By the time the guy who feeds me yells, “Down, Barkley! Down, boy!” It’s too late. As though I don’t already know I’m not supposed to jump up on him, or anyone else for that matter!
I had him believing for the first year I showed up as a stray, emerging from the woods all skin and bones with a bad limp, that I didn’t know how to lie down. I’d “sit” okay, “shake”, yeah, that too. But lie down – not unless there is food involved. He never offered me food. So I simply feigned ignorance. I got busted that Christmas day when I was visiting my cousin Willow, human cousin Jess, and my aunt Nancy and uncle Eric. It was my first time seeing my human cousin, so I was on my best behavior. The guy who feeds me was shaking his head as he watched me turn on the charm with my ears all cute and perked up, sitting ramrod at attention all focused on her, tail wagging, being as cute as I can be because I really wanted to impress her. He was thinking, ‘You’ve got to be kidding me, Barkley. You don’t act like this with me!’
Then my human cousin patted the ground and told me to lie down, and I was down like a very good dog before she even finished the request. The guy who feeds me’s mouth hit the ground. He couldn’t believe what he was seeing! So you CAN “lie down”! he thought.
Long story short, I’ve trained him to offer me food when requesting I “lie down”. So it’s a win-win. I do what he asks, but I get something to eat in the bargain. No food – – I refuse to lie down, and he can be telling, yelling, or begging me to lie down, (and sometimes even to “sit”) it ain’t gonna’ happen. Simple as that. And to his credit, he quickly learned to obey.