Training Downs-Please Don't Call 911!!!
Those who saw a thread I started yesterday know that I have just started working on getting Newlie to go “down” when in motion so that if he ever gets loose, I could maybe prevent him from running out into a street. Well, we were working on it this morning and caused a bit of a neighborhood uproar. (Sigh)
I am relatively soft-spoken person and I learned early on that if I used my regular voice, Newlie would just blow me off. One of the many things I had to learn how to do was to talk louder, deeper and more emphatically to help him get the message that what I said wasn’t optional.
So, this morning, I was working with him out in the yard and having him do a number of downs just as we went through our morning routine. After a few minutes of this, I hit the ball, Newlie chased it and as he started back to me I yelled “DOWN’ in my loudest voice and pointed my finger at the ground. He laid down immediately (instead of running a few more steps before he did) and I was thrilled! Newlie proceeded to duplicate that four or five more times and, of course, I was effusive in telling him how wonderful he was! Then, we switched to some different things and after a few more minutes came back to our “downs.” On the next four or five tries, despite my bellows, he reverted back to running a few steps before going down, so I told him “good,” but no jumping around like an idiot.
Anyway, I had been hearing some background neighborhood noise and chatter, but I wasn’t really paying much attention as my focus was on Newlie. Finally, I hear someone close by that sounded like she was calling to me, so Newlie and I walk up to the gate. She said “Honey, are you OK? Do you need help?” It took me a minute to compute that evidently she had thought I was in some kind of trouble, being attacked or something. I told her no, that I was fine and explained I was training the dog, apologized for the disturbance and thanked her for checking. The lady was very nice and then I saw her turn and motion to someone or some people out of my line of sight and say “Oh no, she’s fine, she is just training the dog.” Could my humiliation be any more complete? I was ready to sink into the ground.
I guess I should be glad that they didn’t call the police and I didn’t have to explain to THEM that I was “just training the dog.” Of course, in my defense, I don’t really think I sounded like a female in distress, I probably sounded more like I needed an exorcist. My guess is that they are not usually listed in the phone book, though.