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No’s and boo’s

August 25, 2010

The dog training guide I’m following goes by the rule that there are no “no’s” in the training. I remember hearing once that children can’t make the difference between don’ts and do’s, so it makes sense that this applies to dogs too. And what does it matter to the dog, anyway? If the “no” comes after eating something yummy, it’ll still eat the yummy thing again.

There are, however, situations where a “no” feels appropriate. Not because Sigrid minds it, she just ignores it and moves on. But still, for me.

Like this one time, when I opened a salad sandwich that was to be my first meal in 24 hours. I decided I needed to go to the bathroom to wash my hands and prepare for this oh so important meal. I came out; sandwich gone. I was in shock. The “no” from me that was about as loud as the grumbling in my tummy.

The sandwich was, according to Sigrid, very tasty and worth any “no” I could’ve thrown at her anyway. She was forgiven 8 hours later when I finally found another meal (I’m a vegetarian in Spain; veggie sandwiches don’t come around that often).

Then there was this other time when I woke up to the sound of Sigrid scratching the couch. It’s not even my couch (apartment’s furnished) so she really shouldn’t be making holes in it. I sneaked out of the bedroom, jumped out in my best “boo” manner and yelled “no”!

Sigrid did the same routine my boyfriend did when I played the same trick on him the other day: fell back, crouched in fear, then gave me a hug (just to apologise for anything said during those moments of fear). Well, Sigrid didn’t look very scared, but she did the crouching thing and it was followed by heavy tail waggng. She hasn’t scratched again. And I had to admit that it did make me laugh.

Sometimes, like with the sandwich incident, it’s just too hard to keep that “no” in. As long as it’s nice, not like that furious “no” accompanied by a slap that I see  too often from some other dog owners. Either way, I usually use a little “hupp”. Like in “hupp, you’ve forgotten that you’re not supposed to do that”. Sigrid understands the “hupp” and doesn’t continue until the “no”. Too bad, almost. I’ll just have to jump out from the shadows and “boo” my boyfriend instead.

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