Lila, our dog, has the habit of sticking around the kitchen during cleanup, in case scraps of any sort of morsel end up on the floor. Lila doesn’t like to see anything get wasted and polishes it up immediately. One Sunday, a few months ago, my daughter and son-in-law offered to tidy up after dinner. Papa and I went into the family room with our grandson to connect wooden toy train tracks. From the kitchen, we could hear conversing but couldn’t make out the words.
As the three of us were concentrating on getting train cars in line, a large bang came from the direction of the kitchen. The three of us looked at each other trying to imagine what the noise could have been. It was a noise we’ve never heard. It was much more than the sound of a drinking glass shattering on the floor. Loud laughter and a small squeal came from the same direction. I got up to see what was the matter. When I got to the scene of the commotion, I discovered that Lila’s dog tag clasp had gotten attached to one of the brackets in the dishwasher. She must have gotten spooked when she noticed she couldn’t move very easily and tried to run away. When she attempted to run, the entire bottom rack of the dishwasher went along with her. I went over to Lila, who was in the dining room by that time and unhooked her collar to free her. Lila’s tail was down and stuck between her legs letting us know her very sad mood. Amazingly, even though the entire rack was full, not one dish broke, and all living beings were left unharmed. Ever since that day, Lila has never put her nose or collar inside the dishwasher again.
That’s not to say she hasn’t been tempted to lick some plates. Sometimes she will walk by the dishwasher, when I’m loading it, with her eyes suspiciously looking in the direction of the dishes. She decides against licking any plates. Obviously, Lila doesn’t want to experience the big commotion again.
No matter how often I chided her before that day, she would never stop licking those plates. Now, when I’m loading the dishwasher, I give her a little nod to remind her about what happened the time her collar got stuck to the bracket.
It wasn’t the best way to train our dog, but it seemed to have worked. Do you have any stories of how you accidentally trained your dog to do or not do something?
A dog can express more with his tail in seconds than his owner can
express with his tongue in hours. ~Author Unknown