And then I thought of some of the old advice about training puppies and dogs:
- don't fuss over them;
- don't keep watching them or they might feel overwhelmed by the attention;
- if they don't eat their food quickly, take it away;
- make them come to you, don't go to them;
- don't give a command or ask for a behaviour if you know they won't do it.
For months, we've been ignoring these suggestions, and Penny has ruled the roost as we worried about what could be wrong with her leg. Training went out the window, along with discipline. And now we've been seeing the result. She pulls us at a three-legged run when she goes out for a toilet break (despite the physio instruction that she should move slowly everywhere she goes) and she waits on her mat for her food to be delivered, and believes it should be pushed right next to her mouth if it's more than ten centimetres away from her.
So... it was time yesterday for tough love. Luckily I had a strong-minded friend visiting, who helped me stick to my resolve.
I put a biscuit on the kitchen floor, in a place Penny could see from her comfortable place near the front door.
The crying began softly at first. Then louder. Then louder. I might be anthropomorphising, but I think it said, 'Oh, I'm a poor little hungry puppy with a sore leg and it would be a long painful journey to the kitchen to get that delicious-looking biscuit. Won't someone bring it to me?"
We drank our cups of tea and stayed firm.
And then... click, clicketty, hoppitty click. Penny hurried past on three legs, occasionally touching her left rear leg to the ground. She had remembered that she does have four legs and she can move around.If the motivation is strong enough.
Those biscuits can work miracles. (As I've discovered in the past.)