Usually at this time of year I am writing about the snow and all the fun, cold stuff we are doing with our dogs BUT as the heavens would have it, we are apparently not going to have Winter until I get my first seeds planted… Sooo, I am going to write about my favorite kind of weather, RAIN and its accompanying sidekick, MUD…
As you may imagine, the worst possible weather for a dog trainer with a small house and a large yard is when it is wet. And rather than complain endlessly, I thought I would share a little about how I manage the soggy doggy syndrome without completely losing my marbles.
As you no doubt read last month, we have been working on a “wait” command and I think you will find this command very useful as we go through our wet-to-dry transition.
FIRST, you must prepare your landing strip, just inside the door, with a large towel on the floor and another large towel for drying.
SECOND, you have to be able to STOP your dog ( or in my case, five dogs) BEFORE they get across the threshold. For this you will use your “WAIT” command…
THIRD, you will take your dog gently by the collar, (you may need a leash as well, depending on your skill level) and ask them to come inside and remain on afore mentioned towel. Sitting or standing is fine, squirming is not.
FOURTH, you will take each of the front paws alternatively in your hands and wrapping the towel around the paw, give a gentle squeeze, expressing water into your towel. Two front and then two back. Remember that unless your dog has done this before, he may object, so be tactful. (Also great practice for nail trimming, just saying…)
FIFTH We do the belly rub with the same towel and then the tail squeeze, yes, you guys with Golden Retrievers know what I am talking about! Finally run the towel over the head and back and shielding yourself with the towel, wait for the SHAKE!!
At this point it will mostly be safe to allow your damp dog into the KITCHEN. Not the living room yet and most certainly not on the couch!
If you have been really clever, you will have laid another towel down on top of his dog bed so that the rest of the water will be absorbed by the towel and you won’t have to wash the dog bed AGAIN this week.
OK so that’s three towels not including the one you will need for yourself…And that’s only one dog…Multiply by five and you will see why the rain is NOT my friend.
Hope that this is helpful and just remember, now I have given you the secret formula, you have no excuse not to put on your Wellies and your Sou’wester and go for a lovely English WALK!!!
– Janine Lazarus w/ Goodladd Dog Training, HashtagWV #86. February 2017