If you have read “Communication Breakdown” you will know that I discovered that the best way to encourage my biped to prepare my meal quickly was to sit very nicely and watch her intently. She didn’t understand that I was encouraging her when I jumped up her and tapped her enthusiastically – she just stopped preparing my food and I had to find another way to encourage her.

Soon after I’d mastered sitting quietly, and oh so patiently, we started working on a new trick together. She would put a treat on the floor and I had to wait a moment. I was persuaded to do this because I would often get a second treat for waiting. But I did notice that the length of time I had to wait before being told I could take it increased!

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Follow My Lead

I’ve found it quite difficult to train my bipeds to walk nicely on the lead. I have to coax them along very carefully. I should be able to tow my bipeds along at the speed I choose – I’m big and strong, it should be easy! I’ve seen bipeds being towed along, arms straight out and the lead taut, it always looks so delightful to me. Some very small dogs seem to manage it very well. I sometimes think I have the most stubborn bipeds on the planet! But I think I should take you back to the beginning, so that you can see how this came about and, hopefully, other puppies will be able to avoid my mistakes.

My first mistake was that I didn’t understand how important it was to train my bipeds to walk well on the lead. I initially refused to walk when the lead was attached and they had to tempt me with treats. Getting as many treats as possible seemed like a really good plan, but, with hindsight, I can see my priorities were wrong at that early stage. They’d managed to get the upper paw, quite sneakily I might add. I discovered the importance of bipeds being lead-trained when I had my first real walk and I set about training them afterwards.

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Communication Breakdown

I was three months old. I could only just reach the worktop in the kitchen with my front paws. One of my bipeds was getting my lunch ready for me. I was really pleased about that. I thought that I would show my appreciation and maybe get her to do it a little bit faster. I started bouncing about and jumped up and put my paws on her waist and tapped her enthusiastically.

She put the things she was using down on the worktop and told me to sit. I pawed at her more enthusiastically and made some noises so that she would understand that I was in a hurry for my lunch. She turned away from me and went to the other side of the room and sat down. I hurried across and tapped her with my paw. She told me to sit. I tapped her leg harder and she again told me to sit. I didn’t want to sit, I was trying to tell her that I was in a hurry to get my lunch. I decided she might work it out if I nipped her knee. She got up and walked out of the room, closing the door behind her. I still hadn’t had my lunch!

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The Puppy Mutiny

I told you some weeks ago about my very first puppy class and how very well-behaved I was. A few weeks had gone by since then and I was now allowed to walk from the car into the hall on my own paws. I was feeling much more confident and I felt it was time to liven things up a bit.

We all did a little walking on our leads with our bipeds and then the trainer asked us all to go and sit down. She said it was time for us to do our recall – I could hardly wait! The first puppy ran down the hall to his biped, as normal. It was my turn. We went to the trainer. My biped unclipped my lead and the trainer held my collar. My biped jogged to the other end of the hall, got down on her knees and called, “Clowie, come!”

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Gardening Part 2 – Barking up the Right Tree

If you’ve read “Gardening Part 1 – Digging my way to Oz” , you’ll remember that I have green paws! I told you all about the work I was doing on the grass area called a lawn and how my bipeds were so impressed they said it was becoming a rabbit warren.

It wasn’t many days after that, when the bipeds started some work of their own in the garden. They moved some plants – I discovered why it had been a failure when I’d moved them. It seems you have to make the new hole for them and pop them in it, plants are totally helpless! Then my bipeds did some digging and moved earth away – they didn’t let me help with any of this. I was surprised to see that the hole was deeper than any that I had dug, but it was a very boring shape. Then they made some sort of edging which was raised up a little. I heard them say it should keep the bark inside the area. That made no sense at all, I can bark louder than a lot of dogs and I was fairly sure that even if I stood inside this area the dogs at the other end of the street would still be able to hear me.

They brought out some big bags that they said contained bark. I was curious to see what barks looked like as I’d only heard them. I soon discovered they were talking about pieces of the rough skin from trees! Apparently bipeds use it in the garden to stop weeds. They put all this bark into the area they’d been digging. The male biped spread it out so that it was quite flat. Just when I thought he was going to fetch his big spirit level to check it, I heard the female say, “That’ll do, it’s flat enough!” I wasn’t particularly impressed with the results of their work, my efforts were always much more artistic.

Bark chippings

They then started to do some really strange things. I don’t often see my bipeds down on their hands and knees and, I must say, it is usually quite entertaining when they are. They started scratching at the bark with their hands and saying what fun it was. I was glad that they were having a laugh and I was enjoying watching them playing. I settled myself down comfortably to see what they would do next.

They stopped and had a little chat and then they went and fetched some of my toys and some treats. They started playing with my toys, but I was having so much fun just watching them playing that I didn’t join in. Then they started scattering treats around, so I decided that now they really did need my help! When I had cleared up what they had scattered, one of them started burying treats and then digging them back up. I decided to show them that I could get the treats back up much more efficiently than they could. This made them laugh! They kept burying treats to see how fast I could get to them. We had a wonderful time playing in the bark.

I really liked this bark area and worked on making it a little more artistic every day. If I ever started to dig anywhere else in the garden, one of my bipeds would take me across to my special place with one of my outdoor toys and we’d have a game. Sometimes I’d find a few treats had been left there. The bipeds were always so thrilled when I continued my improvements to this area that I didn’t have time to continue with my work on the rabbit warren in the lawn. This bark area became my special place in the garden – so special that I named it Clowie’s Corner.

I was a little bit sorry to leave it behind when we moved to Spain. I am happy to say that I have since discovered a new place special enough to be named Clowie’s Corner, but I’ll tell you about that another week.

See you next Wednesday!