This is a bit different though. Usually, before I leave for work, mere mention of the word “outside” is a signal for a scramble to be first one lined up at the door. This last week, however, the she-wolf lifts her head, gives me a “do I have to,” look, then burrows back down into her beanbag. When a direct command didn’t work one morning, I pulled out the lead. While enforcing a command by picking up the animal in question and plonking it outside might work with a small dog, it’s not really an option with a German shepherd. You have to make them understand there is no choice but to do what you say, and let them believe that that’s what they really wanted to do anyway.
Even with the lead on the she-wolf gave a couple of half-hearted twitches, explaining to me that she temporarily seemed to have lost the use of her legs, and that she really should stay inside and guard the house while I was gone. Might have had me worried, but five minutes prior those same legs had no problem charging from one end of the house to the other to check out a cyclist passing the front gate.
I resorted to a Look – the toe-curling alpha bitch look that makes the dog go huddle up in a corner rather than beg for my table scraps. It worked, but only because it was combined with a sharp command, a twitch on the lead and the merest sniff of the treat she’d get for heading outdoors. Even the treat hadn’t been enough on its own. By this time, the dog was out in his kennel, tutting and rolling his eyes as we progressed erratically towards him. Pauses to lock a shed and the garage, and to grab some chook food, prompted u-turning canine moves and suggestions that she’d perhaps been outside long enough, and wouldn’t I really like to take her back inside now please.