Monday, 8 August 2011


First published in Norwegian 6 April 2011
Apparently, Standard Poodles are supposed to be very intelligent, the eggheads among dogs, just beaten by Border Collies. Obviously, we are very eager to put this to the test, and although our little puppy is just nine weeks old, we thought we could start with teaching him some easy commands.
The exclusive treats from the pet shop were brought out. (16 British pounds / 26 US dollars for a tiny box – bloody hell!) We tried the command "Sit!" and it went remarkably smooth. Edward got the point at once. We did what we had been told, held the treat above his nose and said "Sit!" the moment his bottom hit the floor. When we had done it twice, he understood what he was supposed to do.

CONSENTRATION. The little smart guy is focused on the treat.
Now we have repeated the command several times during the last couple of days, and it seems that Edward has no problem knowing what to do, but we think he still connects it exclusively to the treat. He doesn’t sit if we ask him when we are outside for example, not unless there is a treat to be had.
Since we are such rookie dog owners, we are quite unsure of how long we should harp on one command before trying something new. Should we try to teach him several things at once, or should we wait for him to learn one thing at a time?
It would for example be very good to work on calling him, but so far he does not respond at all to "Come!" We've tried a few times to use treats here as well, and then he comes running, but not before he has discovered that we actually have something for him. If there is anything more exciting is going on, sniffing around the bushes for example, he ignores us completely.

We have also tried a little bit of "shake hands", but he has not quite understood the point of this yet. Admittedly, he waved his paw around a little, but we definitely need to work more on that one.

SHAKE HANDS. Edward doesn’t quite see the point of this yet. 
This morning we were very surprised to see that Edward had actually kept dry the whole night, but he was so excited to see us that he peed on the puppy pad when we came to take him out of his crate. Then we took him outside to do his big business, and when that was done he ran happily inside to eat his breakfast.
- Wow, we thought. - Is it really that easy to get him housetrained?
We can hope, but I think we’ll not cash in on this victory just yet.
By the way, sleeping alone in the crate seems to be completely fine. He whimpers a little in the evening, but calms down when he understands that we are only a few meters away and then he sleeps quietly all night.

When we went for a walk this afternoon he was incredibly cute. We met our next-door neighbour who was keen to say hello to the newest member of our family, but Edward wouldn’t have any of that. No way, no how.
He pulled as far away as the lead would allow, but we managed to make him come over to get a treat. While I was talking to the neighbour, Edward hid behind my legs, looking on very carefully. Just like a shy little child. He didn’t nag at all, just sat there and waited patiently. When we showed off how he had learned to sit on command, he seemed awfully pleased with himself. He sat so proudly and upright that he almost overbalanced.

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