Monday, April 11, 2011

Retraining Gizmo

    Gizmo ran through the path we cut behind the palm trees, found a way to get out behind the hot tub, ran down the steps and stood at the base of the bridge, eyes brightly shining and ready for his walk without  ever urinating where he was supposed to.  But he followed our orders and walked that path.
The next time I took him over the bridge and to the path, he ran even faster to the end of it, broke through the underbrush and came out by the hot tub.
In other words, after only one run through the path and out, he learned that was the quickest way for him to get to his prized and wanted walk. 
The third time I took him to the path, I had him on a leash and held him from running all the way through.  This, I thought, would teach him to urinate where I wanted him to.
The leash only convinced him to sit at my feet, look up into my eyes with an expectant expression that seemed to say, “OK, you win.  What do we do now?”
By the next morning, when we again approached the path with Gizmo on the leash, he had re-learned that the path was the place where whizzing was to be done.  Humans = one, Gizmo = zero.

"I loathe people who keep dogs. They are cowards who haven't got the guts to bite people themselves." -- August Strindberg

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