I have admitted before to not being terribly thorough with Cosmo’s training. I admit it, I have tried, accomplished some things, and have not accomplished others. One of the things that I have never been confident doing is letting Cosmo off leash in an unfenced area. I am convinced that his recall ability is limited because a) he thinks everything is a game, 2) he turns a deaf ear to me when I try to work with him,and 3) its my fault for not working him harder.
Last week, Dave, the lawn guy, came by to cut my yard. I unlatched the fence gate so he could get in and whack at the weeds that disguise themselves as grass in my back yard. When he was done, I looked out and thought he had closed the gate when he was done. About 45 minutes later, the mutts wanted to go out and I accommodated them by opening the door from the kitchen to the yard.
Cosmo headed straight for his favorite shrub, and I realized the gate door had swung open. I nearly pannicked thinking how late I was going to be to work because Clover and I would be scouring the neighborhood for Cosmo. I snapped my fingers at Clover and pointed to the open door to the kitchen. She looked longingly at the open gate, but turned right around and went back inside. I expected no less from her.
Cosmo, on the other hand, looked at the gate, turned and looked at me, and promptly sat down next to the shrub. I grabbed his collar, told him he was a good dog, and and led him back into the kitchen where he received high praise and a really big dog biscuit. I am very happy, and relieved to see that Cosmo has absorbed some good manners from Clover.
I still don’t trust him to be off-leash, but we’re working on it. Now, if I could only get him to take me seriously we might actually make some real progress.