Fleegle has been with me now for two months and a week and he is turning out to be one of the easiest dogs I’ve ever lived with. Some of this is experience on my part and having learned not to stress the small stuff, to have faith that with persistent shaping and time Fleegle will figure out what trains me to give him the biscuit and what doesn’t, most of it is Fleegle.
As a dog trainer who does private lessons in people’s homes, I usually get called when the owner has reached a tipping point with their dog’s behavior, so a normal dog to me is one that has a half dozen issues that need to be considered before leaving the house on a walk. Likes dogs but not people. Likes people but not dogs. Is afraid of both. Wants to eviscerate skateboards, bicycles and anything that rolls fast.
Whereas Fleegle is “normal” in the true sense of the word. He likes people and other dogs, doesn’t really notice skateboards or bicycles, though he wags his tail at the sight of the people riding them, and it struck me the other day that if Fleegle and I aren’t going to be spending our time together working on fear issues, then it opens up a whole world of training possibilities. At four months of age he’s still working on his dog manners but it won’t be long before he’ll need a new challenge. And so will I.
We’ll do agility in the backyard for fun, but there’s also tracking and scent training. I wonder how Fleegle would feel about hunting for bed bugs. Is bed bug pseudo-scent available? Training with the real thing could turn in to an itchy experience. At this young age he’s more of a “sniffer” than the other dogs he’s around, always hanging back to check something out, but everything must smell new to him and he’s probably building and developing his catalogue of scent. Then again, the other day I read about a ghost hunter who said his most effective tool in knowing if disembodied spirits were about was his dog, a chocolate lab.
Fleegle needs a job.
- Will work for food, even carrots.
- Well mannered, dresses for the part.
- Can shop at Home Depot.
- Good at pruning small shrubs and bamboo.
- Brings his work home, i.e. drags branches and bamboo through his dog door into the house to be prepped for the yard waste wheelie bin.
- Sleeps through the night.
- Snores with loud satisfaction.