Minnesota Musing: Dogs - How to Keep a Dog Entertained for Hours
Bertha - The Short Hair - Offers a Brief Amount of Attention
A dog is faced with choices on a regular basis. Stay inside, go outside. Go find a place to lay down, or run around aimlessly. A dog must ask itself the question: what do I really want to do, today?
The answer to that question isn't easy, apparently.
Sometimes, the dog requires some interaction with a human. That's you and I. Some dogs have different methods. One dog may be interested in chasing squirrels. Another dog, may be interested in chasing objects. Perhaps, a stick that you throw a distance from yourself.
You and your dog will work out these details.
It Depends on the Dog - All Dogs are Different
If you take my Chocolate Labrador Retriever, for example - he prefers going for short runs to pick up sticks hurled by myself to bring back to me. Apparently, this is a trait found in this type of dog, and that's why they call them Retrievers, since they like to retrieve.
The first time I watched him with a stick, he was actually trying to convince someone to throw it for him. He picked up and smacked person with it. You can picture that, can't you. A large dog, with a stick in its mouth, and as he shook the stick to the left and right, the stick came in full contact with the human's leg.
Of course, the human interacted by pulling the stick from the dog's mouth and hurling it across the yard. The dog responded by going and getting the stick and bringing it back to the human and dropping it by the human's foot.
When the human failed to respond, the dog picked up the stick and smacked the human in the leg again. The response was the stick being pulled from the dogs mouth and hurled across the yard.
The dog was patient. Eventually, the human was actually trained to pick up a stick and hurl it without the dog having to smack the human with the stick.
Good thing dogs are patient.
This May Look Like Disinterest But Actually the Dog is Almost Giving Up
People can be Thick - According to one of the Dogs
It is unfortunate that training a human doesn't come easily to most dogs. Blue, my Chocolate Labrador Retriever has spend countless hours trying to train us.
I need to give them some credit. They work at it, and work at it and will persevere until the human has the motions down pat.
Then, it's nap time. For the dog, not me. You've seen dogs nap, right? Well. They feel that they need to sleep until the next training event.
Who can blame them?
Humans are a lot of work.
Dog Professional Sports and Some Less Publicized Dog Activities
Some dogs are into Professional sports, like chasing sticks or frisbees. I have two dogs. One spends its time chasing squirrels.
There is a science to it. One must sit and stare at the squirrels. One must blend in with their surroundings. One must become one with the grass. Then, as a squirrel scampers down the tree and ventures onto the grass, one needs to activate and give chase.
My favorite day of watching my dog chase a squirrel was the day I listened to the dog barking at a pole that contained one squirrel.
The dog barked and barked and barked and barked and barked, until she was no longer a dog, but a little hoarse. Anyway, the dog must have become distracted by its own barking and the squirrel started edging its way down the pole. I don't know why the dog didn't notice, but the squirrel was coming down the pole and the dog didn't seem to move as the squirrel started moving around the pole. All of a sudden, the squirrel reached the ground on the side of the pole opposite the ground.
The squirrel made a beeline to the next tree, stopping halfway, turning around and it literally put its front paws on its cheeks and blew a raspberry at the dog, then started running again.
Well. My story about the squirrel spitting at the dog is a complete fabrication, but I told it to my grand daughter and she could hardly contain her laughter telling the story again.
.... you're not four, so you probably don't see the humor....
Everyone is Three Years Older Now
There was a moment, where my granddaughter was imitating someone irritated by making short, puffing noises and looking annoyed. It was a disagreeing noise, you've probably heard someone do it, yourself.
Well. Anyways, there was a dog, and it was chasing my car. It was a German Short-haired dog, not mine, but someone else's. This dog was running across the road and it swung around in the ditch to get ready to chase my car. It had done it previously, so I was ready for its run across the road and the eventual chasing of my car.
This time; however, I was ready. As the dog whirled in the ditch and started back across the road, it crossed behind my car, after it snapped at my tires a few times. I stopped my car. I put the car in reverse. I backed up. I stopped my car next to the dog, now on the right hand side of my car, in the ditch where it started from.
I rolled my window down. The dog sat on its haunches, looking at me, getting ready to do it again. I yelled out my window,"Hey! You need to stop chasing cars! You need to be a good dog!" - To which the dog, looked at me for a split second, and made that noise, that short pfffing sound that I recognized as being the same sound my granddaughter had made, three years previous.
So, she was at my house, and I told her that I had thought of her making the noise when the dog made the noise. She did think it was funny and we both shared some giggles.