Category Archives: FAQs

Chloë Lists Everything She Knows

Down and stay.

This started out as some instructions to my sitters and walkers, but as Heather gears up for training intended to turn me into a service animal, she asked Mike to update this list to more fully acknowledge the tremendous breadth of my understanding of human talk after a mere seven years of practice. It does not include this various barks, whines, whimpers and howls that I use in response. That’s a longer story for another day.

So here’s what Mike wrote down:

What Chloë Knows

First and foremost, what any dachshund knows is how to be stubborn, so make sure she knows you’re the boss! When you want her to do something, don’t yell, it won’t do any good. Just use your best command tone and hope for the best.

All commands work best when you say her name first, to get her attention, as in “Chloë, sit.”

Chloe’s Vocabulary

No!  This one word delivered sternly will make her cease all kinds of bad behavior.

Sit.  She will sit at the spot she is. Make a fist, hold at your shoulder height, say “Chloë, sit.”

Down. Raise your hand above your head and say, “Chloë, down!”. She will lie down on that spot. Make sure she has her butt on the ground.

Wait. She will stop and stand in place and wait for instructions. (Always make her wait before crossing the street.)

Stay. Raise hand to shoulder level in a Stop! pose; she will stay…at least until distracted.

Come. If she does not come, move a few feet, turn perpendicular to her, lean forward slightly and rotate your hands in a circular motion. When she comes, praise her and give her a treat.

Touch. She will come and touch your outstretched hand. Make her come all the way and touch your hand with her nose.

Treat Party! Chloë’s ultimate bribe. Use sparingly, and only when she is highly distracted or on the loose. Yell it repeatedly, and pay off with at least three treats when she arrives.

Find. As in find the ball or find Wiffie. When said with enthusiasm, she will start looking in earnest for the ball. When she first makes visual contact, her tail with wag vigorously.

Bring it!

Bring It (the ball). She will carry the ball in her mouth to the thrower, drop it and want another throw.

Go to (Mike, Heather, Charlie, Claire, Lynn). These are people she knows by name and will run to when prompted.

With Me!!!!!. She will follow your lead on her leash, sometimes even without one. She knows how to walk on a short leash.

This way!!! When arriving at a fork in the path, to tell her which way you want her to go.

WHOA! Slow down if she’s getting too far ahead or pulling too hard on her leash. Useful on hills.

OK! Her release word, meaning it’s all right to cross the street, go through the door, run after a ball, etc. Make her stop and ask if it’s OK, and tell her OK! if it is.

Leave It!!! This will make her stop what she’s doing and focus on you, not whatever is distracting her. That can be a plant, an object, a jogger, another dog gum or a cigarette butt on the ground.

Drop It!!! In conjunction with offering her a high-grade treat, this might make her drop what’s already in her mouth, depending on how big a treasure it is. Don’t try to pry her jaw open, she’s tough.

Up! The signal it’s OK to jump up on a platform, table or into the car.

Chair! Her word for being directed to a permanent or folding chair.

Bed. Will go to the closest dog bed or crate available, sometimes reluctantly.

Steps. Will bound up or down stairways or a step stool to a bed.

Back-back-back-back. Will make her slide herself backwards on the floor in a sitting position.

Hurry up! The command to pee or poop if she needs to.

Easy, Chloë, easy. Said gently when giving her a biscuit or some other treat, so she takes it softly from the giver rather than biting at it.

Chloë, Let’s Go to Bed! Her goodnight command. From a down/stay, she will sprint to her crate.

Chloë’s Tricks

Beg. From a sit or down, she will rise up on her back legs and put her front paws up.

Dance! From a sit or down, she will rise up on her back legs and twirl around once in a circle.

Roll! From down stay will turn around on her back and stomach, sometimes not very straight. Sometimes she will do it twice in a row, back and forth.

Shake. From a sit, she will extend her paw to you if you extend a hand to her and say it.

Frankly, I’ve got a lot more tricks up my fur, but I don’t want to reveal everything at once and tip my hand.

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Chloë Answers Some FAQs

During a short lull in my social whirl, let me catch up with some of the e-mail and letters piling up in my inbox.

  

Q: I’ve never seen a dachshund with blue eyes before. Why are your eyes so blue?

A:  “Don’t it make my brown eyes blue?” Always loved that tune by Crystal Gayle! But my eyes aren’t really blue, they are brown. It was the flash on the camera made them blue. We don’t know why. Mike explained to me that he knows how to eliminate redeye in a photo, but doesn’t know squat about removing blue eye. That photo peering down at you from atop this page  was one of the first photos of me. Now, of course, there are dozens (maybe hundreds!)  of photos of me to choose from, so we could change that heading photo; that would give my distant readers (and there are many!) a more accurate representation of my regal countenance. But I just don’t know. We’re kind of attached to that surreal, Village of the Damned look. What do you think? 

Q: Are you really bald on the top of your ears? 

    
 
 
 

 

A: Come on, isn’t that silly? My ears are not bald, they’re topped with light brown fur that isn’t nearly as long as the fur around it. Heather thinks it’s starting to grow in, while Mike thinks I’ll have these doofy ears forever. The vet, of course, told me I need ear toupees. Eleven weeks old, and already doomed to the character roles. 

Q: I saw the photos of you and your brothers Frank and Stanley. You three are really all from the same litter? You don’t look anything alike! 

 

 A: That’s what everyone is saying, but it’s true. We’re just a small part of the endless mosaic of wirehaired dachshunddom, I guess. Remember, America is a melting pot, Canada is a mosaic. But I digress. Check out these photos of mom and pop to see where we get the different seeds of our wiredness.

My Mom, Banshee: Happy Mother’s Day!

William, my dear old Dad: A real champion, especially with the ladies.

Q: Are you coming to the East Coast this summer? 

 
 
 
 

 

A: The genorosity of my Eastern fans is overwhelming. Fans in Syracuse, New Jersey, Florida and even international fans in Ontario, Canada, have been clamoring for me to come east with Heather and Mike this summer. I am flattered and honored, but sadly I must decline. While I’m sure these guys don’t want to be away from me for even ONE SECOND, I decided it’s just too much schlepping around (to quote Mike). We would have to change planes, change cars, change where we sleep…just too many ch-ch-ch-changes, as my buddy Dave “Diamond Dog” Bowie would say. I’m into my routine. Maybe some other time, when Mike can drive me across. In the meantime, you’ll just have to come out to Seattle, or settle for this crumby blog.

 

Well, that’s about it for now. As you can see from this photo below, I’ve got some more serious business to attend to. But do keep those questions coming!