We’ve developed a new training problem du jour.  This time I’m the problem child.

Steve and I understand that CCI puppies are not supposed to get up on the furniture. This is not something anyone talks about very much. In fact, earlier this afternoon I dug out the Puppy Raiser Manual we were given when we first started raising CCI puppies, and I had to search for several minutes before I found any reference to the topic. What I found was brief and so buried that when I tried to look for it again just now, I couldn’t find it. Still, Steve and I mostly never have allowed our dogs to climb up on the furniture at will, and it hasn’t been a problem with the CCI pups — until now.

When Ella was staying with us a couple of weeks ago, however, she constantly jumped up on the furniture, and Dionne found this notion electrifying. Clearly, she approved. Ever since she’s been popping up on the couch in my office, and on the couch and chair in the sitting area adjoining our kitchen. We usually don’t even see her make the move; she can do it in a silent instant.

The problem is that I’ve been finding the sight of her so charming that I’ve been tolerating the behavior. She looks so cute and cuddly and… comfortable. I haven’t had the heart to yell at her and chase her off. I’ve also gotten the impression, over the years, that other puppy raisers and certainly the folks who receive the dogs who graduate let their dogs get up on the furniture. So I’ve held my tongue.

Steve, on the other hand, is appalled, and mostly, he’s been issuing stern “Off!”s every time he finds Dionne above floor-level. This afternoon it struck me that we’re violating the biggest animal-training rule of all: we’re being inconsistent.

So much as it bothers me, I guess I’ll start cracking down (unless I hear some chorus of comments from other CCI puppy-raisers telling us to chill). I will add that one thing we never EVER do is allow any of our dogs up in bed with us. I do have my limits (even if I sometimes forget some of them).

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