Sadie is usually pretty good with her manners. When the family eats at the dinner table, Sadie usually sits quietly on the rug just watching everyone. When I’m in the mood to eat by the TV, Sadie sits next to me hoping I’ll give her a bite. But she doesn’t whine or complain if she doesn’t get anything. However, Sadie occasionally gets into a greedy mood for her doggy treats and begs incessantly next to her treat cabinet. I’ve recently discovered a creative way to get Sadie’s mind off of those treats. I distract her with love.
Have you ever noticed that if your dog isn’t feeling cuddly, then when you try to get some hugs and doggie kisses, your dog wriggles in your arms and tries to get out of your grasp? Well I decided to take that scenario and use it to my benefit. After Sadie sat begging by her treat cabinet for a while and refused to move even when I told her no, I decided to try a new approach. I got on the floor with Sadie and began hugging her and kissing her little head and holding her close to me. In less than three minutes Sadie was out of the kitchen, away from the treats, and settling down for a nap on the couch. I repeated this process a few times, and now whenever Sadie is begging for extra treats, I just approach her making kissy noises and she runs off. While I’m a little sad that the thought of Mommy kisses makes Sadie run from me, it is a useful tool to snap Sadie’s mind out of unwanted behavior.
Unfortunately for me, Sadie has figured out where I keep new toys that I haven’t given to her yet. At some point every day I can usually find Sadie sitting in front of the closet door, wishing that it would open and the new toys would jump out. If she sees me go near the closet, she runs over and looks expectantly from me to the closet, waiting for me to get her a toy. If I don’t immediately comply, Sadie grumbles, whines, and even barks at me to open the door and give up the toys. Sometimes I give in, but mostly I just ignore her in the futile hope that she’ll understand that she doesn’t get a new toy every time I go into the closet.
But Sadie’s latest attempt to convince me that she deserved a new toy had me laughing hysterically. I hadn’t heard a peep out of Sadie for like an hour, so I went looking to see what she was up to. I found her sitting in front of THE closet. As soon as she heard me coming around the corner, she jumped up, wagged her tail at me, and squeaked the toy in her mouth. She made some more happy noises, then looked from me to the closet door a few times, as if she was saying “well aren’t you going to open the door?” When I didn’t move toward the door, she started barking at me to get a move on. But her barking came out all cute and muffled by the squeaky ball in her mouth. So basically she was begging me to get her a new toy while squeaking the toy already in her mouth. When I walked in the opposite direction of the closet she started whining and giving me the sad deprived puppy eyes. It’s kind of hard to pull off the sad deprived puppy act when you never stop squeaking the ball already in your mouth.
Like most dogs, Sadie always comes to investigate the smell of food. But unlike most dogs, Sadie often rejects what she’s smelling as something she doesn’t want to eat. For example, Sadie knows and is not interested in the smell of chocolate. That is one quirk I’m very thankful for, especially at this time of year. Sadie will hear me opening a bag and unwrapping something and come to investigate. As soon as she smells that all I’ve got is boring old chocolate, she goes back to whatever she was doing. But if the chocolate is mixed with other smells, like candy with peanut butter or coconut, that is a different story. It always takes some convincing for Sadie to understand that even though it smells like peanut butter, it is still not for dogs. Continue reading →