A couple of weeks ago ower good frend Karen (@wildpaw) from twitter did ask us to write a bit about dog trainin for er website. Karen is very famous dog trainin lady and elper to the stars wiv their dogs so we was very honoured to do it for er. She did also say we could put the informayshun on our site but we did say we not do this until she ave used it first. Anyway, now is time for us to put it ere but I also say for you to visit Karen's site cos there do be more there than juss my nonesense...
Ello for you. It is I, Marley.
I phink you did kno it was I, Marley. That is becos I ave been trainin you for recognisin me when I do be here. Trainin is important and that is why Karen has arsked me to tells you about it today cos some of you do be good at it but some of you duzz need some elp and I am the eggspert in the field.
So let us go back to step 1, recognisin names. I say again for you “ello, it is I, Marley. Ow is you?” Knowin my name and knowin your own name is very important becos it can be helpful in avoidin danger. I give you example from real life. When my typist does approach the fridge in the evenin I say “Dad, you does not want that cold beer cos it will make you fats and lazy”. He recognise his name (Dad) and pick up ealfy fruit joos instead. This is good for him and save him from early middle age. He tell me that sumtimes he shout “Marley” to stop me goin in the road and getting urt when we is out walkin, but I say does he really phink I goin to step in front of a car? I is not stoopid you kno.
Repeat – and treat
Of course, the key for trainin is repetition. When dad is holdin ower dinner in the evenin he say “sit” every time before we can ave it. Lola and me always sit, cos if we dussn’t then I phink he forget what he is doin and serve up bird seed or leave ower bowls in the fridge. He is a bit slow and we ave to help him, like talkin to a baby.
We also say that rewardin wiv treats does elp with learnin. After he say “sit” for the 20th time, Dad do say “paw” and I old up my paw and he give us a nom to eat. I think that he is rewarded in his heart by givin me noms and so I let im do it after each trick or task. “Paw”, he say. Up go the paw, in go the nom. It does be simple but effective technique for hoomans cos they is unusually obsessed wiv ow they feel bout themselves.
Also, we find that we help him out by not always doin the same thing to see if he is payin attenshun. He say “lie down” and I lie down. Then he say “roll over” and I just give him the dead eye. “Roll over” he say again, and this time I sit up and give him paw. “LIE DOOOOOWWWWWNNNNN MARLEY” he say, so I do it and allow him to give me nom for spottin that his command ad not been followed to the letter. This way he get elp wiv accuracy and also a boost for his self respect.
Keeps us dogs from getting bored
Trainin is very good for stopping animals of all types from getting bored. If Dad is teachin me ow to stand on my back legs or turn round in circles then he cannot be spendin the evenin sittin on the sofa and sayin rood phings while mum watches America’s Next Top Model. It keep his mind active (trainin, not the models, ahem) and also elp wiv harmony in the house cos he is not avin to fight with mum bout wot is on telly.
You ave to be careful not to overdo trainin of course cos it can lead to tiredness and loss of patience. Yesserday me an Lola was up the woods and Dad was yellin for us to come back cos we was lookin under a bush for a squirrel. This is important work so we did ignore im. “Lola” he yell, then “Marley”. He keep this up for 10 minnits and eventually he is shouty and red in the face and his blood pressure look like it bout to burst off the top of the chart. I trot over to im and give im the “calm down” look but he was restless for the rest of the walk and did ave to ave a lie down when we got in. I tell this to you, careful ow you go about trainin cos it can be bad for your ealf if you do too much. Recognise your limits.
However, if you duzz trainin properly then then it can be rewardin for both dog and hooman. You see how happy they are if you roll over on command in front of the neighbours. It is like their eldest has graduated wiv first from Cambridge and they is about to be invited to join the golf club. Also, it is nice for people what you meet. If I sit and offer my paw to ladies we meet on our walks then we are always bein offered noms and that makes their pockets lighter and elp with finishin their walks.
If your human just isn’t getting it right
If your hooman is avin trubble trainin themselves by usin you for elp then I suggest you arsk Karen to elp wiv dat. She arsk me to do sumfink simple like “Marley, show me how Twitter work and can be applied to help solve world problems” and wivvin 5 minnits I have done a small presentayshun on it becos Karen make it all so easy peasy. The hoomans what have come with me do see how simple it can be and they takes me ome for practises followed by noms and a lie down.
All in all, me an Lola phink trainin is really really good and makes for quiet and contented staff what can be allowed to take you out in public. Give it a try, but make sures your hooman has Karen’s phone number close by.
Marley…… (offishul Dog of London 2012)