Since the Cladis family has been working hard with Kody through lots of obedience classes, Kody learned the word, “treat” very quickly. He knows that when he does what he is asked to do during training sessions, he will get a treat, and at times when he is especially cute and I cannot ignore him, he will usually get a treat, too. One of Kody’s other favorite things besides earning tasty treats, is tricks. He has not mastered the word, “trick” yet, but he is a master of being a trickster and of course, performing tricks in exchange for treats.
I prefer the owner-induced "performance" tricks, but Kody’s self-induced, creative trickster routine is very amusing. One thing Kody loves to do is hide his bones around the house—under the couch, in the crevices of chairs, in his crate, and even in the car. He will also often leave one of his toys in each of our bags (purse, backpack, gym bag) so we find them at work the next day and think of him, he craftily sneaks his food from the pantry when we are not looking, he sometimes will place his bone beneath my pillow at night so my hair smells of stale rawhide when I wake up, he steals socks and marches around the house with them, he will take his grooming brushes and hide them so we are unable to finish brushing his hair, he will throw his toys and use his body language to tease and lure us into coming to play with him … and then if we even dare come close to trying to grab his toy, he will proceed to run in circles around us, roll over, sprint up and down the stairs, which sounds similar to being in the heart of a thunderstorm, and then he will find a nice spot to lie on top of his toy so we are physically unable to steal it.
He will stay resting atop his prized possession just until he’s caught his breath (or rather we have caught our breath), and then he’ll start the routine all over again or simply convince us that he is deserving of a rowdy game of fetch.
I have been told several times during training that I, as the human in this relationship, am the alpha dog. Kody doesn’t always seem to respect or want to maintain this order and I do occasionally struggle with his stubborn behaviors. Submissiveness is not easy for most dogs, and Kody has found clever, insubordinate ways to rebel.
So, while I may only hear or say the phrase “trick-or-treat” one day out of the year, I think this is what Kody contemplates every single day when he comes wiggling out of his crate, wagging his tail, happy and eager to take on the day. As a matter of fact, “trick-or-treat” might just be his mantra. Each day he must decide: Should he behave and take the treat, or should he have fun and choose the much longer-lasting satisfaction of the trick?
TRICK-OR-TREAT? It’s up to you!
With LOVE from the ever-devious little pup, Captain Kody.