Rhodesian Ridgebacks

Your Subtitle text

Take That Dumbell

Take That Dumbbell
by Diane Jacobsen

I have used the ear pinch way back when I was training my first male RR for Open, Baulenes Moshi Pepo, C.D. or better know as Tobi.

It was fun and entertaining for all but me being as I assumed that I was more intelligent and actually knew what I wished to impart to this canine. He of course, already knew that I was an idiot. Having put up with my nonsense all thru the misadventures on the way to the C.D. Counting the times he exhibited me on the way, he was reasonably assured that this minor flight of fantasy could be overcome soon and with one paw tied behind his back figuratively speaking.

I went to class and worked with Tobi. I pried the mouth open and cheerfully commanded "Take It." I cheerfully pried the mouth open saying "Drop It." I kept a positive outlook and tone, fully expecting that he would come around eventually. I used treats and praise and he looked balefully up at me with jaws clenched so tight that there were teeth marks in the dumbbell (not me).

He was going over jumps with the dumbbell. He would go out and look at it and stand there until I pried the mouth open, stuffed the dumbbell in and tried to smile. He would do anything I asked except take the blasted thing.

This went on for 3 months folks and this is not a person with a stable disposition for 3 months of frustration. The poodles came and went on to competition. The Shelties came and went on. The same for the Dobes and Shephards. Tobi and I held down the same spot, never progressing from the same level.

I was now gritting my teeth and altho trying to project a positive attitude the thought of mayhem was getting quite appealing. After a particularly frustrating attempt at "Take It," one of the Poodle people came over and suggested that the dog was obviously too stupid to be trained and if I wished to actually get into the ring, they knew where there was a nice poodle that was available.

Well, that was the straw that broke the whole thing loose. I silently expressed my thoughts to myself as I said "No Thank You," with remarkable restraint. I then went out and said VERY FIRMLY, "Tobi, take it." I offered the dumbbell and watched the jaws set to pure concrete, so I bopped him square on the top of the head with the dumbbell. It just happened before I even thought of what I was doing.

The group gasped with the horror of what I had done to that dog that was obviously not meant for training. The Poodle people aghast. The Sheltie people grabbing their beloved dogs off the floor. The Dobe and Shephard people standing between me and their babies. Tom, the trainer was bent over laughing harder than anyone could imagine. After several strange looks by the class, he recovered and told me to sit on the sidelines and he would help me later. Tobi just looked around, jaws not quite so tightly clenched.

Later Tom came over and without saying one word, took Tobi off to the side behind a food stand. There was a yelp, then another and out came Tom and Tobi. Tom said "Tobi Take It" and Tobi grabbed that dumbbell faster than I could say he wouldn't. Tom said "Tobi Drop It" and out it came gently into his waiting hand.

Well, to say I was astounded was an understatement. Then Tom showed me the ear pinch and I was then tempted to use it on him to think that he would have let me go frustrated for 3 months while knowing the simple trick to turn the tide back in my favor. I think he was a smart man because he was standing well out of my reach.

Tobi went on to competition for his CDX. Did he finish? Not in this lifetime. He soon learned the finer tuned skills of making a complete idiot out of me once inside the ring. Imagine two years in Open A without one, not one, qualifying score.

He loved it and consistently blew scores of 195 or better. If it were not for the ear pinch he would never have had the opportunity to participate in pointing out that humans CAN be trained.

Click HERE to return to the Humor Page


Website Builder