Thursday, June 26, 2014

City Dog: The Dog Trick We Never Expected to Use Most Often

When Miss M first came to live with me, I always joke that she was 'raised by wolves'. She had no focus, always needed to be entertained, and she just couldn't sit still. It was really taking her to a basic training course that changed both of our lives and I realized how much Miss M loved to learn.
We have written a lot about how we use basic dog commands in our every day lives, but unexpectedly, it became one of Miss M's vanity tricks, the "wave" command, that has become her most frequented trick:

Keeping Focus:
With every walk we go on, probability is high that we will encounter oncoming excited pups, chicken bones, drunken people trying to grab the pups (and often all of the above!). With these being the expected, plus the even crazier unexpected, we know how important it is to maintain constant routine and communication treating all of our walks like a training walk. The pups do a great job with "check-in's" and throughout our walk we will ask the pups for sits and stays, and throw in the "wave" command for variation.

Being Approachable:
Even though we feel lucky to be a part of a community where there are so many fellow pit bull-type dogs, we know there are many people who are still wary. Having our pups focusing on us, and doing cute 'parlor tricks', does make them more approachable and we often have many people coming up to meet them. My favorite is when we do hear an offhand comment to have the pups sit right at our side, then wave. Usually the other people waiting at the corner with us will say something positive to outweigh any of the negatives.

The Humor in It:
With all of the photos we take of the pups, we love the option of 'wave' because it does give us some funny variations.
We also love when children walk by and wave at the dogs and we can have Miss M wave right back (though she's usually looking at me when she does it).

How we Taught the Wave Command:
We taught the wave command as a variation of 'shake'. We started by holding our hand out as if we were going to do the shake but then put our hand slightly out of reach so they had to try pawing at us to reach our hand. We marked the pawing in the air motion (we say "yes, wave!") and eventually we were able to change the hand signal instead of reaching out to meet their paw to just waving.
We think it's a little harder for Mr. B with his stubby T-Rex arms.

Are there other pups out there showing off their 'wave' commands? Or do you have other 'vanity tricks' that you are using on a more than regular basis?

Remember when we tried to teach it to Mr. B and this happened?
This one changed our lives
Circus Dog!
Check our Facebook page for more photos, comments, and story lines beyond the blog


Annie & Pauls Mom said...

Annie and Paul have a few "vanity" commands, but they're more highly useful in our world. Things like "cross" for crossing the street, "huphup" for turn around, "hopity hop" for getting into the car, and "right" and "left" for maneuvering through a crowd.

Two French Bulldogs said...

You are adorable Ms M. Mom cracks up when I do that
Lily (& Edward)

Hannah@Eriesistibull said...

We are working on the wave, although we started with high five, so Tess gets confused with that one. Our favorite is "dance" where she gets up on her back legs and twirls.

Rachel @ My Two Pitties said...

So cute! Kaya & Norman do wave but I use the word "hi" so I can say, "say hi!"

Kaya loves her stretch command and spin. She also jumps in the air when I hold my hand over her head, she loves to go from a stretch to a jump and so on...

Anonymous said...

I love the wave! Rufus has yet to learn the wave (it's never too late, right??) but I find it completely irresistible!

Pittie Fan! said...

I hate to be the one to break the news to such good folks, but I don't think that is Miss M waving. She's really communicating, "TALK to the PAW!" Love your blog!

A Wonderful Dogs Life said...

Adorable :)

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