Why are dogs easier to train than children?

I am super duper tired tonight and feeling either slightly uptight or perhaps slightly relieved… not sure which. The result being that I am kind of just hanging on and waiting for something to happen.

We are feeling much better for having had a discussion with the resident child psychiatrist at our son’s special school. They are very concerned about his behaviour (we knew that), and we are all keeping our fingers crossed that medication will actually help him. He starts next week on his first very small morning dose so we can see how it affects him for the morning section of school. That will continue for two weeks and if we all are noticing a marked difference in behaviour for that period, we move on to a second dose around recess time and then monitor that for a couple of weeks.

Onto other subjects now 🙂 – Went to puppy school again tonight and my giant white puppy really is such a good and funny boy. While all the other little dogs are sitting nicely on their mats with their tails tucked under or around and their paws out in front of them, what does mine do? Well… he was laying on his back, with his legs open wide, belly to the sky, huge floppy ears spread out along the floor. All the other owners were having a good laugh at him, which made him roll around the floor even more. Despite his comedic tendencies, he does do all the commands demanded of him. Well… he does them if he can see that you have the treats ready. If you are treatless? Forget it. He has no shame and was quite happy to parade his belly and ‘equipment’ for all to see without concern. Very funny though.

The trainer brought out her little teeny tiny chiuaua to show us how a dog should do the mat work. What did giant white puppy think about this? I think he might have thought it was some kind of really interactive chew toy actually. He kept barking happily every time it moved and trying very hard to get at it. The trainer was unconcerned because she knew her dog was going to stay on that mat no matter what. I think she also knew that giant white puppy had nothing but kind intentions towards the ‘chew toy’ Hee hee.

So now we are commencing training the giant white puppy with the “did you see that?!” command. This basically means that instead of seeing my son run up the garden with his yellow tonka truck and taking off to chase him down, flatten him and chew on his hands and toes for afternoon tea, no matter how much I yell his name, or “STOP! NO!”, he will be trained to see it then look at me as if to say instead, “Did you see that! He ran!”. If I can pull this off it will relieve rather a lot of angst in our garden at play time, or when I’m hanging out washing and generally doing other garden work which prevents me from keeping the dog occupied!

A while ago I rang a dog trainer and asked them what I can do to train my dog without changing the behaviour of my child. They told me it wasn’t possible. That I would never have harmony with my dog and child unless I trained the child to follow the right rules and do the right things around the dog. He didn’t seem to listen to me when I explained that my child isn’t really trainable and doesn’t listen to instructions no matter how many times you tell them to him. Well HA! Mr “I am an expert dog trainer and you are just a silly mum who can’t control her kid!!” This new dog trainer is teaching me to teach the dog how to work around my son and have the right reactions no matter what the crazy kid does! HA! When I thought about his advice later I realised how silly I was to even listen to him! Of course it’s possible… how else do they train therapy dogs who work with autistic kids? The dogs are taught not to react badly when the kids flap their hands and squeal and run and rock and all that stuff. They are taught to get an adult or to calm themselves right down so that the child can feed off them and calm down too.

Well, tomorrow I’m getting right back down to some serious writing again to polish my articles and get some names so that I can be brave enough to actually send them out.

Then this weekend I’m going to build a fence 🙂 Hopefully…….




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