Wax on, wax off.

The Melvin and Jake days went like this, I’d give a verbal command (dinner, sit, potty, upstairs, inside) and Melvin and Jake would come/go running.  It was always Melvin, then Jake.  I just figured they both took off running at the same time but Melvin’s legs were longer (and his legs worked) so he showed up first.

I was wrong.  As far as I can tell, the day we lost Melvin was the very first day Jake ever heard my voice.  I guess it had always been Melvin hearing me, he’d move in the appropriate direction and then Jake would be like ‘oh yay, I love this game, he always leads me to such wonderful things’. Melvin was Jake’s hearing-ear-dog.  (For the record, Jake is not deaf, we checked).

In the current day, when words noises come out of my mouth, Jake just tilts his head and looks around for Melvin.  He. Doesn’t. Know. One. Command.

For example, in this video (and this is not a training session, I just wanted you to see how I got to this realization), I say the word ‘potty’ or ‘go potty’ about 7,690 times in the span of forty seconds. (Had this been Melvin and I said ‘go potty’ this many times, he would have spun around and ran back and forth to door and pee’d right there our of excitement explosion. Jake would have mimicked his every move). When saying it in this video, I’m pointing, gesturing, motioning to the door. Jake has (supposedly) heard me say ‘potty’ 4 times a day for two-and-a-half-years.   Melvin was running for the door if I even said ‘pa’.

So this week he is learning three things. The first is POTTY.  The next is ‘sit’.  It’s actually not easy for Jake to sit because of his legs but sit is crucial to many other things he will need to learn so he is learning a modified sit.  He is also learning ‘stop’, because 85% of the things he does, he should not do.

It’s interesting training Jake, he’s smart but he’s also indifferent about it.  While he loves food (LOVES), and he likes that you are holding food for him, he does not always understand the food needs to be worked for.  Like sometimes in our training, he’ll just go lay down and give me the look of ‘please bring that food to me’.  He’s not really food motivated, he just wants to eat it.  I have never had a dog like this, so training my little karate kid (reference to the tittle of the post) is a lesson for both of us.





12 thoughts on “Wax on, wax off.

  1. “First I lost my one true love, then she tried to waterboard me, and now she’s going to start starving me while making me watch the food in her hands?! What even is this?” Poor, poor Jake.

  2. That video is hilarious. I have pugs and they are stubborn little critters also. It took me three years to house train my Phoebe and now she is in a little K9 cart and can’t control those functions at all. There is a little bag in the back of her cart that catches “meatballs” and I have to manually express her pee. The other two pugs are locked in the kitchen all day, as they are three and still not trained, but doing better. I can’t wait until they have the run of the house too. Jake is adorable.

  3. Dante is stubborn and doesn’t like to learn new things. He gets sulky if I withhold a treat from him. I work really hard to try and keep things upbeat and exciting but he quickly tires of having to work, so he’ll just sit and stare at me or lay down and ignore me. 🙁 Still trying to figure out how to motivate him. LoL

  4. I think Jake is waiting for the PAR-TY! I loves that look on his smush face. I do think he is trying to respond, not to your command but with the “tilt head, get treat” ploy! Hahaha

  5. Our furry fellow isn’t food motivated either… or toy motivated. We’re still trying to find that magic button to push. Our strategy is lots of play, scratches on his favourite spot, incorporating training into his walks (his favourite time). Like you we keep trying!

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