Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Teaching "leave it" and other talents

Today in one of my housekeeping fits, I began scrubbing at one of many old spots on the carpet with a damp rag. Miro dashed over to help by grabbing the rag. I said in my stern voice, "Leave it!" and because he did, I then said, "Good boy," being careful to keep my enthusiasm dampened down despite my desire to clap, jump and generally carry on. As I leaned again to scrub, he darted in and glopped me in the eye with his big, wet nose in his own version of "dampened down" response. We both jumped back, he grinning and me going, "yugg."

When training some dogs, you need to hype them up, getting all happy and enthusiastic. With Miro and most other Airedales, you need to do the opposite, keeping all praise unnaturally low-key so that the dog doesn't forget what he's doing in the leaping joy of the moment. Airedales have lots of leaping joy, or just leaping.

I've written about Miro's ability to stick his nose in the water bowl and blow bubbles. He can also talk with food in his mouth. When he eats, he flops down on the floor, front legs on either side of the bowl. He barks at intervals without pausing in his eating. A slightly less advantageous talent is his ability to pee on the backs of his front feet. I hope he soon learns to lift his leg and aim like a big boy.


  1. Wow, new airedale friends from Seattle!!

    Our Mom trolled through your blog and lit upon March 29, 2009 when you brought Miro home. It brought back sweet, frantic, guilty, hysterical memories of when she brought me (Jakey) and later my brother (Just Harry) home -- and all the things she did wrong.

    Let's say Day Three of my arrival was known as "Black Friday" because of what happened in the kitchen when she left my 12-week-old self alone while she went to buy groceries!!!

    (We're good with everything except the snakes because here in South Florida there's an invasion of Burmese pythons that has lots of folks concerned.)

    Come back and visit!!

    Jake and Just Harry

  2. We need a video! Miro sounds like quite the multi-tasker! hehehe
    Mitch sometime pees on himself - STILL!

    Love ya lots,
    Maggie and Mitch

  3. Finni sometimes pees on me! But that's when we're both interested in the same smell.
    Nelly xx

  4. Taffy piddles on me, not nice! Boys! I do hope Monty doesn't start doing that as he drinks a LOT!

    Have a good weekend.

    Molly xx

    Pee ess. You will never guess the word verification we have to type in....... WATER. LOL

  5. The "leave it" command always gets our attention! Maybe it's because of the tone of voice that's used with that command! Sometimes we pee on our back feet! It usually happens when we are on a slight hill and we're facing the wrong way!

    Poppy, Penny & Patches