Written by Irie
‘alo, perritos. Phew, just had a fabulous little cat nap – I mean, dog nap! Some days are lazier than others, my friends, and with all this rain, well, this is definitely one of those days…
I’ve been debating what to teach the humans lately, mami and papi, they’re so silly. They keep messing up their training, but, perritos, with perseverance and hard work, you can train your human yet. One thing I hadn’t quite been able to master with the humans was the belly rub.
Now, you would think that when they see my itty-bitty paws that are lacking opposable thumbs, they’d understand their job in life. Do they think they were given those fingers and thumbs for wags and giggles? No, cachorritos! Most definitely not. Those movable appendages are for one thing, and one thing only: giving doggies belly rubs! (Okay, maybe they’re good for a few other things, like putting kibble in a bowl, picking up poop and throwing squeaky footballs.)
You have to wonder why the humans are sooo slow sometimes. I mean, I LOVE my mami y papi with todo mi corazon, but when I flip onto my back, belly exposed, and wriggle-wriggle back and forth, what else could that POSSIBLY mean?
No, cachorritos, most definitely not fleas (yucky!). It means, “Hey, you, human with the remote control in your hand, get over here and do your job!”
Then, you might ask, how exactly do I get the belly rub of my dreams? Well, I finally figured it out! Mastering the perfect rub on the tubby tub is no simple matter, puppies.
First, you have to teach your human the cues for rubbing the belly, followed by instilling in them the optimal technique for a perfect belly rub and scratch (What? A pup from South L.A. can’t be edumucated? Psh! I’m your best shot at the perfect pup life with your human!).
All right puppies, start by not scaring your human. Don’t run at them full speed, paws in the air, fur to the wind, tongue flapping and come straight at their face (or legs), pouncing and begging for the rub! Chances are this strategy will only get your crazy butt in the crate. Take it slowly and be patient with your humans – they don’t know any better.
Positive reinforcement always works! Here’s what to do:
1. Come to your human, sit nicely and show them those big brown (blue, green, whatever) eyes – make ‘em good!
2. Gently lie down with your snout on your paws, look up and wag your tail
3. When you hear “Awww,” that’s it, puppies! Right there! Wag that tail and roll onto your back. See what you did there? You just rewarded the human with a trick for acknowledging you! You rolled onto your back! They WILL LOVE IT. The “Aww” factor will immediately go up!
4. Wiggle like your life depends on it! Wiggle wiggle, wag wag, smile smile, and when you least expect it that big human paw will come right down to you and start rubbing and scratching.
5. The cuteness may prompt your human to pick you up. You DON’T want this to happen! We all know, poochies, once the humans pick you up, the belly rubs are over. Keep them rubbing by … wait for it … licking their fingers! That’s right cachorritos, that tongue can do more than lick your … um, you know what. It can show your human that you LIKE what they’re doing. The more you lick the more they’ll FINALLY understand that what they’re doing is PERFECT.
Now, positive reinforcement with your tongue can go a LONG way. Make sure you repeatedly lick until you have a perfect response 10 out of 10 times. Eventually they’ll know the routine. Sit, down, cute eyes, roll over, BELLY RUB!
Once you’ve mastered this, cachorritos, you can move on to perfecting the belly rub by, again, continuing to wiggle and moving your body strategically to where you want the rubs and scratches to occur. Once your human hits the right spot, hold it! LICK, LICK, LICK!
That’s right pups, you got it! Ay amiguitos, I can’t wait to hear about all the wonderful belly rubs you’ll get. Leave me comments so I know how it goes!
Here are some of my buddies getting some perfect rubs!
Besitos y abrazos! Peace out.
Irie Belle (a.k.a. “I Rebel”) is a bilingual Jack Russell Terrier-Chihuahua adopted from the South Los Angeles Animal Shelter. She aspires to one day host her very own show and be the Oprah Winfrey of mixed-breed pups around the world!