Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Clicker

Dear Mom,
I am happy to report that the new puppy class went well for Patsy. As I suspected, she is a playful girl who is eager to please. She is also growing fast, and we need to get a handle on some bad habits before it is too late.
Here you see Patsy, with her lunch box full of dog treats, ready to go to class.
The Young Lady and I found this mini lunch box at CVS in the post Valentine's Day clearance. It was filled with heart shaped dog treats. We decided that every girl needs a cute lunch box for school.

This class uses a "clicker" as a training tool. Based on Pavlov's dog, Patsy gets a treat every time she hears the clicker. Good behavior? Click, then treat. In theory, eventually the clicker will be enough.

This is the harmless clicker. For Patsy, this is a good thing. One click and I have that dog's undivided attention.
Unfortunately, this thing has struck Bumper with unprecedented fear. As I post this, he is hiding out upstairs in our bedroom. I found him trembling in the back yard yesterday. We have tried desensitizing him to the clicker by bribing him with really good treats every time we clicked. We even used STRING CHEESE. Still, the dog hides.  So as I get Patsy sorted out, I may be needing to find a therapist for Bumper.

With the warmer temps and sunshine, I was able to prop the back door open, giving the dogs access to the screened porch and doggie door. Yippee! They both spent most of the day outside. Hurray!! It was very good. It wasn't until later in the afternoon that Bumper's clicker issue became obvious.  Until then the napping in the sunshine (Bumper) and running hard in wild circles and chewing on sticks (Patsydoodles) made this Mom very content. And hopeful.

On the knitting front, sock #10 is more than halfway done, and the green sweater has about 4 inches. I thought I would be farther along with Green, especially since it is knitting in the round and I can go pretty fast when I get in the zone, but I guess all that fresh air yesterday wore me out and I was too tired to knit much and went to bed early. I've also found more things I want to knit. This sweater ( yes, I have yarn for it in my stash) and this scarf, which I think I can adjust and make for the 2012 Superbowl Scarf Project. I also saw this book, thanks to the Mason Dixon blog, and ordered it. There are some beautiful shawls in there. Which reminds me of the shawl I started four years ago and have only about 20 more rows to finish but haven't.

So, I have knitting that I want to do, ironing that I need to do and I dog that has emotional issues that I had better go check on because he may have wedged himself under my bed by now.



Carol L. said...

It is always something... Isn't it. Dogs emotions, kids emotions.. No wonder we like to knit and just listen to the sounds of needles clicking. I hope you desensitize BUmper soon. I'm pretty sure the treats will eventually do it. Glad the new puppy class is working for Miss Patsy. What a good girl she is.

Michele said...

Wee Miss Patsy has rather large paws, does she not? How old is she? Poor Bumper, life is hard for the oldest child when a baby comes along. Good Luck, Michele

Anonymous said...

Miss Patsy's paws are large.

Love the book that you bought. I found another yarn store in my travels. It is in Richmond. Very nice. Miss you guys tomorrow. Have fun. Gina

Laurie said...

Clicker training is the greatest! Poor Bumper...hopefully he'll someday figure out the joys of clicking. He sounds a lot like my border collie who tends to develop bizarre, irrational fears that take months to defuse... Beautiful sweater - I'm adding it to my queue!

Terry Golson said...

I clicker train everything - my dogs, my chickens, my goats. My husband :) You can buy a quieter clicker that might not be so scary. Check clickertraining.com. I've also used the click of a ball point pen.