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Dog Training, Boston Style

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

I'm not sure what the point is, of training a Boston terrier to shake hands and roll over. Perhaps it's just to be sure you can teach him something, when he seems to be the one who's always teaching you. I do see the value of Stay and Sit and Come and Down, but beyond that, it's pretty much parlor tricks, like teaching your two-year-old to recite the ABC's for Grandma. Oh, yeah. There's Heel. We haven't quite got that one down, because we're never on a lead...

Chet Baker puts up with Phoebe's training with dignity. As long as there's a liver treat or a piece of sharp cheddar involved, he'll go along with the act. He ain't nobody's monkey, though, and he won't perform without the treat.You had better have a treat in your hand, Miss Phoebe, or nothing doing.

He hates Roll Over (gee, wonder why?), but he'll do it, as long as you trace an arc with the liver treat that tells him where to go.
Shake has turned into something that better resembles a High Five. He'll slap his paw over yours, verra cute.
Just give me the treat, and I will go back to chasing bunnehs, which is my Real Job.
He is really good at Stay, which is probably one of the best commands for an enthusiastic Boston terrier to master. It comes in handy around cars and cows. Notice that I did not include cats in that lineup. Nothing will make him Stay around a cat.
Oh, Miss Phoebe, please do not make me wait any longer for that delicious strong smelling pellet of textured protein.
Sweetness, thou art Baker. Here you go, good boy. Now you can go back to doing dog things.
Offisa Pupp, at your service.

This is a happy birthday to my dear friend Jane, who has brought black-and-white bundles of joy to so many people, and without whom there would be no Chet Baker. Imagine!


Liver treats--$1
Chet Baker's eyes totally intent on the treat in Phoebe's hand--PRICELESS

When I was Phoebe's age, I did obedience training with my Toby ... and knowing the powerful bond that it reinforced between us, I can't quite believe that the glint in Chet's eye when he looks at Phoebe is only liverlust.

awwww...nice to see that Chet has done such a good job of training Phoebe...

Adorable daughter, cute doggie, and humorous narrative. What more could you ask? Nice post.

BTW: Are you sure you don't want pages of responses about leash training like you did last year?

Today's post brought a tear to my eye, thank you so much for the birthday wish but even more for the friendship. Truly the most priceless gift I have received. Seeing one of "my children" loved so thoroughly makes what I do a joy. Chet may never win trophies at Westminister or take ribbons in obedience and agility classes but he is a champion in my eyes, as are all in the Thompson/Zickefoose family!

Tee hee...I sorta kinda mentioned heeling in an offhand way so people wouldn't say, "What about HEEL?" which is a skill that has little opportunity for airing out here in the middle of nowhere. I actually prefer being behind Chet, watching those perfect little thighs scissor along.

Good job with the training, Miss Phoebe!

I tend to agree that Roll Over, Shake, Play Dead, Sneeze, Pray, etc. are "parlor tricks." I usually only teach commands that I find useful in my day-to-day life with dogs, like Sit, Stay, Come, and oh yes, Heel. (teasing)

BUT, I think all dogs need to learn something and tricks like these are great fun for kids to teach, and for showing off your dog for company. There's nothing wrong with having some fun tricks up your sleeve.

So, "Good Boy, Chet" and here's a liver treat. "Good Girl, Phoebe" - wanna Snickers bar?



There is no heeling. Like you, I prefer to watch their meaty thighs take them to places that interest them. They agree to silly commands like sit and stay while their eyes are on your hand or pocket. Come? Now, that's a joke. I replace "Come" with "Cheese!"

This post is priceless and a wonderful tribute to a good friend. Without dear Jane, we would not be loving Chet and Bella.

Phoebe, don't give up. Chet would be disappointed if you did. You remind me of my own lovely daughter who still tries to train our old, stubborn Chloe.


How delightful to see Phoebe and Chet Baker. They are quite the pair. I will never tire of seeing Bostons. I would love to have another one of those sweet, funny, and absolutley adorable creatures.

I don't want to imagine life without Baker!

Oh I can never get too many Chet Baker you think he knows how many fans he has? I just want to hug and kiss that face!

My Aunt had a Boston terrier and could not teach her a thing her name was Annie. My granddaughter has a dog and she taught her to do tricks with sign language.

Looks like Chet's a good sport and Phoebe's an excellent teacher. That post was fun!

My Boston, Lola, lives with my ex, so although it was a bird story that brought me to your blog, it is Chet Baker who brings me back for a sweet Boston fix when I miss my Lola. Mr. Baker is quite handsome! I thought I'd share a Boston training story: When Lola first arrived, we worked diligently with her on potty training, as advised with the stinky liver treats. Boston result? She began "asking" to go outside, run ahead a little, squat, turn around proudly, grinning, and wait for her treat. "Look Mom! I'm going!" If she peed as much as she pretended to, we would not have had neighbors and would have been frequent fliers to the canine nephrology specialists. Lola also high-fives when asked to shake and in addition to smiling, she giggles when happy. It sounds like she's trying to clear her throat, sneezily. So I like peeking in on the the birds, but I sure love me some Chet! Thanks for sharing him.

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