She rang the bell," and give me a look like, weellll... I'd take another delicious bite of homemade shortcake with heavy cream whipped with sugar and vanilla, get up, open the door, Ruby would excitedly bounce out, etc. I was up and down about 5 times during dessert. That is, until I got smart and hung the bell out of her reach. No dog is going to control me like that.