Thursday, 26 March 2009


All dog owners will be familiar with CWN, or to give its full name, Cold, Wet Nose.

This is a technique, employed by dogs, to elicit their owner's full and undivided attention. I suspect it is learned in puppyhood, along with a multitude of other doggy skills, vital for the training of owners, such as:
  • the 'cute' look when challenged over an act of wilful destruction or vandalism (see previous post for text book illustration)
  • the 'desperately sorry' look, employed when presented with overwhelming evidence (again, see previous post for example of overwhelming evidence)
  • the 'happy, happy jump up and down dance' at the sound of house keys being retrieved from drawer.
  • the 'I'm never going to see you ever again and I will be discovered when only when I have become a bony skelington' look, used immediately after the happy, happy jump up and down dance when it becomes apparent that the words 'No, you must STAY' are imminent.
However, CWN is a supremely successful training tool in the paws of any dog............

Sample scenario

Me: sitting at my laptop, tip, tippy tapping away, obliviously.

Small dog: trots into study and sits very nicely on the floor, staring intently into my averted eyes.

Me: still oblivious

Small dog: puts front paws on my knee and applies CWN to any patch of exposed skin, preferably the back of a hand.

Me: shocked into attention, notices small dog and moves knees sideways to facilitate jump onto lap. Resumes tip, tappy tapping.

Small dog: quickly applies CWN to back of tip, tappy hand.

Me: "Ewwww!!!" Immediately refrains for tippy tapping to give small dog disapproving hard stare. Resumes tip, tappy tapping.

Small dog: gives small, but heartfelt sigh and applies CWN to back of hand.

Me: "Omigod....... will you PLEASE stop doing that!" Tentatively resumes tip, tappy tapping.

Small dog: raising eyes heavenwards in the manner of "will some people NEVER learn?!" and reapplies CWN to back of hand.

Me:"Oh for goodness sake. All right then. I'll give you a stroke......"

Small dog: settles down comfortably on lap, undisturbed by further tap, tippy tapping, and enjoys relaxing stroke.

Small dog - 56,873
Me - Nil


Debbie said...

Oh so true Sandra! LOL its their way of saying you will pay attention to me..

TreeFeathers said...

LOL! Sandra, you are too funny. I am very familiar with the CWN.

Several years ago there was a test to evaluate your dog's level of intelligence. One of the tests was to put their favorite toy/bone/whatever under a piece of furniture from which they could not easily retrieve it, and then see how many times they tried before giving up. I put Lucy's toy under the end table, and then encouraged her to try and get it out. She looked at the end table, then looked at me. Then looked at the end table, and then at me. Then looked at the end table, then at me.

It was as I was reaching under the table to get her toy for her that I realized my dog was smarter than the people who wrote the test. ;)


rosanna said...

Undeniable!! they are so clever at asking attention and cuddles