In March, my partner and I adopted a 9 week old black pug. Since then, every moment of our lives has been alternating between “OMG this dog is crazy annoying!” and “OMG this dog is so freakin’ adorable!”.

Pug head tilt - so cute!

Pug head tilt – so cute!

So, we have been taking training classes. Our pug, Macklin (Burt Macklin), is super duper smart, that’s not what makes training hard. Here’s both the secret to and the most annoying part about dog training: you aren’t training the dog, you are training the owners.

Okay, that’s not 100% true, but it’s close to true. Dogs mostly learn through repetitive patterns. If the pattern the puppy learns from you is that you shout a word a few times and then give up and let the puppy bite anyway, the puppy is going to learn that word means nothing. My partner and I have to learn to be absolutely consistent in how we treat the dog, or the dog either gets confused or ignores the commands. I do this better than my other half. He tends to get frustrated and either give up or shout a lot, and I’m patient enough to just start over as needed.

My tired baby visiting with me at church

My tired baby visiting with me at church

Still, the dog has learned some useful things. He mostly sits on command, except when a person walking by is just too exciting or there is another dog to play with. He can do “down” and “paw” and we’ve even turned “paw” into “high five” when he’s standing up, which is simply too adorable. He walks okay but not great on the leash, and we are slowly working on “heel”. He can almost “park it” over on his bed in the corner as well.

Our pug thinks he's a cat

Our pug thinks he’s a cat

People actually comment on how well trained the dog is when we are out. I’m pretty sure that’s because they don’t have to be at home with him when a doorbell rings on a TV show and he’s jumping off my lap running back and forth across the house barking because he can’t figure out who is at what door.

Also, our dog, Macklin, played for a few hours with Dawn’s chihuahua Tessa. Tessa is 9 lbs and Macklin is 19lbs, but Tessa dominated our crazy little pug It was hilarious to watch!

Dawn's pupster Tessa!

Dawn’s pupster Tessa!

Anyone else want to share cute puppy pics or stories?

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