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From: Saysfaa (
Subject:         today went much better, long with a ? on the end.
Date: May 14, 2008 at 7:16 pm PST

I tied Charlie to me first thing in the morning and he spent the day not just being a good dog but also having to listen and respond to me. He was much happier, I think. Except he did get tired of going up the stairs just to come back down.

Among the lessons for today: the baby's first feeding does not give him a freebie. That one was funny, Charlie looked so surprised that I would put the baby down to make sure he obeyed. Lesson number two: he has to obey even when someone is at the door. Thankfully, it was another sister in law the first time and not the nurse. I opened the door and then totally ignored sis while Charlie got taught how to behave. Then the UPS man came and basically set the box in the door so I didn't have to give too much attention to it so Charlie didn't get the first step out of line. And the other sister in law stayed until the nurse came and left and she took care of the kids, so again Charlie didn't get any slack. It was quiet enough that we didn't wake brother in law (who works midnights, if you don't remember) Yeah!!!

Sis listens, she really wants to do right by Charlie. She is going to insist he go to doggie day care for the day her mother in law comes over. Sis says there is no way she will listen about Charlie, when they told her what the pro dog trainer said, she flatly said she would not do it. Sis is listening very well, and understanding how damaging her mother in law is to Charlie.

I didn't see brother in law much today, but he listened when I explained what Charlie sees about the things he steals. I said, Charlie doesn't know what to do. He wants to do what people want him to do but sometimes he gets something and people ignore him, sometimes they tell him that is an invitation to play (give a "play bow"... which they mean as an attempt to grab the thing, but he sees as facing him and bowing, and then playing either chase or tug or war with high pitched noises and all), sometimes they get annoyed, and sometimes they get really mad. He never knows which it is going to be so he lives in uncertainty all the time. He would much rather know what people want.

And he listened when I explained about dog language and people language being different. When people get serious/upset they get louder and higher pitched. When dogs get serious/upset they get lower volumed and lower pitch.

I've noticed brother in law will give commands and will give invitations, and Charlie doesn't know which is which. Is there a way to give different signals, or should it always be a command (no choice). This would be for things like going outside when brother in law goes, bro wants to take him if he wants to go, but is fine with leaving him inside if he wants.

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