Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Archive for May 8th, 2023

Mastering Backspin

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Watching Asher play with balls yesterday, it became apparent that he totally understands backspin and uses it to draw them back to him in the absence of having an opposable thumb that would allow him to grasp.

There are glimpses of him employing this trick in the video I posted three days ago. It shows me a level of intelligence that clouds my understanding of what he is smart about and what his puppy-ness has yet to learn. He seems to know so much and so little all at the same time.

Thankfully, he continues to demonstrate progress in comprehending and appropriately obeying the commands we are working on.

He acted a little like Jekyll & Hyde with me on a walk last evening. I couldn’t tell if he was being playful or trying to outsmart me by suddenly becoming intolerant of being leashed. I feel as though every time we show inconsistency, he quickly claims ground that conveys it is he who is training us, not the other way around.

It’s tough for us because we tend to lack a firm plan about what behaviors we intend to establish with absolute rigidity and which we have less concern over permanently enforcing. That rule about allowing him moments on the couch has already become more of a guideline than a hard and fast rule.

Asher’s powers with backspin apply to more than just his felt-covered squeaky ball toys. I don’t doubt for a minute his ability to take advantage of any inconsistencies we might be presenting in our expectations for his behavior.

My problem will always be that I desire military precision from a pet dog without going through the military training such behavior requires. My “sort-of-training” methods reliably produce “sort-of-trained” dogs.

I’m pretty sure that ‘difficulty in training a dog’ was on my 3-minute list of reasons not to get a dog I was reciting for Cyndie just over a week ago.

My, how time flies.



Written by johnwhays

May 8, 2023 at 6:00 am