When I was a puppy I would get bored very quickly if training sessions weren’t exciting. I didn’t see the point in repeating the things I knew how to do, over and over again. I loved learning new things to do and that was how my bipeds kept my interest in a training session. This means I have quite a repertoire of tricks I can do for treats, which is always a good thing!
One of these tricks turned out to be dangerous for the male biped and was abandoned, but some of the tricks have come in useful and I plan to tell you about one of those today.
One of the earliest tricks they taught me was to walk backwards. My biped would be in front of me while I was standing and she would get a treat and take it right under my nose towards my chest. I would tuck my head in to get the treat but I couldn’t quite get it until I took a step back. Once I knew what she wanted me to do, she added the word “back”. After a few weeks we started to build up the number of steps I took to make it more entertaining for me.
When I was a puppy I had a knack for sticking my head, and sometimes the rest of me, into tight corners. My bipeds said that I followed my nose without a thought to getting out again. There’s some truth in that, but I still think it’s a very bad arrangement of furniture if you can push your way behind the sofa and not have room to turn around to get out again! They didn’t like me pushing the furniture out of my way, so they would say “back” to me so that I reversed out. I soon became quite proficient at reversing!
When I was about six months old and almost the size I am now, my bipeds took me with them to visit some other bipeds. I sat very quietly indoors and, when we went outside, the bipeds that we were visiting said that it would be fine to let me loose in the garden. I sniffed around the grass and played with one of my toys while the bipeds all sat and chatted.
Then I decided to go and sniff the large greenhouse that was in one corner of the garden. One of my bipeds called me away and I went back to sniffing the grass. When the bipeds were happily chatting again, I moved away and went back to the greenhouse. There was a gap behind it, leaving just enough room to walk between it and the fence.
I went into the gap and scurried along it, only to be confronted by another fence at the end of the greenhouse. It was a dead end! Before I had time to consider how I was going to get out I heard one of my bipeds say, “Clowie, keep still!”
I stayed where I was and it was only a second later that the female biped was right behind me. She said, “Clowie, back!”
I started walking backwards. Occasionally she would put a hand on one side of me or the other to keep me reversing in a straight line. It would have been so much easier with wing mirrors!
When we were out safely the male biped said, “That was a nice piece of driving – puppy and greenhouse intact!”
I don’t get into pickles like that anymore! I’m also much better at reversing now. I can reverse round a corner and I can do a three-point turn with a little help!
See you next Wednesday!