They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. So I guess I should be flattered.
The boys have begun to imitate me whenever I ask Macula to do something. For example, if she is in the backyard and I am calling her in, I will suddenly have 2 little shadows beside me waving their hands and calling too. The fact that they can't talk, don't do the hand signals, willing go to* Macula instead of making her go to them and happily give her treats for doing *nothing at all doesn't necessarily make their help very helpful.

So am I training the boys to give commands to Macula or Macula to listen to the boys? Are the boys teaching Macula that they are bosses-to-be-obeyed or is Macula training them to be her treat-machines? Or is Macula simply finding another excuse to ignore us all because too many "commands" are coming her way?
I have to admit, though: it *is* really cute watching the boys "calling" Macula ;-)
Marie and all her puppies.
The boys are learning that it is fun to follow Mommy around and imitate what she does. They're learning not to expect the same results when they do something as when she does something. Through trial and error and brains already wired to learn, they'll eventually learn to become better imitators. Macula isn't learning anything new since she learned long ago that the puppies are cute and can be safely ignored.
Lia
The boys are learning that it is fun to follow Mommy around and imitate what she does. They're learning not ... Macula isn't learning anything new since she learned long ago that the puppies are cute and can be safely ignored.

If Macula is like my dogs, she is learning something. She is learning that little people are the bearers of treats for little or no work. This is a good thing in and of itself when you have kids and will soon have a house full of them when they go off and make a bunch of friends. The kids are also learning that big people train dogs, which will be a great thing as they grow up. Since they want to do what grown-ups do, they will want to learn how to train Macula as they are better able to do so with the correct commands. Also, they are being indoctrinated from toddlerhood that dogs come with training responsibility, which is a step ahead of many adult dog owners out there.We had to stop into a Petsmart today to remedy an out of chewies emergency. They were having a dog adoption day. My daughter fell in love with one of the little dogs and the first thing out of her mouth was that if I let her have the dog, she would train her herself. When the adoption lady laughed a little, she got indignant. She already gets dogs to go potty, sit, stay and stay back from the doorway, go to their place, give kisses and settle down on command on a daily basis and she's only six.

The only difference she sees is that she gets to do the training all on her own if she wants it to be "her" dog. Not a bad thing to pick up without being actually taught it, you know. She equates having a dog be yours with having responsibility for training it as well as loving and feeding it.

Paula
"I think I'm having the best childhood I've ever had!" Mimi
The kids are also learning that big people train dogs, which will be a great thing as they grow up.
Kids train dogs as well, although not much in the city . . . http://www.nj4h.rutgers.edu/dogs/default.asp
They (kids and dogs) must be steered in the right direction . . .

http://www.pne.bc.ca/4h/prizebook/divisions/d0194H.html Obedience Division
That each member will be scored on their understanding and ability to demonstrate obedience with their project animal according to their project unit.
Units:
Beginner Novice, Junior and Senior classes
Novice, Junior and Senior classes
Beginner, Junior and Senior Open
Junior and Senior Open
Utility
Try and find a local 4-H. They have lots to teach your kids besides what adults do.
She already gets dogs to go potty, sit, stay and stay back from the doorway, go to their place, give kisses and settle down on command on a daily basis and she's only six.

-) She sounds like a great kid.
There's a girl in one of my classes who's maybe 8 or 9. She's got a rather difficult little dog (probably a JRT mix) who's both shy and fairly stubborn. And she's doing an absolutely terrific job with her. She's quite a bright and competent little girl and I truly enjoy watching her.
Dianne
She already gets dogs to go potty, sit, stay and ... on command on a daily basis and she's only six.

:-) She sounds like a great kid. There's a girl in one of my classes who's maybe 8 or 9. ... an absolutely terrific job with her. She's quite a bright and competent little girl and I truly enjoy watching her.

I started doing rescue when she wasn't even big enough to walk on our shelter walks, so she has had a lot of practice, but yes, she is a great kid. The biggest part of training in my world, whether dogs to be adopted out or dogs to be kept, has been training dogs to be good and safe around kids. This means the kids have had to be a big part of the program from the beginning. It has been a good thing for the kids as well as the dogs and it has taught me a lot, too.

Mimi's latest obsession is training a dog to do something that will get her on Pet Star.

Paula
"You are so wrong you'll likely never be right at any point in the future." Steve Christensen
So am I training the boys to give commands to Macula or Macula to listen to the boys? Are the ... treat-machines? Or is Macula simply finding another excuse to ignore us all because too many "commands" are coming her way?

Certainly has to be confusing. :}
Can the boys be taught the concept of "This is your job, this is my job?" or are they too young? If they can, I would suggest teaching them that calling Macula is your job, and giving them each their own task with her. I'm not sure what, something simple. Could they understand "Give her a treat when she's sitting and quiet?"

Family Dog Trainer
"It's A Dog's Life"
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