Come NOW, Cooper!

I thought of something to talk about – maybe you can help me. My dog Cooper has decided he doesn’t ever want to come in the house when he’s having too much fun playing in the backyard. It started a couple days ago, and has only gotten worse.

It all began on Sunday when he would NOT come inside no matter how many treats I offered as a reward (I feel I must tell you that I haven’t taught him how to come inside on command – he’ll only come when bribed). He was enjoying himself too much in the backyard. However, we can’t trust him to stay out there for too long or else he starts digging or attempting to get out through the hedge and rickety fence. So he can only be left out there for 10 minutes TOPS with no monitoring.

So yesterday morning it was impossible to get him to come in and I literally spent 10 minutes on my knees with a treat in my hand trying to tempt him to approach me enough that I could grab his collar and drag him in (okay, not DRAG him in, but ESCORT him in).

It happened again this morning. 6:15 a.m. – I’m on my knees in my bathrobe on the back deck trying to coax Cooper into approaching me. Wasn’t gonna happen. He knows the score at this point. Treat = going inside. Apparently tasty beef&bacon goodness is NOT worth it. I was at my wit’s end. By 6:34 a.m. he had still not come in, had no intention of doing so, and I had scraped up my ankle in an attempt to hold out a treat to him AND keep the stormdoor open at the same time. So I played the trump card. I felt bad, but it had to be done – I was about to be late getting ready for work. I grabbed the leash from inside and called out “Cooper, do you want to go for a walk?” in a really sweet voice. Tail wagging, he quickly ran over to me.

Instead of clipping on the leash I took hold of his collar and brought him inside. NO TREATS FOR YOU!

Before I left for work I snapped on the leash and walked him around the backyard until he finished his business. I’ll do this from now on in the morning. At night I don’t care – at this point he can stay out there all night if he wants. But in the mornings he’s only going in the backyard on a leash – even if I am in a robe and fuzzy slippers.

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If you liked that post, read on...

Ginger on October 10th, 2003

Update on Cooper on December 4th, 2008

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  1. ach – that is cruelty – poor coops – maybe he was ferful of the fuzzy slippers ???? *innocent face*

  2. Ok.. can I tell you that I was on the floor reading that…. man that was funny!!! Then I get to Denis’s reply…. *LOL!!!

    I think maybe you have the right Idea.. what about a one of those dog things… Actually, I think you have one.. you hook it to his collar and off he goes.. and the rope or string or twin or whatever the hell its made off comes out of the ground.. place it far enough from the fence and you are all set.. Not to mention, you can give yourself a radius of where the dog mess will be!! **Pats self on back for being so helpful!..

    As for trading the dog in, per Denis’s request, sure.. maybe you could trade it in for a Grate Dane or maybe a Cujo Dog.. I am sure the house could handle a big dog like that, and Denis would love it! =D

  3. Ace, you could be onto something- I’ll see if Denis will commit a certain portion of the backyard for “Cooper damage” and let him run amok. Maybe in the back somewhere? As long as he can’t get to my tulip bed…

  4. We have the fexible chain in the backyard, but you don’t want to put him on that. I’m all for that. I don’t care about the lawn. I’m the one who wants to pave it all over.

  5. Well, this weekend we’ll find a place in the yard that we don’t mind him tearing up and move the flexible leash to that spot. Maybe we can section it off with those brick pavers to that it’s obvious that that is “cooper’s” area of the yard? Something to think about!

  6. What happened to obedience school? I thought he did well. Isn’t “come” one of the first commands they teach?

    You need to train him to come to you on command. That’s an important command for him to obey on all levels.

    It has taken a long time and persistence but Annie comes pretty much every time I call her.

  7. Despite what Jaynee would have everyone believe, Cooper failed obedience school. He flunked out. He stopped going. He takes after his mom, I’m sure. Good thing I didn’t tell you want I think about his intelligence. Maybe we should give him an I.Q. test.

  8. He didn’t fail obedience school – he just didn’t finish it because his ride fell through. =) He knows sit, down, crate, and bed. Those are four good commands to know. He sort of knows stay and heel. He really only needs to know a couple more and he’ll be the perfect dog.

    And no, Jen, they did not teach “come” in the class – it was considered a more advanced command not taught in the sessions I signed up for. They focused on sit, stay, down, and heel while I still took him to classes. “Come” was not on the itinerary.

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