Grace, our Australian Shepherd, is now approaching 14. She is the third in a line of Aussies that we have raised since puppies. The breed is affectionate, loyal, alert, active, protective of children, a hater of mailmen and an all around great family dog. Grace came from upstate New York, one of two puppies of an excellent sheep dog. We had to promise not to breed her, and sent proof of her spaying once it was done. Reputable sheep dog owners don’t want puppy mills to spring up from their offspring.
Both of our earlier dogs had flunked obedience school, preferring to do their own training. Grace has followed suit. Their own training is owner focused, that is, I, as the owner, needed to be trained. Grace has outperformed her predecessors in this endeavor. In case you are an owner in need of training, Grace suggests the following tasks to be mastered.
- Open the back door when your dog stands near it to go out.
- Open the back door when your dog who just went out wants to come in.
- Repeat as frequently as necessary.
- Leave the toilet lid up for cold drinking water. (Grace says her owners constantly fail at this.)
- Step over or around your dog and never ask her to move.
- Feed regularly. Don’t listen to the vet’s recommended amount.
- Toss frequent table scraps. Ignore the vet’s directives.
- Keep the yard full of squirrels for endless enjoyment of your dog.
- Disregard the vet’s recommended immunization demands.
- Let the dog’s nail and hair grow to please the dog, not the owner.
- Never call anything a “doggy hotel.”
- Never leave town, especially not with the dog in a “doggy hotel.”
Grace reports that despite her constant training, we continue to fail at some key tasks she considers important. She asks why we expect her to go to obedience school. Clearly the problems lie with her owners.