Daily Dose of Cute

Although greyhounds are not among the smartest breeds, ahem, bless their hearts, and have a reputation for not being particularly trainable, Dudley has easily learned a variety of commands. It's not that he's exceptionally brilliant, and it's not my mad dog-training skillz; it's just that he'll do anything for food. ANYTHING.

Naturally, I've exploited this discovery for both obedience and cuteness in order to teach him sit, down, up, back, come, wait, leave it, and his latest trick, shake, which he literally learned in about five minutes, because CHEESE!!!eleventy!

He'll do as asked for a regular old crappy treat, no problem. But when there's a HIGH VALUE TREAT on offer, he does everything with a hilarious sense of kinetic urgency, so he can secure the prize NOWNOWNOW and then run off into my office with it, where he luxuriates on his giant pillow, savoring every last morsel.

[Transcript below.]

The funny thing about the "touch" training is that Dudley has started spontaneously using it to communicate with us about what he wants/needs. When he needs to go out, if I'm taking too long getting my coat and boots on, he waits until I'm looking at him then touches the doorknob with his nose. "Here! Turn this thingy! Let's go!" When he wants to get into the car, he touches the door handles with his nose. "Here! Pull this thingy so I can get in!" If I offer him two closed hands, one with cheese inside and one with a cherry tomato (which he hates, like all vegetables, lol), he'll touch the cheese hand. "This one, please!" Too cute.
Dudley lies down on the rug in the living room. Liss: "Oh-h-h! Are you a good boy? You are?" Dudley nods; Liss moves closer and holds out her fist. "Can you touch?" Dudley touches her fist with the end of his nose. "Oh, good boy." Liss hands Dudley a treat and he takes it and trots down the hall into the office. [edit] Dudley sits in the kitchen looking at Liss plaintively. "What do you want? What do you want, Dudz?" He turns and runs into the living room, where he lies down and scratches at the floor excitedly. "What? What is it? What do you want?" Dudley's tail wags wildly. "What do you want? Is this it?" Liss holds out a pig's ear. "Oh-h-h! Good boy." Dudley takes the treat and trots down the hall into the office. [edit] Dudley flips from a sitting position into a lie-down position and snorts. "Oh my goodness!" Dudley play-bows and barks. "What?! What do you want?!" Dudley leaps around and lies at Liss' feet, wagging his tail. "What do you want, little waggy tail?" Dudley looks at her eagerly. "Come here!" Dudley leaps up into a sitting position. Liss holds out her hand. "Can you shake?" Dudley lifts his right front paw to shake. "Oh, what a good boy! Can you touch? Touch!" Liss holds out her fist and Dudley touches it with his nose. "Oh, good boy! Shake." Dudley lifts his left front paw to shake. "Good boy!" Dudley licks his lips. "What do you want? Do you want this?" Liss holds out a pig's ear and accidentally drops it. "Get it!" Dudley grabs the treat and trots down the hall into the office. [edit] "What's this?" Liss holds out a pig's ear for Dudley to inspect. "What do I have for you?" Dudley runs from the kitchen into the living room and starts to sit, then comes back toward Liss. "What's this? What is it? Can you sit?" Dudley half-sits, jumps up, sits again, taps his feet on the floor. "Are you dancing?" Dudley sneezes. Liss holds out the treat. "What's this?" Dudley mouths it; Liss gasps with excitement. "Oh!" Dudley sits. "Down. Lie down!" Dudley looks at Liss from the sit position. "Lie down." Dudley gets up, whines, bows, paws at the floor, then backs up and lies down, scratching at the floor excitedly. "Good boy!" Liss hands him the treat and he trots down the hall into the office.

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