The Law of Diminishing Returns

I’ve told you a few tales about puppy classes and how I tried to liven them up. Some of the things we were asked to do were very boring and, I thought, pointless!

This particular week, I was fifteen weeks old. We had been playing, having a wonderful time, and then it was the part of the evening I disliked. The trainer told our bipeds to get us to sit, or lie down, quietly and to look in our ears, look in our mouths, check our paws and then brush us. Didn’t she know that my biped had already done this at home earlier? It was such a waste of time when there were so many puppies to play with!

I refused to sit. My biped waved the treat near my nose and took it up over my head, but I wasn’t interested in the treat at all. I decided to pull and try to get away, I wanted to play. My biped kept a firm grip on my lead and wouldn’t let me go. I started pulling in different directions. She shortened the lead and kept a firm grip.

The trainer came over, picking her way between all the quiet puppies, and asked, “What’s the matter with Clowie?”

My biped said, “I think she just wants to play.”

The trainer said, “She’s upset about something, maybe she needs a toilet break.”

My biped said that I’d been before we came into class. But the trainer said, “She’s still very young, she probably needs to go again. Take her outside and she’ll soon calm down.”

So, my biped took me outside. I was thrilled and started running around, as far as the lead would allow, with my nose to the ground. My biped spoke to me to get my attention and took me to some grass and walked me around. I was delighted – there were so many interesting smells!

After a few minutes of walking around, my biped took me back into the hall. They had finished the boring part of the evening and the children present were now making a fuss of the puppies. A group of the children saw us come back into the hall and came running over to make a fuss of me. This was wonderful! I was a very tired and contented puppy when we went home.

When the next week arrived, I was naughty the whole time. Then, when it was time to sit quietly and be brushed, I started struggling as hard as I could to get away. I knew I didn’t have to do this boring part of the class – I had got out of it last week! My biped just kept a very firm grip on me and didn’t move. Then I saw the trainer coming over and so I bounced and pulled harder – she’d know what I wanted.

She said, “I think you should take Clowie outside for a toilet break and to calm down.”

She certainly had one part right – I wanted to go outside, it was much more fun! But I wanted to sniff and explore, I didn’t want to calm down and I didn’t need the toilet. My biped, unfortunately, seemed to know exactly what I was thinking! She said, “No, I don’t think so. Last week she was thrilled to get outside and sniff around – to go outside would be rewarding her behaviour.”

The trainer said, “Well, it’s up to you of course, but she’s far too young to see it that way.”

We stayed where we were! I carried on pulling and bouncing and making a fuss, but my biped would not budge. My plan had failed!

I tried again the next week, but I didn’t pull and struggle for quite as long. I settled down for the last minute or so, as I was tired and needed to think. The week after that I gave up struggling even sooner, I needed a new strategy. I decided I should treat this boring part of the evening as a good time to rest and eat some treats, so that I had lots of energy for the part that followed. And the next week I settled down, almost immediately, and allowed myself to be brushed. The trainer came across and said, “Clowie has improved, I hadn’t realised that Pyrenean Mountain Dog puppies could be so determined!”

The trainer was right, we can be very determined, but we’re also bright enough to recognise a lost cause when we see one – even if it takes us a few weeks to do so!

See you next Wednesday!

93 thoughts on “The Law of Diminishing Returns

  1. Your puppy class events always make me smile 🙂

  2. It’s hard to know who to congratulate – you both approached the classes with such clear goals!

  3. I never went to puppy school. Zac used to tell me his stories, he was rather like you! After his experiences The Producer decided I was better off not going to a class which allowed the puppies to run off leash and be crazy. It was not the greatest class!
    Thought I might mention that The Producer has put her beloved on warning that the next puppy they get is probably going to be a Pyrenean. As she hasn’t a hope of getting his agreement I’m not worried.

    • My bipeds found it difficult to find training classes that were useful. I had lots of fun though!
      Zena, you’d look delightful next to a Pyrenean! I was already a lot heavier than you when I was getting up to this mischief in puppy class.

      • It would give the bigger dogs in the reserve something to think about though wouldn’t it?
        And it would really cement my superstar status – my own bodyguard!
        hmmm, I’m warming to the idea 🙂

        • Not many dogs would mess with you, if you had a Pyrenean as a bodyguard! My little Tibbie pal can walk underneath me without ducking her head.

  4. I’ve started pup classes Clowie and like you I hate the boring bit..Sit, stay, lie down.. I wouldn’t get away with jumping all over the place do they know us so well? I might cross my legs and whine..see if that gets me outside for a good sniff..bol. Have a great Wednesday, see ya next week 🙂 xx0xx

  5. Oh Clowie! 😉

    Whee love going outside too. Outside means lots of grass to eat and looks of interesting smell and things to do. Hoomans go out all the time and they seem to forget to appeciate these things.

    Maybe whee animals are just more atuned to these things?! 🙂

    Nibbles, Nutty, Buddy & Basil

  6. We never went to puppy classes but I would have played up as well. Have a wonderful Wednesday.
    Best wishes Molly

  7. I find that bit boring too. When we do 15 mins down stays in my class, I either snooze or I creep towards my nearest friend and try to get them to play with me – as long as we stay on the ground we’re technically ‘down’ BOL

  8. At least you got the treats even if you didn’t get to sniff about outside!

    But here is a thought my pal why is it called puppy classe when you are the one doing all the hard work and training?!

  9. I didn’t go to school until I was rescued – I was already 3 years old. I had plenty of bad habits to break. The teacher kept us so busy, I didn’t even have time to be naughty. I never thought to pretend I needed to go out. That would’ve been SO much fun!

    Love and licks,

  10. Clowie you are one smart puppy. Getting the bipeds figured out is often a challenge but it sure didn’t take you long to “get it” !! Biped training is the ultimate challenge and you’re doing SUPER well so far….. 😀 😀

    Kitty Hugs, Sammy

  11. Don’t ya just hate it when your human is smarter than the trainer? *sigh* On the bright side, you got cookies!

  12. mistletoeandhitch

    Something I learned with my son, which applies to my furbabies as well, is that you are the authority on your charge. No one knows that young mind better than the one who deals with it daily. Thank goodness your biped stood her ground with the trainer. Teachers are a valuable resource, but can’t know every student intimately. That’s what “mom” is for. No matter who, or what, your baby is, remember, you know her/him best.

    • Yes, my biped knew that I was always trying to work out how to get my own way! She said she did feel a little embarrassed refusing to do as she was told with everyone looking at her – a bit like a naughty schoolgirl.

  13. Clowie, you are so smart!

    You know I took Boomer to a class when he was a puppy and he did really well… until we left. Dottie on the other hand never went to class and is quite a little lady… most of the time.

  14. Hey Clowie,

    You sure were a clever pup, especially knowing how to get a treat! 🙂

    Wags to all,

    Your pal Snoopy 🙂

  15. You are one smart doggy & have one smart biped!

  16. Ah! Determined, bright and beautiful! 🙂

  17. I loved my puppy class and really enjoyed learning a thing or two. Smart dog!

  18. What an awsome student you are. I love your tale.

  19. *whispers* The Boxers were asked to leave puppy class as they were too bouncy 🙂

  20. Well Miss Clowie, sounds like you have a biped who may just be one paw ahead of you and your master mind planning! MOL play bows and hugs, Savvy

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