Now let's say that you are all about giving dogs attention, but that those few hours after you've arrived home from a long bike ride and a full day at work are precisely the hours in which you would like nothing more than to space out with an ice pack on your lower back in front of a really bad TV show, or perhaps in front of a movie featuring 6 attractive 20somethings who go camping in a beautiful remote wilderness, and end up being chopped into small pieces, one by one, by a deranged mountain person or supernatural
Or maybe you'd even like to just read something halfway intelligent, like a Buddhist book on anger management, or something relaxing in its humor by David Sedaris or relaxing in its bleakness by Cormack McCarthy.
Regardless of your recipe for evening relaxation, all these options are off the table when you've got a dog afflicted with Evening Devil Dog Syndrome. All you can do is try to tire her out.
Fortunately, Daria is highly food motivated
and she is super smart and like most dogs, enjoys training.
We've been working on the basics, which of course are great for focus and impulse control.
A dog who can sit for a treat is a dog who is starting to learn that there are more rewarding things in life than humping a dog who does not want to be humped.
Better yet, an impulsive, deaf dog who can sit is learning maybe for the first time a system of communication that is based on something other than frustration. Instead of hump, nip, and bark in frustration and be strangled by an equally frustrated human, there is the option to sit, and get a treat.
Daria readily picks up hand signals, and we've been working on all the basic skills. One fun trick is Called Sit and Wait While I Give a Treat To Fozzie and Give Him Love. There is no specific hand signal for that one, but its title is pretty self-explanatory. If she can get that one, she'll have an A+ in impulse control, let me tell you.
We've also been incorporating some other tricks to help tire her out and give her brain something to do. She hasn't yet learned to put those paws up on a pilates ball--which Fozzie learned so well in his Doggie Dance Class--
but she readily learned to stand on her hind legs and seems to love it. That's gotta be tiring, as well as being adorable.
Small pitties make such great trick dogs and circus dogs. What a great outlet for all that wacky energy.
And, you can do your hand signals with one hand, the other hand on the ice pack or the remote.
What's YOUR prescription for the Evening Devil Dog?