Title: Tale Waggers - The Lesser Known Commands  Photo:  Duncan & Arthur


Arthur is trying to make his rounds of the yard, but Duncan has glued his nose to Arthur's bum. Arthur is finding it difficult to accomplish his doggie mission. Did obedience training offer you a command to fit this scenario? Of course not...
that's what dogmama is for!

Just yell your custom command, "GET OUTTA THERE!"

Obedience training provides a wealth of information on the basic commands used to guide your canine’s behavior. We all learn "sit" and "stay" and "down". As time goes on, you realize there are situations not covered by the commands you already know and love. You begin to make your own…

I strongly believe dogs can, with proper coaxing, gain a good bit of understanding of human language. We talk to our pups constantly - identifying various activities and places exactly the same way you teach words to a human child. As they begin to attach meaning to the words, you can more easily make behavior modifications. Some attempts are functional - some futile. Eventually, you will have a variety of "custom commands" for various situations which arise. Here are some of mine…

The Supreme Command

OR DON'T...
For those of us who follow the "close enough is good enough" school of dog training, this command is indispensable. You can use it with any command, for example; "sit, sit, SIT, I SAID SIT...or don't". Use of the powerful "or don't" command ensures that your dog is always following your orders - one way or the other. You are in total control of your animal.

Fully Functional…

SETTLE DOWN
Stop whatever you’re doing and do something - anything - else.
This actually works. I have no idea how.
The trick is to use it until the dog accidentally complies and then praise for hours.

WHAT??
Don’t even think about growling/nipping/ignoring my commands!
Do you think I’m STUPID? Do you think you’re IN CHARGE?
Do you suppose for one moment that you are not CANINE SCUM?
For uppity dog behavior. Best used with a menacing voice and an alpha roll for emphasis.

SCOOT!
Move your body to anyplace other than where you are now standing/sitting.
Strangely enough all the furkids learn this one quite easily. When they move, you shut up.

UPSTAIRS/DOWNSTAIRS
A vital command for multi-level dwellers. Dominant dogs will rush ahead - and trip you. Submissive dogs will pause on the steps to let you pass - and trip you. Uncertain dogs will heel all the way down - and trip you nonetheless. If you make them go up or down ahead of you, you have a fighting chance of getting the laundry to its destination.

POTTY ONE AND POTTY TWO (or any two embarrassing terms of your choice)
Early identification of bodily functions will allow you to eventually tell your dog why you are both standing outdoors in a downpour in the dark in a strange town. If potty 1 and/or 2 is desired, you simply state your case. Training is easy if you catch them in the act. When you see it - say it! Be sure to pick words that will not come up in normal conversation...

Functional but Odd…

NO HUMPING!
Good for girl and boy dogs. Discourages unsightly and comical mounting of animate and inanimate objects.
A variation which always makes the neighbor’s peek - "No humping your brother!"

STAY... FOR ALL ETERNITY
When just stay is not enough…When the dishwasher is being loaded and your dog is sure you really do need her help in pre-washing the plates and your "stay" command must have been a careless mistake on your part…

RIGHT NOW !
All marginally trained dogs need this command.
It means you really, really, really would like them to comply - this time. As in: "Get in here, right NOW!"

I MEAN IT!
A variation on the Right NOW theme borrowed from those who have human children.

TV!
A special command which stops the dog barking because a doorbell/phone rang on a TV show.
The "TV" command is used frequently in our household.

NO RAWHIDE ON THE SOFA/BED
Emma actually understands this one.
It doesn’t keep her from sneaking the occasional morsel onto the cushions, but the point is made.

GET OUTTA THERE!
Trash…toilet…another dog’s dish…a guest’s crotch. A nice all-purpose command.

IN YOUR DREAMS
A milder variation of the popular "WHAT??" command. For use when the dog is merely contemplating an evil deed. Can be used for begging, thwarted thefts, practice runs at forbidden furniture, etc. Lets the canine know you’re not going to let anything escape your notice.

Totally Useless Commands/Exclamations …

DON'T PEE ON THAT!
As you sing out, you know it’s too late…

NO TONGUES!
Keep your nasty tongue out of my ear/mouth/eye for a moment, WILL YOU! I know where it's been!
This is a totally non-functional command, but it does make the neighbor’s look over the fence…

I AM NOT A NAPKIN!
Dogs love to thank you after a hearty feed - up close, in your face. While they are thanking you, they realize they may have a speck of food on their muzzle which you might find offensive. Dogs are very sensitive about this, so they wipe their slimy mouths on your clothing to show that they are fastidious creatures. Now you are soiled, but they are the tidy pets you're always nagging them to be. The dreaded "eye buggers" are also dealt with in this manner.

DON'T WALK ON ME!
This is usually used as part of a tirade which goes something like: "Who do you think you are? I am not furniture! Show me some respect! Men usually can only express this command as a pained, high pitched squeal.

WHO FARTED?
They’ll never tell…

DID YOU DO THIS?
Of course they did. You know it - they know it. What a charade!


Now, go forth and enhance communication with your furkid(s).
And give your neighbor’s something to talk about…

dogmama

 

 

Copyright 1997 Elizabeth Cusulas
Tale Waggers - Stories for Dog People
www.talewaggers.com
All Rights Reserved - Reproduction without written permission is expressly forbidden