Tuesday, April 01, 2014

In which Phoebe goes to school

Phoebe is six months old now and has become very unruly, so we enrolled her in a basic obedience class.  She is pretty challenged when it comes to obedience.  She's very bright, but like most hounds, she's more interested in going her own way than pleasing people.

What do you MEAN by these so-called "commands"?

When we switch to a new skill in class, the trainer will use one of the dogs in a demonstration. Phoebe LOVES to be the demonstration dog and every time the trainer approaches the center of the room and raises her hand for attention, Phoebe will stare at her intently, her whole body quivering as if to say, "Pick me! Pick me!"  (Demonstration dogs get extra treats.) And she often is the chosen one, whether because the trainer likes her or because she is seen as needing extra help, I can't say.

Treat please

Meanwhile, Jon broke his arm so badly that he can't drive, which sucks all around, but also sucks in the dog training department because when working with a dog, it's kind of handy to have the use of both your arms.

We have a long way to go.  She has a deep, baying, "the bloodhounds are coming" bark, which she directs at every runner, bicyclist, or car that happens to cross our path when we're out on our walks, while she lunges at them like a tiger after a steak. It's not aggression, she just has a strong genetic predisposition to chase everything that moves.

Speaking of runners, we take her on runs as an outlet for her energy. I truly can't tell if she loves running or if it is too stressful for her.  She gets very excited if she sees me in my running clothes--evidenced by jumping higher than the ceiling and attacking the drawstring on my running jacket-- but once we get going, it's like she's running for her life, except every once in a while, she'll jump in front of you and stop, so you're constantly at risk of face plant on the concrete.  We do demented sprints through the neighborhood as if we're being pursued by something.

Still likes to sit on Jon's lap
Despite these difficulties, Phoebe is a delightful dog.  One evening we found her intently listening, and actually dancing to the them song to It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia.  Her wrinkled houndy face is irresistible.

Here she is the day we brought her home.

With her best buddy, Sancho:

Phoebe at the window, watching Grace and Seamus drive away.  She hates to be left behind.


  1. Phoebe is just adorable and I love the way it looks like she's trapped Sancho in the corner of the couch.

  2. She's so cute you can almost forgive the erratic and dangerous running tricks, eh? I bet once she's fully trained all the effort will be worth it.

  3. Phoebe looks lovely. Good wishes to her.

  4. She is a sweetie and it is good you are having her trained. I think it is the owners who benefit from the classes, and are really being trained :)

  5. Bloody adorable.

  6. Poor Jon! How long is he going to be out?

  7. I can't wait to show my dog-loving daughter these adorable doggy pictures. Sorry about Jon's arm. I've never broken a limb. It sounds miserable. In addition to super-inconvenient.