Monday, June 14, 2010

The Keani-Man

'Ding!'
I felt pretty smug when I found a counter-top bell at Staples and brought it home. The idea was to put it on the floor and teach Keani (and Icewind, too, I was hoping at the time) to ring it when he wanted to go outside. That way, I would hear it no matter where I was in the house, and we could perhaps save the screen door from being shredded into tatters.

With great enthusiasm, I gathered puppy, treats and bell and put them beside each other. Cue fanfare. I was confident of the outcome, and I wasn't disappointed. Keani only took about twenty minutes to figure out that all he had to do to win a treat was to step directly on the little thing that was sticking out of the middle of the silver dome. Ah ha! I thought. Mission accomplished! Now to make the association between the bell and the door.

Yeah, that didn't happen. It's my fault, I know. For some reason, after successfully teaching him how to ring the bell in the first place, I stopped caring about whether he rang it to go outside or not. But this was after he would ring it and, upon me opening the door, sit there and stare at me with earnest expectant eyes, not moving until I offered something tasty to him.  And I, weak and melty canine mom that I am, gave in.


But I did put my foot down when it came to him asking to be let back in from being outside, and then sitting on the outside step, dithering about whether he really wanted to come in or not. Now he knows that if he asks for the door to open, he has until the count of five to move his little paws inside, otherwise the door closes. Of course, he also knows that he can ask about six seconds later, and the door will open again, but he doesn't usually take advantage of that fact.

Seems like both Icewind and Keani can now count up to five. Not bad, eh?

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