Training a dog the modern way takes a lot of treats.
You see, if you’re not going to dominate your puppy into doing as they’re told, as people did in the dark days of the too-recent past, then you have to bribe them with treats. And, at least at the beginning, Jordan needed a lot of persuasion – and so, a lot of treats.
What Jordan gets, John Henry gets, so the week after Jordan’s first official lesson meant both of them got more treats than was strictly necessary for dogs-of-very-little-tummy-capacity. So, it would be no surprise to anyone (except us) when first JH and then lady Jordan found themselves throwing up on the carpet, on the bed, on the sofa. If you need an example of too much of a good thing, then I am happy to provide it here.
And seeing our little angels ill and sad naturally scared the hell out of us…training screeched to a sudden and dramatic halt.
Vets were visited, special dog food purchased, and anti-dehydration injections were paid for.
And soon enough, they were back to normal. But we were still afraid of setting the whole thing into motion once more.
Because dogs are gross. They throw up and eat it, throw up and eat it again, and then they want to kiss you. My wife doesn’t stand for that kind of behavior from me, and we certainly don’t allow it from the dogs. So, we put the training on the back burner.
But someone had wildly decided to pay for eight lessons in one go and they needed to be taken, so my wife booked us in for a Saturday afternoon. This meant that we had to do at least some of our homework – what followed was a Friday evening spent doing the dog-training version of dashing off some math questions at the back of the bus an hour before the homework had to be handed in.
We clicked the clicker, gave (much smaller) treats. Praised effusively. Had a certain amount of success in getting Jordan to not lunge at anything that crossed her path that she felt looked either like a threat or a good time.
We weren’t perfect, not by a long way, but with a couple of hours’ worth of training, it felt like she wouldn’t let us down.