All good dogs are good the same. As we’ve recently rediscovered, a naughty puppy is creative and unique.
Good is all the same
When your dog is being good, he/she is listening to you, knows the rules of the house and sticks to them, and when there’s quiet in the house, it doesn’t raise any red flags.
Naughty puppy takes many forms
When you have a puppy (or new dog in the house) who doesn’t yet know the rules, it’s a different story. Silence is very, very suspicious. And the smarter that pup is, the more potential he/she has for incredible, creative naughtiness. As you learn your new dog’s particular brand of evil, you adapt. If you have a garbage picker, you learn to make sure the garbage is either enclosed or untippable. A toilet paper un-roller? You restrict access to the bathroom. Shoe-chewer? You learn to put your shoes away.
It’s been four years since there was a puppy in our house. That doesn’t sound like a long time, but memory is a very subjective, and selective thing. That being said – Torque was a wonderful puppy. Obedient, trainable, housebroken in no time, didn’t chew anything he shouldn’t have. Affectionate, biddable, playful, snuggly, a delight in every way. Please don’t ask us to go back and review our posts from four years ago. We’re positive we’re right about this. Not a naughty puppy at all.
And now there’s Simon.
We’ve got a system
First a bit of background. With all dog training, there are battles you choose to fight and others you choose to manage. One of the things we manage is dinner time. We won’t have dogs begging at the table, and we don’t want to play trainer when we’re relaxing over a meal. So the system we’ve developed is that the whole family eats at the same time and the dogs eat in their crates. It works for us.
To make the system work, one person prepares the dogs’ bowls, the other preps the “people” food. We try to have everything ready simultaneously, give or take a couple of minutes.
Beware the quiet
Of course the dogs all know what we’re doing – they’re ready for supper as soon as they hear the bowls come out. Simon finds this the perfect time to harass the other dogs into playing with him. Tango gets annoyed and yells at him, Booker barks incessantly, and Torque, after doing his best to ignore the puppy, gives in and starts wrestling with him underfoot.
The other evening things were progressing as per usual. Or so we thought. Neither one of us paid much attention when the noise level diminished. We were used to quiet during meal prep – the only noise pre-Simon noise was Teddy complaining at us from a kitchen chair to “hurry up!”
Tricks are for puppies
Silly people! It’s ALWAYS suspicious when the noise level changes and there’s a five-month-old puppy in the house. Be afraid. Be very afraid.
Simon, it turns out, is an evil genius. He moved the dining room chair, jumped up on it, and was helping himself to dinner – at the dinner table!
Fortunately, it was his own dinner.
Unfortunately, we didn’t have a camera handy at the time.
Fortunately, we were laughing too hard to be angry with him.
And we’ve learned our lesson. Line up the dogs’ bowls where they can’t possibly reach them. And, if silence reigns, check on the naughty puppy!