You know, he was right. Truth is, hardly anybody has come to our door since I started this training. What's up with that? How can I train this dog without an Enemy Delivery Person, Evil Utility Worker, or Alien Girl Scout Cookie Seller? I can't.
That's why last week I was ecstatic when a Jehovah's witness rang the doorbell. Unlike the FedEx guy, who just dumps the package and runs back to his truck, she was perfectly happy to stand at the door. Reub, realizing that an actual Other Person had rung the bell, went from 0 to 60 in no time flat. I took the time I needed to claim the space by the door, backed him off firmly and treated him when he sat. Then I went outside, thanked the Jehovah's Witness, chatted briefly about dog training, and took her leaflet.
You know what happens when you thank a Jehovah's Witness? They re-visit you! Yes. This time she knocked on the door, another huge trigger for Reub. There was a tiny part of me that was a little sorry when he didn't come barreling up the steps on high alert; in fact he was a total no-show. I took the leaflet (without thanking her so warmly this time) and, hugely proud of my good dog, went to reward him. Damn, turns out I had left him sleeping in the sun in the back yard, completely unaware.
However, he did seem kind of interested in the topic: WILL HUMANS RUIN THIS EARTH?
This is an interesting tidbit from last week's obedience class:
This 30-second video demonstrates an exercise designed to teach Reub to hold back when he is in a "sit." Our trainer does not believe in the "Stay" command. That's because "Sit" is supposed to mean sit-until-you-are-released. Reub first sits, then the leash is pulled taut; when he holds back-a natural reaction-he is rewarded. We should practice this more frequently than I have been doing, but at least this is a good start.