and someone's home!
Voight "got it" at 12 mos. Liam "got it" at six months. Tai is "getting it" but he's still very much a baby, truly too young to "get it". And then there's Paige.
Those of you who are veteran puppy raisers will attest - there is a time when the pup just all of a sudden just "gets it". It's the "OH, you don't WANT me to chase birds/ cats/ my tail/ socks" realization where the lightbulb above their head suddenly begins to shine.
Paige had a puppyhood that was less-than-optimal. For those our readers who are new, Paige was given to us at 12 mos of age, and as sweet as she was, she didn't know much. She didn't know to wait for her food, not to rush out the front or back door (did we mention we live on a very busy street?), and would pick up socks as readily as a toy. She learned quickly however, and here we are, six months later.
She gets it. In my mind, she "got it" when I (Amy) took her to Westwood with me for my class at UCLA this past Tuesday. After the first time she went with me, I didn't think I'd bring her back. She pulled and pulled, and discovered what pigeons are ("Oooh, what are those? I like those, can I chase those?") and would NOT get busy. This week, she was a very different dog. She didn't pull half as much (she still does and probably always will, which will cease to be a problem when they put her in harness), and while she LOOKED at the pigeons, no attempt was made to break forth and conquer said birds. She went under the table without being told while I studied before class, and laid under my chair during class. She also gave very sweet kisses to my prof, proof that she's looking out for me and my grades too!
Beyond that, her recall has improved tremendously, even with Tai hanging from her neck. And FINALLY, she learned the formal "come". I'm not sure how other schools do it, but when our dogs are told come (especially on leash) they are expected to come to your left side, turn around and sit, facing the same direction you are. (This is so the graduate knows where the dog is when they put the harness on.) This was another thing Paige did not know when she came to us. Fortunately, Matthew teaches the formal come extremely well, and Paige learned the come and turn around part. She would never sit. So Tuesday, as we got into the elevator at UCLA, I told her, "Paige, come". She turned around, looked at me, and sat.
"OH, you want me to SIT at the end of this command. I can do that!"
Yes, all. The lights are on, and someone's home.