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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Getting Along

There was a playfight this morning shortly after the sun rose. It looked so fun for both of them that it made The Husband smile. Then Toffee must have bitten a little too hard because Milo bared his fangs at her and in a split second's face-off, Toffee broke his gaze and retreated to examine her toenails like some rebuffed courtesan.

She is gradually learning her place I suppose.

I've learnt to slow down my movements, hold my head high and my shoulders back... and refrain from babytalking Toffee. The Idiot's Guide to Knowing Your Dog informs me that babytalking in a high pitched voice communicates fear in dog language. A fearful dog always gives out high pitched sounds. I certainly don't wanna appear fearful in front of 2 sets of sharp teeth.

This morning, I gave both of them lessons on (1) sitting calmly whilst waiting to be fed and (2) keeping their paws outside the room. Since Milo learnt his lessons better, he received more dog treats... and in his Big Male Dog head, he must have thought that right and good because he has since stopped trying to lord it over Toffee. Milo was really a good boy today. You could have put him in a suit and he would've looked like Jeeves the Butler. He was that dignified and controlled. I fed Milo so many treats that I think Toffee kinda rolled her eyes a little before she flopped down on her belly with a sigh that said "I give up. Can't compete with Teacher's Pet." Or maybe she was saying "Adoi! What a suck-up!!"

After school, the 2 of them went off companionably to the back of the house to lie down and sleep next to each other. To stop Toffee from coming inside the house, Milo lies at the back kitchen door, moving only when I come so that I need not step over him. I learnt that from the Idiot's Guide to Knowing Your Dog too. Unless you want the dog to turn aggressive, never miss an opportunity to let him know that you're high status so I stand there and stare at him until he gets up. Low status dogs give way to high status ones. Since I am the Alpha Bitch, he needs to get up and give way to me or else, he will get the idea that he is Alpha Male.

I also learnt today to growl an instruction only once, and then look him in the eye till he obeys. Don't repeat an order, says the book. Dogs don't like nagging more than kids do. Problem is, this doesn't work with Toffee because she doesn't look at me enough. She has plenty else to look at. Flying insects, birds, ants on the floor, fluttering leaves, flower petals... and the occasional butterfly. As much as Milo looked like Jeeves today, Toffee looked like Bambi with a skinny legs and sharp face. Just paint some white spots on her back and voila... you've got yourself a baby deer with sharp teeth. Ewwww... a travesty of nature!!


L said...

wow! training dogs sure is interesting! do you apply the same principles to your students? =p

petunialee said...

L - Hmmmmm... that's an idea!!

Yin Mei Kelly said...

So funny! Love the way you think about yourdogs. toffee is a screamer by the way. So elegant with those long legs.