Lucy is a constant source of entertainment. She’s got such personality! And she’s definitely got her own way of doing things. For instance, if I want her to come in from outside, I can say, “Lucy, COME” all I want. But she’s not gonna come in. Nope. If I really want her to come in, I have to say something like, “Where’s Kacey? Come see Kacey!” Then Lucy will just look at me without moving a muscle until I shut the door and walk away. Then she’ll come racing up the deck steps and want to come inside.
The way Lucy interacts with us is so cute too! She greets anyone returning home as if her life is complete now that they have arrived home. She hugs by pushing her body against your legs. She delivers one of her many, many toys to your lap when she wants to play. And not playing is not an option. If you fail to give her the desired attention, Lucy will proceed to drop a toy in your lap over and over until you agree to play fetch with her.
Clearly she’s an intelligent dog, if not extremely well-trained. So I thought recently, “This is a smart dog. (Well… except for that wall-licking episode.) I think I could teach her a new trick!”
So I decided to teach Lucy a new trick. She already understands that when I offer her a treat and say, “SIT” that she must sit before she can have the treat. I decided I would teach her to speak for her treat.
I went to the cupboard and got one of her treats. Lucy knows where her treats are, so she knew what was coming. I’d barely moved away from the cupboard and she was sitting and wagging her tongue for that treat. I sat in a chair in front of her and said, “Good girl. Can you speak?”
Lucy cocked her head at me.
“Speak,” I said!
She cocked her head the other way. I knew she didn’t know what I was asking, so I decided to demonstrate what I wanted from her.
“Speak, Lucy,” I said! “Speak!” And then I said, “WOOF!”
Lucy cocked her head again.
“Speak! WOOF! Speak! WOOF! Speak! Woof!” I said.
Finally she caught on and let loose with a confident, “WOOF!”
“GOOD GIRL,” I said, and rewarded her with her treat. When she was finished, I petted and hugged her and told her what a good dog she was.
Over the next two days, I showed everyone who came along how smart my Lucy is. She performed perfectly and obeyed my commands to sit and speak each time I offered her a treat.
Then came day three. I headed for the treat cupboard and before I could even shut the door, before I could even say, “Sit! Speak!” Lucy busted out with an enthusiastic, “WOOF WOOF WOOF WOOF WOOF!”
“Wait,” I said! “You have to SIT first!”
Lucy hurried to sit. “WOOF WOOF WOOF WOOF!”
“Okay, okay,” I laughed! I couldn’t deny her a treat. She was performing her new trick four-hundred percent!
Yeah, so if anyone knows how to unteach a dog a new trick, please let me know!