Entlebucher Frequently Asked Questions Part 4 – Monday 11th January 2021

Entlebucher Frequently Asked Questions Part 4

As life is a little quiet, I thought I’d bring you Entlebucher Frequently Asked Questions Part 4. I’m doing another Zoom call tomorrow and unless the people I’m meeting are reading this, then I will probably get asked the following.

Frequently Asked Question – Are you easy to train?

Mum always says you need to train us before we train you. Let’s be honest, however good you are at training a dog, we’ll probably train you anyway. We do love our lessons. We like to please you, although we may think long and hard about whether you are asking us to do something we actually want to. It’s rarely that we have not understood what you want, but it may not suit us to do it. On the whole, if Mum says things to us in that tone she uses when she’s serious then we will oblige. There’s more to it than that though. We are very bright and that means we can learn things quickly. However, sometimes we’re a bit too bright and that can lead to problems. Let me explain.

You need to be consistent

When you train us, you need to be consistent. It’s not just about your words but the body language which goes with it. We will read your body language very well. If you always use a word like ‘right’ before getting up from your chair, then your dog will be up and ready before you are on your feet.

Another example would be, if when you want us to stay you walk away right leg first then we will soon learn that is what a right leg means. If you want us to wait and then be called to come to you and would normally set off on your left leg for that, then all will be fine. If you get the wrong leg then don’t be surprised if we do the wrong thing!

Wilma shaking paws

Bribery

We do like to be bribed, but it’s not that simple. Ari is the master for this one. If you ask him to do something he will ask you to show what treat you are offering. If the treat is too low value he will walk away. Mum needs to get something better, then he will reconsider. He is the ultimate negotiator. For the record, we’re pretty hard to fool. With some dogs you can pretend to have a treat and they will go along with you in the hope of getting one. We are not that stupid!

Playing Up

Being bright comes at a price. We are no different to bright children in a mixed ability class. If you don’t give us enough work to do then we’ll be the one talking in class. Let me give you an example. In a mixed ability training class we generally get what is required on the first or second time of showing. If there is a dog in the class who doesn’t pick things up so easily, then we get bored while they keep trying. Most of us have been told off in training for this one. Poor Mum was made to stand in the middle of the group with me one time when I wouldn’t shut up. I have no idea what the trainer hoped to prove by doing that, other than she didn’t understand working dogs.

The important thing once we’re a teenager, so from about fifteen months, is to use little games with us to keep us amused while we are waiting. That is until you can have taught us to be patient and lie nicely at your side. Once we realise that in itself is a job, we’re fine again as we are occupied.

Learning for ourselves

We will spend a lot of time learning things for ourselves. In general we pick up everything from how to undo the door catch of a crate to opening kitchen cupboard doors. We know where the biscuits are kept and don’t even think of leaving a piece of steak on the work surface. If we can’t reach then we’ll find a ladder to get to it.

Love

Wilma


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