Thursday, June 26, 2008

Smarter Than A Pile of Rocks... [update]

We are getting the Shih Tzu ready for travel. Two days ago I got him injected with a microchip and yesterday I got a dog whistle (the sort people can hear but is still very high pitched). The Shih Tzu is not the brightest dog on the block, but he has figured out that where the whistle blows there be chicken. He likes chicken and he has been jumping up from wherever he is and dashing. It is sort of fun. The whistle can be tuned and I set it by watching his reactions. I'm a little mystified by the Cattle Dog's lack of interest. I started by whistling and giving them both treats. Once we moved out of the room the Cattle Dog stopped playing. My guess is that she can't hear the whistle at this particular pitch, because I just can't see her not bothering to go where there is chicken.

It is better this way though. I know that we are training the Shih Tzu to respond to the whistle, not to follow the Cattle Dog when she responds. I also don't need the Cattle Dog whistle-trained. She comes when we call her name. Besides, she is not going on the trip.

Update: I took the Cattle Dog for a walk today and let her run loose at the fenced elementary school field. I have decided that when we call her name she understands that to mean, "you must come now." She does hear the dog whistle but she understands it to mean, "Would you care for a piece of chicken?"

7 comments:

  1. That is GREATNESS!

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  2. Brilliant. I am going to try this on my Havanese, who is only slightly smarter than a box of pebbles.

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  3. You could train me if you had chocolate on the other end...

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  4. My mother had a Shih Tzu once. Although it was cute, and the most friendly dog I had ever seen, that dog was dumber than a pile of rocks.

    My mother never managed to potty train the dog, and eventually gave it away to a woman who had tile floors in her home and didn't care if the dog made messes in the house.

    Yecch!

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  5. How funny...that is one thing I miss about my dog (or dogs in general). I'd like to try something like this on my cat but she is old, ornery, finicky (will like a particular food today and not next week) and if she doesn't want to come when I call she'll just sit and stare at me...the disdain is palpable. She's an extraordinary huntress though...so I put up with her attitude.

    Can't wait to find out how he does on the trip w/ the whistle. Is the Cattle Dog just too hyper to take...just wondering.

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  6. The Cattle Dog is very calm at home, but very anxious outside. She is anxious/aggressive with other dogs, has a thing about trucks, and wants to run after every bird or squirrel. She also doesn't settle down easily in cars. She will go into a barking frenzy every times she sees another dog or squirrel or bird. All of this is such a contrast to the sweetie she is in the house.

    The Shih Tzu runs all over the house when he is playing and aggravates both the cat and the Cattle Dog. One reason for taking him is to give the other animals a break -- and make it a bit easier on Andrew to take care of everyone.

    My only concern about traveling with the Shih Tzu was that he doesn't reliably come when he is called. Hence the whistle training.

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  7. That's funny. I can totally see her thinking, "No thanks, I'm kinda chickened out!" hehehe

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