My little Chihuahua/Mini Schnauzer mix Chip successfully earned her diploma from PetSmart’s Puppy Obedience school several years ago. My father still maintains that the diploma is a fraud.
In Chip’s defense, she does very well with the commands “sit,” leave it,” “off,” “wait,” and “stay.” “Down” is not her favorite, and she vocally lets you know while grudgingly performing the trick for her favorite treat. “Come” is an entirely different matter altogether, and is generally what frustrates my father.
Chip seems to have selective hearing when it comes to that command, only racing to the one who calls if he/she has food in hand. Other than that, Chip will gleefully ignore you if she found something better to investigate. About half the time she’ll listen to me when I call her to come, but that can also be chalked up to the fact that I did the training classes with her and, thus, cementing me in her mind as one of her “leaders of the pack.”
Due to this, my father claims that there is no way Chip could have passed that obedience course. He loves our little ragamuffin nonetheless, but he doesn’t believe her to be smart enough to do anything but fail puppy school.
I disagree. After all, she’s smart enough to teach Dad a trick or two.
When I have food, Chip will sit and stare at me with her pleading puppy eyes, but doesn’t talk too much unless I start talking nonsense to her first. Once in a while she’ll give me a little push with her paw, a not-so-subtle reminder that she’s there in case I decide to share my lunch. However, if I tell her no and ignore her, she’ll usually give up and leave after a little while of not scoring any morsels of my meal.
Every night at dinner, however, the family would know exactly where Chip was. We’d be talking, discussing our days, and from under Dad’s chair would be yips, whines, and growls from the dog, demanding Dad to feed her. He’d talk back to her, play with her, and she’d humor him until he tossed down a piece of chicken. The cycle begins again after she swallows the morsel he had tossed to her. Dad’s pretty good about not giving her food if he knows the spices and flavors wouldn’t agree with her, but it’s amazing how Chip knows that Dad would be the easiest to break when it comes to begging from the table.
Chip taught him well.