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November 10, 2015

Penny Cheats Death

If you ask my pups, every meal is the most important meal of the day. In fact, they act like every meal is the most important meal of their life. That’s why I like to use mealtime as an easy/quick opportunity to reinforce familiar commands and practice new ones.
If you ask my pups, every meal is the most important meal of the day. In fact, they act like every meal is the most important meal of their life. That’s why I like to use mealtime as an easy/quick opportunity to reinforce familiar commands and practice new ones.

The table is set, but Eko and Penny know the meal  is not served until I say so

Recently I’ve worked to improve the “Bang!” (play dead) command with Penny. She’s made nice progress, but whenever I ask her do it before a meal the results are hilariously bad.

First, she half heartedly leans over

Then takes a longing lick towards her food

And continues to do so while jerkily proceeding to the ground

Penny desperately swims through the air, attempting to steal some kibble while performing the trick I asked for

Penny’s a terrible actor. It ruins the illusion if the “dead” actor starts eating breakfast before the director yells cut

I just crack up and wait for Penny to realize her scheming only delays mealtime 

Finally I get the “I know, I know, this is what I should have done but I couldn’t resist” face

At which point I give a happy “Take it, good girl!” and she pops up to eat. The whole process is so funny I almost don’t want her to improve. I may just rename the trick “Hungry Zombie” and leave it as is.

Anyone have a pup who likes to cut-corners with tricks or take a few creative liberties with commands?

Comments for Penny Cheats Death

  1. Elyse says:

    These pictures are hilarious. Thanks for my morning chuckle.

  2. Penny that’s a super performance… your should get that academy award :o)

  3. Genevieve says:

    Oh, Penny, you’re killing me. You’re such a smart, crazy girl. Cupcake is the opposite of you. When she sees food, she starts doing tricks before I tell her to, hoping she’ll hit on the right trick sooner rather than later so she can get on with the good stuff.

  4. Victoria says:

    hungry zombie – i like it – and you and Penny are the inventors of that new trick!

  5. omg that is just too funny and adorable!! Dakota will do this thing when I work with him on things…and when I say “sit” during part of the commands…he will slowly back up…..keeps his eye on the treat….he will super lightly, barely sit and pop back up…….I make him keep doing it til he actually sits but I laugh when he thinks he has outsmarted me.

  6. Kismet says:

    They gave up on me. They wanted me to say “Polly wants a cracker” but never gave me a cracker.

  7. coastingnz says:

    oh my gosh that is so adorable – Penny you are a crap up my lovely.

  8. Laura Tafelsky says:

    Hi Will, I’m curious about the dog dishes. It looks like it would be hard to get at the food. Is it intended to slow them down when they eat? I can see by the amount that you feed your two, that I way, waiy over feed mine. My vet has mine on low-fat food, but I can see it may not be the food, but the amount she is eating. Your pictures show me I’m the one at fault.

  9. From day one with Neeka, I haven’t let her eat until I tell her “good girl.” She sits there patiently, drooling all over the kitchen floor. Khoi picked up on it very quickly and will form a deep puddle at his feet. I love your idea of teaching/reinforcing new tricks. I might have to buy flood insurance first before trying that with my two.

  10. Will that qualifies as Penny abuse ROFL.

    Sent from my Verizon Wireless 4G LTE Smartphone that does whatever it pleases

  11. hahahaha give her her last meal!!!

  12. DZ Dogs says:

    Hahahahaha!! Penny is so cute! Ziva tries to cheat her way out of tricks too.

  13. Connie Taylor says:

    Penny looks like some old movie where it takes forever for the person to die, the slow and painful death before having one last burst of energy! Too funny. Is this a daily occurrence? Would love to see it on video.

  14. lexy3587 says:

    That is hilarious and adorable. My dog’s play dead is the shortest moment of suspense in life. He drops down, then promptly pops up to try and get a treat. It’s a work in progress.

  15. Emmadog says:

    Bailie is a cheater and a sneaker. She is always trying to get away with doing things almost but not quite all the way.

  16. Joan says:

    At meal time my command is to sit and offer a paw. Sadie acts like she hasn’t been fed in weeks. Her excitement is so funny that she barely get her but on the ground and if you blink, you’ll miss the, here’s my paw now feed me!

  17. realappetite says:

    Atlas has to do a stay-come before every meal, and then another simple trick or two. Sometimes he has to walk past the oh-so-enticing bowl on his way. The look of desperation as he passes it cracks me up every time. And then he’ll either do a combination of every trick in the book, or just lie down and stare at the bowl. Funny how sometimes a simple “Sit” goes right over his head but he never messes up “Take it”…

  18. Jo Rhodes says:

    Sammy just jumps right in and does what I ask. Dean would starve to death if I didn’t help him out with a helpful hint. He thinks being cute is reason enough to be fed.

  19. Eve says:

    Oh that was funny and can’t wait to see a video! Juley trick that she tries to trick me on is down as in lay down. She thinks her butt can still be in the air and it’ll count. But I have to remind her all the way down. Once she hears that she know the jig is up and complies for her treat. But I agree Penny is one smart pup. lol

  20. I think I like the hungry zombie waaaaaayyyyy too much hahahahaha!

  21. Penny is a crack-up – I can just envision that whole scenario. I like Hungry Zombie…

  22. Sounds like a game…hungry, hungry Rhodesian. 😉 Love that Penny girl.

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