Whats all the fuss
Have you ever tried to stop someone fussing your dog when he is jumping up at them, wriggling his beautiful, fluffy little body, wagging his tail and yipping for attention? "It’s alright" they say, "I don’t mind."
BUT I MIND. I do not want my dog to jump up at everyone he meets, screaming like an idiot. "Please ignore him" I shout. I might as well save my breath. I would probably get a better response if I yell, "Has anyone got a hundred quid they can lend me".
Don’t get me wrong, it is not that I do not want them to pet him, I just do not want him to be rewarded for jumping up at people, or for that ridiculous screaming he does. If only they could ignore him until he sits nicely and then fuss him he might then learn to behave in a more acceptable fashion. But no. He is so pretty people fuss him for screaming and jumping so he continues to behave like an idiot, even at a year old.
Yes of course I could tell him off and stop him but that kind of makes me the ogre and can result in the dog becoming more OTT in greeting people as anxiety is added to excitement, and/or in the dog rushing ahead to greet people frantically because he has NOT learnt not to jump up at people, - he has learnt not to jump up at people near the owner! - Often with a puddle on the floor as submissive urination is added to the problem, or worse than that, the dog could end up being frightened of strangers as it gets told off whenever they approach, rather than learning that it is the jumping up that is the problem. Hey ho, I guess I will have to hope things will improve as he grows up but not much chance of that as people love his enthusiastic greeting, they think he just adores them, but I soon put them right by informing them, "Don’t be too flattered – he does that to everyone!"
Hopefully this distracts from the reality that I have a naughty dog.
In some ways the Golden Wonder is very clever. For example, when he was five months old we were walking along a farm track and he went through a gate into the adjoining field. I kept walking with my other two dogs and the Golden Wonder ran alongside albeit on the other side of the fence. After about a hundred yards he came to a fence in the field and realised we were continuing and he could not get through. I huffed, thinking I would have to walk back to the gate to show him the way out, when he quickly assessed the situation, remembered where the gate was and ran all the way back on his own and round to rejoin us. I thought that was clever. He has repeated this type of behaviour several times since. One of my other dogs in a similar situation would bark to draw attention to his predicament and the other would just stand looking hard done by and wait for the cavalry to come and bail him out. Not the Golden Wonder, he is too clever for that.
Do you remember the way he used to bark and scream when left in his crate as a tiny puppy? Well, that is somewhat improved, but he can still bark for attention if left in the van if he does not consider it appropriate. Let’s face it he is the most beautiful dog in the world and he should be parading around in the limelight whenever he feels like it – he thinks!
When he was very young I used to ignore him when he screamed to get out of the crate, or just cover him with a blanket. None of this seemed to work. When he wanted to come out he screamed, in spite of the fact he was never let out until he was quiet. Was he too thick to learn? As he got bigger I used a citronella spray collar – the type that goes off when the dog barks. That did help to some degree, but he quickly learnt that he could make a different pitched noise that did not set the collar off. Not so thick then?
The Golden Wonder is rather an enigma. In some ways he is very clever and quick at problem solving and in other ways he just seems incapable of learning to do what I want him to do. Maybe perhaps he is just running rings around me, laughing at me in his own enchanted way. Whatever. I do adore him and he is just sooo pretty.