My Grand-Dogs are Not Trained by
(285 Stories)

Prompted By Training Pets

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Except for Perfect Penny

Perhaps it’s my fault for setting a bad example. Rocky was a Yorkshire Terrier who joined our family when he was eight months old. I guess the breeder had decided he was a loser and happily sold him to us. We were looking for an allergy-free pet and he was still looked as cute as a puppy. Unfortunately, he had never been house broken. We assumed at his age, he knew where to do his business, but belatedly discovered that no matter how many walks and backyard outings he had, he preferred to pee in pretty much every carpeted corner of the house. So while he was sweet, he ended up living in the kitchen. Definitely a training failure.

The kids loved Rocky despite his lack of house training

The moral of the tale is that it is possible to have a perfectly behaved dog — just not one trained by anyone in my family.

My youngest child became a vet, so you would think her dogs were well trained. Her first two, Weimaraners named Savannah and Aspen, ate the fringe off my rug, the finish off my banister, stuffed toys, paper, etc. They were impossible to walk because they pulled so hard. Good natured but totally untrained.

When her kids came, the dogs were very tolerant and loving. They just ignored requests to come, sit, or stay.

As they entered old age, my daughter the vet got a puppy in anticipation of their demise. This time, one of her clients was a breeder of Labradoodles, so Flynn Rider (she let the kids vote on the name) joined the menagerie. Soon after, Flynn’s brother Rex was abandoned, so of course she took him. For a few years, there were four dogs rushing the door, barking loudly, peeing on the rug, and taking up all of the seating on the sofas. Just before Flynn and Rex died, she added one of another client’s dog, a Golden named Charlotte, followed by another Golden named Boise. Their lack of discipline is less troublesome as they mainly like to lie on the furniture and sleep.

No room for me on that couch

My grand dogs who live in Boston are good natured Labs who come charging at us as soon as they are released from their crates. Despite being told “down” and “stop” and “no,” they simply need to share their enthusiasm. Sammi has calmed down a bit, but her younger sister Chewie behaves just as her name implies. She would eat anything from my dinner to a sock.

Chewie thinking she might eat a stuffed animal

My other daughter rescued two dogs during the pandemic. Lucy looks sort of like a lab mix and is afraid of men. Her loud bark is all bluster. Supposedly, she is smart and follows a few basic commands, but I have yet to see evidence of this. Her little brother, Schroeder, is totally cute but doesn’t even know his name. Luckily, he’s very affectionate.

Not trained but they love each other

I’m leaving the one grand-dog who was well behaved for last, the amazingly wonderful Penny. She came to my daughter prior to the pandemic pups and was perfectly trained — just not by anyone in my family. One of my granddaughter’s was terrified of dogs, so my vet daughter found Perfect Penny, mother of Flynn and Rex, who had passed her breeding days. She was sent to a dog trainer who worked with companion dogs. She was obedient, gentle, easy to walk, and followed commands. My fearful granddaughter loved her, as did her little sister below. I guess the moral of this tale is that it is possible to have a perfectly behaved dog — just not one trained by anyone in my family.

Sweet Penny


Profile photo of Laurie Levy Laurie Levy
Boomer. Educator. Advocate. Eclectic topics: grandkids, special needs, values, aging, loss, & whatever. Author: Terribly Strange and Wonderfully Real.

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Characterizations: funny, right on!, well written


  1. Love it Laurie!
    As an adult I’ve had many lovable cats – and a very appreciative upholsterer who has recovered many of our couches and club chairs often enough to send all his kids to college!

    And as a kid I had a wonderful dog who chewed up my mother’s alligator shoes!
    But can’t imagine life without a pet, as naughty as they may be!

    • Laurie Levy says:

      Oh my, Dana. We had many cats back in the day when it was considered ok to declaw them. Now I know from my vet daughter just how cruel that was. My best friend is a cat lover and her new duo has destroyed all of the furniture in her family room, even though she has a magnificent scratching post that they ignore.

  2. Betsy Pfau says:

    Oh my goodness, Laurie, how does anyone in your family put up with all the commotion? One of my oldest friends is a vet and became one of the first board-certified animal behavioralists (just retired) in the country. I’m sure she’d have something to say about all this, but I’m just flabbergasted. Getting a dog trained is so important for everyone in the household (not just your stuff, but for your own well-being). At least all the pets sound loving and well-loved in return. That’s a bonus.

  3. An enchanting story; you had my attention with the veterinarian who couldn’t train a dog! The photos were a wonderful accompaniment to the prose. And then the happy ending, and the funny final sentence. Touche´

  4. Jim Willis says:

    Well told and lovable stories about your parade of dogs, Laurie. We Americans are curious sorts when it comes to dogs and cats, aren’t we? Sometimes I think I’d like to be a dog in my next life. Not so sure about being a cat.

  5. Khati Hendry says:

    Had to laugh at the picture you paint of pet pandemonium. Of course the trainer would be quick to tell the people what they are doing wrong, not the dogs. That is usually the problem, but some animals are more challenging for sure! Good to know that the fearful granddaughter developed a happy relationship with the trained dog. Not all grand dogs (or children) are the same but there is always some place for love.

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