(c) 2011 Christiana Lambert

Do you want proof I’m certifiably nuts? I just signed up Furgus (and me!) for a dog dancing class. Hey, we do this around the house anyway. Plus he’s one smart fellow—and it’s probably a good way to burn off some of his extra energy and reduce a few of his home-based hijinks.

I received one of those Internet forwards that showed me trained dogs doing a bunch of twirling and leaping on command. While I watched that, I thought, “My dogs could do that.” So I brought out the treats and started working them on an upright twirl—after all, frequent Puppy Smackdowns build a pretty strong core section. Furgus got the concept within a few minutes. Sam is still a little confused about the whole thing, but he can get it from time to time.

I can’t really train two dogs to dance at the same time, yet I’m not sure I’m going to get either of the guys in my family to step up to teach Sam to two-step or anything else like that. More’s the pity because these are the most graceful English Springer Spaniels we’ve ever had. However, Sherman is looking into doing a more traditional training class for Sam, which could lead to them training together for agility, something Sam should be really good at doing.

Of course, Furgus could stand to be in an environment where he gets some focused training on following me—which is why I was in the process of signing him up for training. But then I discovered he would be able to take dance class first and be learning to follow me better there—after all Sherman can tell you I always want to lead in dancing!

Besides, Furgus loves attention, both from people and other dogs. My previous “wild child” dog, Chelsea, really liked the applause in training, becoming a much better-behaved dog when it was “show time” than any of us expected.

With Furgus’ handsome good looks and apparent expectations that life will be both exciting and go well for him, why wouldn’t he be the guy who likes to celebrate on the dance floor? Especially if there are treats involved . . .

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