When we were first training Daisy in the art of “no”, her strong will put up quite a fight against our commands. At first she’d listen, but we could see her brain churning as she decided how to counteract future orders. Those eyes of hers are definitely windows into her mind!
She reminded me of a teenager who pushes the envelope further and further each time to see just how much they can get away with before Mom and Dad finally snap and get really tough. The vet told us to get a whistle and blow it every time she ignored the “no” or “down” commands.
Well, with our overly full lives, we kept forgetting to buy the whistle. Finally, my patience ran out, and I knew I had to do something to let this puppy know we’re not to be trifled with. So I got the next loudest thing to a whistle that I had around the house – a small metal pot lid and spoon. And the next time our little puppy decided not to listen and just yapped stubbornly with that belligerent, challenging “what-are-you-going-to-do-about-it” expression, I whipped out the pot lid and clanged it with the spoon.
WOW. Instant attention. That nasty expression was wiped right off her face. She hated that sound! But it worked. She immediately complied with the command and sat down staring at me from several feet away, and she didn’t repeat the offense for the rest of the day. Okay, I thought, good, I’ve got her attention now. She knows there’s a price to pay for not listening.
It only took a few lid clangings for her to realize that I was serious and she was going to have to endure that sharp sound whenever she didn’t listen. It’s amazing how fast a puppy will reform when she doesn’t like the punishment!
I haven’t had to clang the pot lid for a couple of months now, but the other day to my surprise, I discovered that Daisy didn’t forget what pot lids meant to her. (Whoever says that dogs don’t have memories are nuts!) All of a sudden I heard Daisy barking and growling up a storm in the kitchen, so I raced in to see what the trouble was – images of strangers wearing black ski masks getting ready to break the windows raced through my head.
Nope. The large skillet lid was sitting on the kitchen counter; Daisy spotted it and was giving it hell. I was amazed that she had that type of recall, and it was fascinating to see her reaction to this apparent nemesis of hers! After a little while, she just grumbled and backed out of the kitchen. I laughed so hard, but it just goes to show that these little creatures should definitely not be underestimated!