Wednesday, January 9, 2019
Once Again, Walk In The Grass, Rack
Then again, I heard of a rancher who once said: "If you can't train a McNab, you can't train a dog."
You see, my boy Rack has a problem. He's got horrible aim.
Oh, sure, he lifts his leg often. But as we're walking along, I make sure that my own leg is well away from his.
I don't think I need to be watered, I'm quite tall enough.
Stand upwind, about 4 to 6 feet away, and watch where he's going.
Oh I have heard many male dogs suffer from bad aim. You can't really train him to "sit down" while he pees, I would expect the problem move from one of his feet to a big ol' stripe down his white patch on his belly.
I gave up obsessing about his aim. After all, he's about 5 now. He's doing what he's going to do and that's that.
Early on, we realized we had a problem with him being crosseyed when he's pointing, figuratively of course. Since there's a porch in front of the house and the water spigot for the garden is right there next to the porch, we solved it. A Semi Permanent addition to the porch is a garden hose with a spray attachment is sitting draped over the iron railing and charged with water.
Water saver, of course.
We fell into a routine.
I would successfully get out of the way of his watering efforts, then when we get home, I would use the hose.
Every. Blasted. Walk.
Three. Times. A. Day.
I take him to the hose, soak down his feet. The white part of his legs, all four of them, turn from yellow to white. He is no longer a "Yellow Footed Collie" but a "Wet Footed Collie".
Originally we would go inside at this point but that left little paw prints of water everywhere and I found myself going to find the mop more often than not.
Then I got the bright idea to walk him once around the tree in front of the house. I stopped that when I realized my own feet had tramped down a path making the house look wrong.
So Training the Dog to walk around the yard on his own was successful.
Him walking in the grass would get extra water off his feet and brush his toes to get any extra detritus from between them.
A strategically placed mat inside the door soaked up what was left.
However, "On His Best Day..." He would act like a kid.
Once out into the yard, he'd start cutting corners. Shorter loops around the car, and eventually he is skipping the grass all together. More things are getting tracked indoors.
Does this sound like a five year old kid to you?
Eager to please but needing an adjustment, I started telling him to go back out and do it again.
And again... until he manged to walk the grass.
It's taken him about a week to get used to the routine, but Dog Logic being Dog Logic, it's not completely perfect.
He now thinks that you do it twice. Once to cut corners, a second time to actually walk the grass around the car.
At least it's getting done.
He seems to like the routine. As he's doing it "wrong" the first time, he's got a smile on his doggy face.
"Nope! Walk in the grass, Boy!".
Brown eyes flash at me, smile resets, and he does it right.
When he gets out to the tail of the car "Good Boy!" and I get a "wag right" to prove that he's happy about it all.
Happy dog wags tail right, not-completely-happy dog wags tail left.
Ok, so it's not perfect, but it is entertaining.