Tales of Teddy

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Training Teddy: Taming The (Mainly Docile) Beast

At home, we’ve got used to Teddy’s chilled out, undemanding personality. But recently we’ve seen a bit of a change in our Miniature Schnauzer. On weekday evenings, when the family reconvenes after a day at school and work, he perks up. He welcomes his pack, bustles about and gets involved, making sure he’s seen and patted – so far, so normal. But lately he has added some extra feistiness to his repertoire. He growls and tugs at any available trouser leg. This then escalates to jumpy nips as he tries to encourage one of us to play. Not ideal.
What to do? Should we take him for a walk and tire him out? Should we ignore him until he calms down? Should we give-in and play, but be firmer with reprimands? I ask Kevin-the-Trainer. “Sometimes training wears out a dog better than exercise,” he says. His suggestion: “Try putting him on a lead and spend five or ten minutes practicing sit/stays or teaching him a trick.”
I tried this last night. We went through sit/stay/leave with treats on the floor. Teddy was super-focused (food was, afterall, involved) and he was one hundred per cent successful in each drill. So, not exercise, not play, but training is the answer for this little dog when he acts up. I wonder if it works for children, too?

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