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Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Update on the Dog

This is Steven Petrick posting.

I will admit that Jean's dog is surprisingly intelligent. Given his small size compared to most of the dogs I have known in my life, he packs an awful lot of dogness into pretty small skull.

When his hair is not quite so long, I will generally admit he looks like his name, but I find it somewhat uncomfortable to call him by his given name. Still, he has learned that if I call "puppy" that I mean him and he will come running if not otherwise occupied. This despite the fact that he knows the only reward I am going to give him is petting.

I tend to be a little firmer with him, and pretty consistently demand that he sit and stay before going out the door to the office, or back in. Jean has announced that he wants him to learn to stay in the car until she has gotten out, and I have begun training the dog that when he rides in my car, he must wait to get out until I tell him he can. He does display an ability to understand that this is something he has to do, but he has not learned to do it automatically as yet.

He does not get a lot of amusement when I have to walk him, as I almost always go exactly the same route. The only difference is if there is a time crunch that forces a shorter walk. He has learned that I, at least, do not like him pulling on the leash, and while he tries to keep all of the slack out of the leash, he no longer tries to pull me.

There is a point on the route where two terriers live, and he has learned not to bark back at him because I express disapproval of his doing so, but he does still "mutter under his breath" and try to mark something in their yard.

We are currently having a disagreement when I walk him in that he wants to start fights with larger dogs who are behind fences. Not all of them, but some new ones, and I am again expressing my displeasure (not hurting him) at his doing so.

Still, he has learned not to make messes in the office. He has learned that if he barks or whines at me I will ignore him, but if he touches me quietly (putting his paws on my leg) I will give him some attention.

For his size, he is a very bright dog. I have known dogs with a lot more room in their skulls for brains who were not half as bright.