Ralphie Nugget has been enrolled in Basics and Beyond class. Having successfully graduated from Puppy School last year, and then promptly pooping on the floor—twice—the very next day, we thought it might be helpful to get some additional training for our little gem.

He has grown a lot since his original training. He now jumps into the car all by himself; I am outlandishly proud. In addition to knowing his Sit, Down, Off, and Stay commands, he knows how to fetch (for hours on end), and to Drop It and Leave It before the ball gets thrown again. Plus, he enjoys going to the top of the hill to drop the ball so he can watch it roll down the hill to his human. I’m telling you, dog is a genius.

Of course all training goes straight out the window when Grandpa arrives, mostly because Grandpa likes to hide French fries in his sleeves for Ralphie to find. There are also treats in Grandpa’s pockets. And Grandpa thinks it is great fun when Ralphie jumps all the way up in the air to give Grandpa a kiss directly on the mouth with his lizard-length tongue. According to Miss Amy, the instructor, it is important to get everyone on board with the training to make it a success. But obviously this is a battle that I cannot win (refer to above statement about French fry dispensing shirt sleeves). So to use my total bad ass husband’s (PTST) Project Management speak: expectations have been reset to be more in line with reality.

The Nugget remains timid, something that appears to just be part of his doggy personality. We no longer take him to the dog park, since all the other dogs scare him to death and he just runs from them instead of playing. Nor does he care to go to Petco; it’s just too much for our delicate flower. He does, however, relish a trip to Tractor Supply. I believe the cashier feeding him multiple Pupperonis has something to do with this.

Hopefully, additional socialization in school will help our little man become more confident. But the real reason we are back to school is he refuses to heel. He knows how to heel; he simply chooses to not participate in the heeling idea while out and about with his humans. Oddly, if you drop the leash, he doesn’t go anywhere. Makes no sense. But that’s our dog in a nutshell: an odd little duck who defies logic and loves to dance.

Fortunately, the other dog in our class has similar issues with heeling. So we will be spending lots of time focusing on the Heel command. Hopefully, this time the humans will catch on. No doubt it is us doing it wrong, not the dog. And after spending this morning being drug across the Rail Trail, my retaining can’t happen soon enough…


One thought on “BACK TO SCHOOL

  1. Your dog training issues reminds me of a story I heard years ago. “the snake”
    The short version is, this guy bought a snake from a pet store and trained it to do things on command. One day the snake bit him, so he took the snake back to the pet store to return it. When asked why are you returning it, he said cause it bit me. The clerk said didn’t you know it was a snake when you bought it ?. Ralphie is a dog, train him all you like, he’ll still be a dog.


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