Leonberger Dog

Puppy Training 101 — Blame the Husband

I had pulled in my driveway on a rainy September day and spotted large and small strips of brown cardboard, pink, black and white clothing, and clear plastic bags that had been ripped open and scattered across my back lawn.
It looked like someone had tossed debris in random directions as they rode on a merry-go-round. Closer inspection revealed that about 50 golf shirts littered my yard. Clear plastic bags protected most of them, the rest were sopping and smeared with dirt.
I quickly bundled as many shirts as I could hold in my arms, and I hurried inside and dropped them on the Ping-Pong table. When I returned to collect more, I watched my giant Leonberger puppy hop among the clutter.
He grabbed a pink shirt, growled ferociously, and shook it like he was playing Tug of War. Then he threw his head up and down several times, tossed it in the air and pounced on it with muddy paws. I couldn’t help but laugh.
Oops, these were the company-monogrammed-Adidas-golf shirts that my husband had ordered for his customers. I had heard that the company had paid about $2,000 for them. Unfortunately he couldn’t give his customers shirts that took a spin in the washer. I knew that we were in trouble.
After I picked up the rest of the shirts, I called my husband from my cell phone so that he wouldn’t know that I was home.
 “You didn’t leave the dog out, did you?” I asked
 “Yes, I left him out,” he said.
 “Oh, did you forget that anything that the UPS truck drops off on the driveway belongs to him?”
 “I didn’t think about that,” he said 
 “If he gets into anything, my conscience is clear, how’s yours? Have a great day and see you at dinner.”
This was the second or eighth time that my puppy had opened a UPS box. Previously, he had torn into canine heartworm pills and had eaten a six-month supply. I knew that the pills contained arsenic, and I had made a frantic call to the vet who assured me that his 120 pounds protected him from the poison.
Though I had never eaten one, heartworm medication smells and tastes like dog treats, and my dogs love them. Unfortunately, food and fun had rewarded my puppy for puncturing packages. It was time to stop his behavior before he consumed his next carton.
After I picked up the rest of the shirts, I placed a cardboard box in my driveway and walked away watching him from nearby. When my puppy pounced on the box, I ran to him and grabbed his little black furry cheeks in my hands and put my face about two inches from his and screamed “NO!”
I yelled at him for about 15 seconds, and it worked. He never touched a box again.
It was a win-win. My puppy’s curiosity taught my husband pet-owner responsibility by making him consider the consequences of leaving him out without supervision, and our family and friends added to their wardrobe. Thank goodness we have that dog.

    31 thoughts on “Puppy Training 101 — Blame the Husband

    1. I love your dog! He would never do what you said! Are you sure it wasn’t your son playing a joke?
      Great pic! My ninny is afraid of phone cameras, I can’t even get a shot of her face!

    2. Dottie-you live the glamorous life! Thank you for sharing the antics of an over rambunctious dog. I remember you sharing him with Colin’s fourth grade class!!

      1. Oh my gosh, you are right. Could it be that long ago? Thanks for reading my blog, we have had some interesting times over the years. I hope that all is well. How is SJA?

    3. This post cracked me up. Animals are pretty hilarious – until they eat your UPS deliveries. I’m glad that everybody learned a lesson ; )

      1. I think that it is a matter of catching them in the act and saying “no” in a strong voice. When I catch my puppies chewing, I toss a small bean bag at them and they associate chewing with being startled and they stop. Dogs are easy to train if the owner takes the time.

    4. Oh NO! Our dog is a chewer. My son caught a battery before it went down his throat the other day. A BATTERY. Our last dog had a taste for chocolate. CHOCOLATE. His size protected him every time. Even when he ferreted out a Christmas sized bag of York’s peppermint patties and shat green wrappers for a week and a half.

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