Saturday, June 25, 2011

Teaching an Old Dog New Tricks

Andy was about 6 the last time I disciplined him. Training him was easy. He normally followed Abby’s lead and figured out what he was supposed to do or not do. He was so eager to please, which was one of the many traits making him such a good and sweet dog.

We had lived at my condo for at least a couple of years when the incident happened. We were standing at a corner of a busy intersection. Abby and Andy knew to stop if I stopped. We had to train Abby to do that, but Andy learned this from Abby. The street we in front of us has 4 lanes and is a major artery in downtown Raleigh.

The light was still red and I was still standing. Andy started to walk into the street. He came close to walking into traffic. I was shocked and horrified. I reacted immediately and jerked on Andy’s collar. He froze and look startled. I told him he was a bad boy and swatted his rump. I hated to do it, but he need to learn fast that he cannot walk into the street without my permission. I still feel a twinge of pain now just thinking about that day.

The next time we walked, later that night, across the street, I would see if he learned. Sure enough, at the intersection, he not only stopped but he gazed up at me with a look that said “Did I do it right?” I leaned over, congratulated him, and said he was a good boy. I hugged him and he gave me a few kisses. He never again crossed the walk without permission.

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