I always have Maisie on a long line outside – unless we’re playing ball – even though we’re in a very remote area, and even though the one time she got out while we were gone for most of the day she never left the yard (though Chuy sure did!) – but still she tries to chase squirrels up the tree and has always shown a strong hunting instinct, so better safe than sorry. In addition, her “come” isn’t exactly rock solid…if she’s off on a chase she ignores me completely. She’ll completely ignore the wildlife when she’s on her line though, and I’ve often wanted my words to have the same effect!
Lately, however, with the constant peeing while she’s been on steroids, I have had to take her out hourly or more. And putting on her harness and line is a pain so many times a day. So, high-value treat in hand, I’ve been walking outside with her, instantly telling her “Go peepee” (which she knows) and, because she is usually desperate to go, she’s been obeying almost instantly. And just as instantly I have a treat for her the second she’s done. Then the “home” command (run to the door and wait for me to open it) for another treat, then the last one once we get inside. With all of these treats she’s been quite eager to do the right things (my intention of course), and we’re out and in and done in less than a minute. In fact, since the 3rd time we did this new routine she’s been flawless.
This morning after a few trips I didn’t see a squirrel between the house and the tree when I opened the door (she has to wait until I get down the steps before I give her the “OK” to follow). But she did, and took off after it without a second thought. In my sternest voice I said, “Maisie, COME!” and for the first time in her life, she stopped and spun around to come back to me, ignoring the squirrel! I was stunned! Of course she got her first treat right then and there, with a ton of praise too. I was so proud of her!
On her last trip out before dark the yard on the other side of the driveway was full of turkeys, there was a bunny in the driveway, and a squirrel right by the fire pit. Before we went out I let her sniff my hand with the treats in it, then started tell her “Go peepee” while I was backing down the steps so when I said “OK” she had that command on her mind. She glanced around the yard, squatted in her usual spot near the house, went “home” and waited for me to open the door, and went right in.
WHOA!!! Who took my Maisie and left me with this dog??? I guess all of this peeing these last couple of weeks have at least had a benefit! Though she gets her last steroid pill tonight and hopefully all of this excessive drinking and peeing will stop within a couple of days, I’m very hopeful that the new obedience will still stick!