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this is not good...
I have been training my dogs to shake water off behind the curtain after baths. Sam, my Lab mix has gotten the idea pretty well. My poodle not so well ... She doesn't shake off the water on her own until after I have soaked a few towels anyway, but I have been trying to teach her to "Shake! Shake! Shake!" on command anyway. It has been confusing because both dogs know the traditional shake command to begin with.
I have tried different versions like Shake-it-off and have made a habit of shaking my head with my makeshift commands. That's what's not good.
Tonight has been a mixed bag off success and laughter. Our poodle came to us knowing specific commands like Down and Off. We, of course have been using down with Sam to get him off furniture or out of the car and he understands. Duchess, however, was apparently trained with down meaning lie down and Off meaning get off the furniture. As bad habits go... We both keep confusing the poor thing with first saying Down when she gets on the bed or couch...which we usually follow with the remembered "Off" after three or four failed "Downs".
A week ago I trimmed my poodle again for the summer heat and this time trimmed her ears and tail. (Think of a curly greyhound if you cannot picture that). She has been reveling in her newfound comfort level and seems to really be enjoying the sound of her flapping ears now that the long hair is gone. It has given me opportunity to reinforce the Shake! Shake! Shake! Command though.
Tonight, Bill and I have good laugh when he was trying to tell her to "get down, down, down, get OFF!" With her vigorously flapping her ears as she scooted sideways around the bed with paws on and her feet on the ground. I translated it for him in jest as her saying "No! No! No! I'm not listening!" like a naughty toddler...shaking my head as I did so. Next thing I heard was Sam shaking his ears beside me from where he had stood up in response to our laughter.
It might not seem like much, but When I then told Sam to "Shake! Shake! Shake!" to test if he had responded to my verbal/physical signal to shake his ears...(Which is where all wet dog shakes start)...I was happily rewarded with both dogs flapping their ears in unison. So happy, I started repeating the command and praising the two dogs to reinforce what I want them to do in the future. Sam seems to be a signal oriented learned and Duchess responds beautifully to words...
anyway...In my excitement over this minor achievement, I shook myself seasick... The last few Years I have been prone to vertigo and nausea from an inner ear condition called Labrynthitis that creeps up from time to time. It is rare but more common with those of us with allergies and is hard to wipeout completely even with antibiotics. So, having finally gotten through to my word reactive poodle and my signal responsive Lab, and having formed the (just realized) bad habit of shaking my own head with that command, what am I supposed to do now! what garment to buy for that won't cost much in white color
Joy, accomplishment and seasickness on dry land! Ain't life Grand!
Love my dogs...They bring so much comic relief to my life! :-D