School is out for most people this summer, but for my family school has been in since the end of May. Puppy is in Puppy Obedience School which is a misnomer because any idiot will tell you (and there must be a lot of idiots because if I could make puppy listen for every time I hear this I wouldn't need a freakin' puppy class), "Puppy school is not for the puppies, but for the owners."
So, our family progress report so far? As far as I can tell: No one has learned a damn thing and it will be a miracle if we graduate and are promoted to the next grade.
1. Sit - B+
Puppy will sit when there is a nice juicy bacon treat in your hand or when he thinks there is, unless people he doesn't know are involved. Then he will just try to goose them in the worst way imaginable.
2. Walking on a leash - A - D
Puppy Obedience Class is also known as Spend All Our Money on Dog Paraphernalia Class.
Puppy now has a total of six collars.
He has one puppy collar that he outgrew right after the first class. He has one regular collar that he just kind of wears like the necklace your mom gave you that you never take off. He has one electric collar that we use when he is in the backyard so that he doesn't run away (except that we forget to put it on him a lot of the time because he has SIX collars). He has one choke chain collar that we tried with him because he was pulling too much on our walks.
We found out that a choke chain is actually cruel and can make a dog more aggressive. Part of me says, "Whatever. Our Golden used one almost everyday until he died. He loved everyone and never needed therapy." The other part of me says, "OK. Let's buy one more collar."
So, puppy also has a pinch collar. But, damn it, we found out this one is cruel, too.
So, puppy also has a Gentle Leader collar.
Gawd. Stop the madness.
On the video that comes with the Gentle Leader collar the narrator says, "The most important thing to remember in training your dog is consistency."
Seriously? We have six dog collars. Just give us an F and let's move on.
3. Leave It: Puppy - meh, Girl 3 - B+.
I am not even going to be able to grade puppy for Leave It because it has been reduced to a joke.
Here's what really happened the other day:
Me: Girl 3 stop taking puppy's toy away from him. He doesn't like that and he's gonna bite you.
Girl 3: No he's not. We're playing.
Puppy growing more and more agitated.
Me: Stop doing that. He doesn't like it.
Girl 3: No, I think he likes it.
Puppy mouthing Girl 3 and Girl 3 screaming and yet pulling one more time at the toy.
Me: GIRL 3 LEAVE IT!
Girl 3: OKAY.
Puppy finally getting and keeping his toy.
4. Stay - C-
I don't really think puppy understands stay. He wants his bacon treat, so he tries to guess what we want him to do. If there is any kind of squirrel, cat, dog, human, bug, or anything moving on the other side of Stay he does not stay.
5. Take It - A+
Puppy knows Take It. He takes "it" all the time. Bacon treats, Little Pony brushes, dropped pencils, food scraps, dirty socks, brand new shoes, etc. , etc.
6. Shake - D
Again, puppy really has a taste for bacon treats. So, today he let me "shake" his paw for about a half an hour. But, then I tried to get him to do it just now and he acted like I was ca-razy.
7. Down - A-
Puppy loves Down. He is one lazy dog with no strength in his lower back and butt muscles. And our wood floors do not help. He will Sit and immediately lay down because - I don't know - he's lazy? It's actually pretty hilarious and I wish I could do what he does. Just sit anywhere and then lay down. I want to do that in the grocery store. A lot.
So, I'm not a teacher anymore but I'd say our average is about what? A solid C? With one missing grade and one grade that is just wacky inconsistent?
I'm really hoping Puppy (and by Puppy I mean Our Family) is like one of those people I'm always hearing about that dropped out of high school because it wasn't challenging enough and now they're crazy famous and rich.
Fame and fortune here we come! (And we'll try not to goose all the neighbors trying to get there.)