Gardening with Puppies – Shear Delight!January 20, 2011
Having a new puppy will help anyone learn and grow. I’ve quickly come to understand that Basic training for dogs is really basic training for humans who live with dogs. Along with all the cool things we’re teaching Kula to understand with the help of our trainers came a trick the trainers didn’t even realize they taught us — how to put your older garden shears to work for your dog!
No, I didn’t try to crop Kula’s adorable tail with garden shears!
In the first day of training, the assistants were cutting up strips of dried chicken treats into tiny training size bits, and they were using a pair of old Fiskars bypass hand shears. So, I tried their trick at home using a pair of ergonomic Fiskars shears, and boy was it great! The expensive and far too large strips — of which she should only eat a couple per day — were easy to quickly snip down to little training tidbits.
Plus, using my oldest “junk drawer” pair of shears for cutting up treats has really saved my hands. Trying to rip up the strips with my tired, old hands was just frustrating, painful and pretty much a disaster. Now, I grab about three strips each morning, clip them into various tidbit sizes — some for training time, some for filling the food toys — and we’re ready to work on all the tricks Kula is loving to learn.
So far she’s sitting at corners, ringing bells to go out to go potty, dropping, sitting, rolling over and responding to “go to bed”, “crate up”, “come”, “let’s go”, “wait”, “stay” and “leave it”. She’s even able to differentiate several of her favorite toys by name. She’s no Chaser, a Border Collie who knows over 1000 nouns, but our little Aussie-Border Collie is showing promise. She’s learned all these things in just over a month with us! Heel is next, and I think it’s gonna prove to be a doozy to learn. Probably harder for me than for her.