Mental block

Life with Beverly continues to be mellow. And she’s making some progress learning new commands. I love the way she now dashes into her kennel every mealtime, then Sits and Stays patiently while I put down her bowl, close the kennel door, and lock it. Only when I announce, “Okay!” does she spring forward to gobble down her serving of kibble.

She’s also gotten quite good about obeying the Wait command when we’re about to enter the neighborhood coffee house. But she also had a couple of maddening mental blocks.

The worse is her response to the Down command. If we hold a morsel of food and lead her into it, Beverly seems perfectly content to sink into the position. We praise her effusively and make it clear that our praise is in response to her going DOWN! We’ve done this now, conservatively, At least 10,000 times.

But when we release her and order her Down without using the lure, she sits and stares and acts like we’ve just addressed her in Bantu. Sometimes she cocks her head in puzzlement, like a cartoon puzzled dog. Eventually, we use the lure again, and she responds instantly. Here’s what the whole burlesque looks like:

<p><a href=”″>Mental block</a> from <a href=”″>Jeannette De Wyze</a> on <a href=””>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

What’s going on? What IS she thinking? I don’t think she’s slow-witted, but it’s moments like these that make me wonder.

She’s similarly resistant to the Jump command — won’t jump out of the van or into it or pretty much anywhere else we’ve try to lure her to.

In addition to everything else, raising CCI puppies continues to provide amazing lessons in how different doggy personalities can be. (But you’d think I would have learned that one a long time ago.)



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