Monday, October 24, 2011

Who's training who? Never Underestimate a Dancing Puppy

Kristine at Rescued Insanity wrote a poignant (in that it keenly hit home) and yet hysterical article last week about how her dog Shiva has, over time, started offering specific behaviors for "untrained" verbal cues. (Think about how, for example, a dog might come running out of dead sleep whenever it hears the word "treat.") Kristine's (giggle-inducing) account clearly illustrates how remarkably observant (and smart) her dog is. And I'll venture to say, far more observant than many of us (myself included) can fathom our own dogs to be. 

So I've been thinking: just how well do Jon Farleigh and Dewi really know me? I can't even begin to tell you all the things they do consistently, not because I've "trained" the behaviors, but because they are crafty sneaky manipulative brilliant voyeurs conditioned to my "untrained" cues and even more importantly, MY RESPONSES to their behaviors.

Observe Dewi:

This is what I used to call the "Dewi Dance." Here, Dewi is demonstrating it for a crowd of spectators (on the verge of death by extreme cuteness) at his puppy kindergarten graduation. :) His dad and I were SO PROUD of him - and lavished him with yummy treats and baby talk and belly rubs, followed by more yummy treats and baby talk and belly rubs. Undivided pleasant attention for Dewi, wouldn't you say? :)  

So yeah, we used to ask Dewi to "dance" A LOT in our house (and for total strangers in public places). 

Then one day, as I was typing at the computer in our home office - completely unsolicited - this happened...many times:

And I knew I was in big trouble. 

Stay tuned tomorrow for the exciting conclusion - including a literal interpretation of Dewi's thoughts, and how we came to stop asking him to dance. 

Happy Monday!


  1. Neither Wilson nor Jimmy can "Dance". They just don't seem to have whatever it takes to hold the position. They try, it just doesn't work.....But 1st Cardi Dylan was a Dancer Extraordinaire! He learned it all by himself. And just like Dewi, it got results! So he used it to indicate he wanted something. Food of course (he was a corgi after all), but also to get us to throw his beloved frisbee. He'd either hold the frisbee in his mouth or drop it at your feet and then assume the position. If/when that failed to get a throw, he would drop and roll, doing a complete 360 spin on the ground and back onto his feet. That was impossible to resist and the frisbee would fly!

    Oh, I sure miss that old boy.

  2. Dewi, you are a genius! (As well as ridiculously cute!)

  3. Radar is the one who we taught to "sit like a weasel", but it is Dewi's half-sister Dixie who recently spontaneously started to use it to get my attention away from the computer.

  4. Hi Y'all!

    NO!! NO!! Don't tell! I've got my Human so WELL TRAINED! If you tell your secret she'll never do what I want again!!!

    Hawk aka BrownDog

  5. If Dewi tells his secrets, will he be drummed out of the corgis? I hear that's what happens to magicians.

    Of course how you could try to stop anything so cute, I will never know.

  6. LOL... "But I'm dancing... where's my treat?"

  7. Shiva has a "dance" trick too! But we taught her that one on purpose. I love that Dewi just started offering it for treats at random times. What a smart doggy! And crafty and sneaky and probably manipulative!

    Thanks for the shout-out!

  8. Oh my goodness, he is soooo cute!

    Bella is definitely doing a better job at training us than we are of her - we taught her "show me" and now we're trying to figure out how to tell her just because she shows us what she wants, doesn't mean she's always going to get it. Doh!

  9. Dewi is such a smarty pants! Who could resist that??

  10. To all - Well, I guess you probably know how this turned out. :)

    @Taryn - Is it possible Dylan and Dewi are related? :) He sounds like a character!

    @Tucker - Not so sure he's a genius (there are some things that surprisingly confound him). Cute? Maybe. :)

    @Ron - I love "sit like a weasel"! I'm beginning to think this might be a genetic thing with some Cardigans. Just think, they could have been manipulating Welsh farmers tens of hundreds of years ago. :)

    @Hawk - Your human will ALWAYS do what you want. :)

    @Pamela - Hee - No drumming out; I'm pretty sure all Corgis are in on this (they might not be able to do it, but they know its power).

    @Pup Fan - It's complicated. :)

    @Kristine - I bet Shiva can dance. :) And Dewi might not know it, but he's definitely manipulative.

    @Leslie - Funny. :) There should be a list of "tricks" that come with a warning "this trick cannot be untrained; proceed with caution." :)

    @Julie - I don't know! :)


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