Have you ever inadvertently taught your dog a new trick or command? I apparently do it often. I usually don’t realize I’m doing it until I see a response from the dogs that seems out of place. Ahhh…Then I make the connection.
For example, after two unfollowed “sit” commands (as in ‘Sit! Sit!’), I apparently clear my throat to signal annoyance. It works every time. The funny times are when I have a cold or sore throat and the dogs start sitting for seemingly no reason!
I guess I also use the phrase “ExCUSE me!” as my third attempt to get the dogs to listen to me. This occurs when the dogs are running away, and I yell, “Come! Come!” to no avail. I realized this one when we were at the park and Starbuck went to chase a squirrel. He stopped and returned to me as soon as I said, “ExCUSE me!”
A trainer once told me that it’s okay to use “Thank You” as praise instead of “Good Dog.” He said that “thank you” comes more naturally to humans so use whatever works. I guess that’s how my commands continued to get turned around.
Instead of “stay,” I use “wait.” Instead of “let’s go,” I say, “Okay.” Instead of “No!” I often say, “I don’t THINK so!” These all work fine. Although it could be tough for a dog sitter! The cute begging trick where the dog sits up on its hind legs and moves its front paws, that’s is triggered by the term “Circus Bear!” in my house.
I inadvertently created a new command more recently that is very funny to watch. When the dogs are in the backyard and don’t “Come in” the first time I call them, I started saying, “Bueller? Bueller?” Last week I tried to get the dogs out of the rain and called “Bueller” first, simply to amuse myself. Funny enough, the dogs came right in! So now instead of saying, “come in,” I just need to quote from one of my favorite movies! I suspect that the dogs don’t actually get the reference!