Joan Dorsey
Contributing columnist
I am sure a lot of you are tired of puppy stories. Well I am tired of winter, so we are all in the same boat.
I enrolled my puppy in a training class. In order to have a good canine citizen. I mean really?
I did hope my kids never made the paper for police reports, and thank goodness they didn’t. But as long as my dog wasn’t vicious, I thought it was a pretty good citizen. I’m not the first time dog owner, so I have a few basic skills I can teach to a dog. But he needs to be quiet and non biting and non aggressive.
Well at the first session the trainer passes out “clickers”. Yes they are just what we had as kids. They go “click” and make an audible noise.
The object of this is to ask for a specific action, and when the pup responds correctly, you click and give it a treat. Easy enough? Well you would think.
I am not multi dexterous anymore. Holding a leash, telling him to sit, clicking, and then finding a small treat in my pocket is almost too much for me. I tried, really I did.
I wonder if this would have worked on my kids? From birth to say 20? I could have started them young. Potty training might have been much easier, as it was I rewarded them with M&M’s for proper toilet usage. Maybe I should have just clicked and patted them on the head and said, “Good girl-boy?”
I think however – by say 16 – the stakes would have been pretty high for rewards. Gone would be the days for M&M’s. I am sure we would have moved on to small, TV’s, video games, music cd’s etc.
Plus if it was a very big accomplishment, I am sure the click would have been expected to be followed by a nice used car, etc. Well . . . . not in my world.
Last week, there was a lot of treating. Lots of it.
The ride home — which takes about 20 minutes — was horrible. I had a car sick puppy. Enough said.
So I am forgoing the clicker. He honestly thought whenever he heard a click it was for him.
There were eight other owners there clicking constantly.
I am also slowing down on the treats. I don’t want another ride home like the last one.
I have looked around the office at the other workers. I wonder if I clicked and then rewarded if I could get special services.
“Bring me a cup of water? “ click?
“unjam my printer?” click? The rewards would have to be pretty high stake I would think.
The more I think about it; pretty sure this is just a lost cause. I will keep my clicker to myself.
Maybe I will click and reward me when I do something good? Probably not.