the Mama and I are doing a whole lot of woofing back and forth, but we’re not speaking the same language. Mama claims all the misunderstandings are because the Daddy has led me into a life of debauchery and disobedience what with his lackadaisical attitude towards training.I think the Mama just has unrealistically high expectations of me.
Still, in an effort to communicate better, I agreed that I would post some of our main communication barriers and see what you all think.
Communication Break Down #1:
Mama says: GENTLE
Daddy says this all the time when we are wrestling. It’s one of the commands I know best, so I’m not sure what the Mama’s woofing problem is. Roughly translated, “gentle” means “rock you like a hurricane”. Daddy always says it then we wrestle even harder. It’s like a cheer to get your dog all jazzed up. So in response to the Mama’s request to “be gentle” I usually walk all over her, tug at her clothing and try to knock her tail over tea kettle. I must not be pumping up the volume enough, because she just keeps saying it more often and louder. I’ll try to amp it up a notch, but seriously, some doggy is going to get hurt here and it will be probably be me.
Communication Breakdown #2:
Mama says: LEAVE IT
Again, one of my best commands and one of the toughest to learn because it doesn’t always mean the same thing. Crafty,eh? You gotta keep you paw on those humans. Sometimes these commands are just designed to trip you up. For example, when I am in the kitchen with the Mama, “leave it means” that is I so much as look sideways at whatever the Mama dropped on the floor I will be in BIG trouble. “Leave it” means don’t even make a move towards it. When I’m with the Daddy? It means “hurry and get it before the Mama sees us and we’re BOTH is the doo doo.” Recognizing when is the right situation to practice my statue impersonation and when is the right time to move like a ninja is hard, but I have mastered it. However, the Mama claims that there is no such thing as a variable response command and that the Daddy is just promoting Canine Delinquency.
Communication Breakdown #3
Daddy says: Sit Down
Guess what I do? Just to screw with him? I mean, I know what he wants me to do. They wants me to park my butt on the floor and, I swear, as long as the floor isn’t chilly (who do I speak to about getting that heated ceramic tile?) I’m happy to do it. A puggle’s got to have some fun though, so when he says “sit down” as quickly as I can, I sit, then lay down. It drives the Daddy absolutely woofing bonkers and it makes the Mama chortle with glee. After all, I am doing exactly what he asked me too.
Communication Breakdown #4
Daddy says: Quiet, That’s Enough, Knock it Off, Stop It, No Barking, What’s your problem and any number of other human phrases that are not one of my commands
I really have no idea what he wants here. I’m trying! Really, I am. When he says any one of those things, I woof back, trying to tell him I don’t understand. So he says it again and I woof some more. This would be one of those times a Human to Doglish translator app would be fantastic.
Communication Breakdown #5
Mama says: Hush
Kolchak says: Nothing. Hush means stop barking and/or whining and don’t even consider howling. Every doggy knows that. Even baby Lu knows that.
So where’s the breakdown, you ask? Well, we’ve been trying to teach this command to the Daddy for months and we just aren’t getting anywhere. We’ve tried the clicker, positive rewards, BAT, everything we can think of. He just can’t learn that word. Maybe he has some sort of weird lisp that prevents him from pronouncing SH sounds???
Are their communication break downs at your house?
What words do you and your humans struggle with? Do you find that Daddy’s are especially hard to train?