Because we stink at dedication to dog-training, Steve and Milo do not always come in when they are called from outside. Who am I kidding? They come in when called about as often as onions taste like peppermint. Each week, I learn a new trick that gets them to come inside when they don't feel like it. Here are some samples:
*Squeaking their favorite squeaky dog toy
*Offering a treat (of course)
*Crinkling an empty plastic water bottle
*Barking in an authoritative dog voice. (Hey, don't knock it; it works like a charm every 3rd try or so.)
*Knocking on the door or ringing the doorbell and calling out, "Come on in!" like we have company.
*When super desperate, I say, "Let's go for a ride!" but I only use this one when I have to leave for an appointment or other important commitment.
*Mr.4444 came up with a good one yesterday; he began "playing fetch" with an imaginary guest dog named Fido. (It worked like a charm.)
What?! It's hard to compete with birds, rabbits and deer (and their poop), squirrels, chipmunks, neighborhood sounds and sticks everywhere!
Please don't suggest that we teach them their names; they know their names. They certainly know what "Come!" means when I have a treat in my hand, too. I already know what we're supposed to do, but we're lazy; I'm just going to admit it. [I'm so ashamed. Karen, please don't be mad at me.] Hey, it was my idea to get two puppies in June, not one in June and one a week before school started.
I'm sure when summer comes and I am home full-time, I will get back into a scheduled training routine. We are also getting an estimate for invisible dog fencing. Of course, the best way to get your dog to behave is exercise--a tired dog is a good dog, in my experience. It's just tough to give them as much as we'd like, especially with this COLD.
Anyway, here's our latest "genius" way to get the dogs in the house when they're otherwise unmotivated to listen; Kendall and I pretend to be injured and cry out in pain. Here's a demonstration. The dogs are outside, and I have left the front door open. It didn't exactly go as planned, but I haven't laughed that hard in a long time:
Laughed til I cried when it happened, laughed til I cried a few more times, too.
And no, the dogs never came in on their own.
New ideas are welcome and encouraged (especially if they result in another funny video).
[Sorry the video is a little bit blurry. I took it with my Canon Rebel--No idea why it turned out blurry.]