Pettigrew is food motivated. It was one of the things we determined before we invited him to join our family. The guidebook we consulted said food-motivated dogs are easier to train. To that I say, “hah!” To put easy to train in the same sentence as Pettigrew is a blasphemy.
But, I must concede that the command he honors best is one that has to do with food. I wish I could claim credit for teaching him; however, he figured it out himself. The magic words are, “Grandmom and Pop Pop are here.”
Pettigrew knows this means a guaranteed dog treat and the chance to lick Grandmom’s tasty hands as long as he wants.
Grandmom and Pop Pop wouldn’t think of bringing a treat for their grandkids every time they see them, but they never, ever, show up at our house without a dog treat.
Should they forget or run out, they call from their car so I can meet them with one of my treats. We do a quick handoff and then they can give it to Pettigrew themselves. They don’t want to disappoint their granddog.
Needless-to-say, Pettigrew closely monitors their comings and goings.
His diligence is remarkable. Recently, he was under the weather and barely stirring from the coach. A few times I put my hand on his side to confirm he was breathing. He even unnerved our sons with his eerie stillness.
Yet, when their headlights flashed in the driveway and I announced, “Grandmom and Pop Pop are here,” Pettigrew sprang from the sofa and charged the backdoor to greet them.
We’ve even installed a handle low down on the screen door so Pettigrew can open it himself. He does this with no problem when his grand parents arrive, but it becomes impossible when he wants to be let out into the back yard to sun himself.
He has his priorities