Saturday, August 13, 2005

Back to School For Your Bulldog

English Bulldog cards, bulldog gifts, bulldog t-shirts, bulldog health: "Back to School
Well, it's August already, and we're getting
a little relief from the 90+ degree heat here
in Denver. Phew!
August means 'back to school' time for a lot
of folks. And it got me thinking about school for
bulldogs. Can they be taught anything?
We know they are very stubborn, but
like any other dog they live to please us.
When Vivy was young she was quite ill for a long
time, and the vet said don't make her go outside
in the snow, she's too weak. Well, needless to
say, her potty training was awful.
So when she finally got well at six months old, I had
a very poorly housebroken dog. It didn't do any
good to get mad at her, so I tried praising her
for doing the right thing. Initially I'd give her a treat
and enthusiasticly praise her every time she went
outside to pee. She got the idea and soon there
were no more 'accidents'.
Then I wanted to train her to 'stay' since she
would run off at any opportunity. Trainers say
that is the most difficult command to teach.. So
I decided to connect it with her breakfast and
When it was time to eat, I made her sit and 'stay!'
I would stand between her and the food and have
her sit. I included a hand signal of upraised
flat palm (as in halt)with the voice command.
First I'd have her stay for just a moment. Then
with a sweeping, pointing hand signal I'd direct
her to the food bowl. She was very happy to eat.
I gradually increased the time, eventually being
able to leave the room for a short time and find her
still sitting when I returned.
She quickly got the idea. Now when she looks
like she's going to run off or is considering the
bulldog body slam, I simply raise my hand up and
say "STAY". And she does it!
Gotta love that!"

--you can teach an old bulldog new tricks!