What are your best animal training fails?


    - when I was teaching my dog Pinkman to boop she thought she was getting food for hitting her head on things so for like two full weeks she ran around indiscriminately smashing her face into walls and furniture and then asking for a treat

    - trying to teach my baby horse Nugget to bow but now he’s just constantly checking his armpits for food

  • A dog that can open fridges
  • Almost every trick my cat has learned has been mutated and used for evil purposes.

    Training him to sit means he sits on my feet whenever I’m carrying food.  I have tripped over him.  A lot.  He especially loves plopping his ass on my feet as I open the fridge. 

    Platform?  Oh shit, that just means he learned how LEDGES work and now he treats the entire house like his own personal platforming video game.  I had to re-arrange the kitchen to move the chairs further from the counters.

    High five?  He repeatedly smacks my hand if I’m holding food, because he assumes that’s the same thing as a high five.

    The ultimate result of scent-training was that he hunted down the box I kept scented things in and tore it apart.  I MEAN, I GUESS THAT’S THE SPIRIT OF THE GAME BUT STILL.

    So far, teaching him to jump through a hoop has been harmless, but I’m still concerned.

    Teaching my dog how to spin short circuited her brain. She spins over, and over, and over, and over when excited.

    Food excites her.

    Training excites her.

    I have been unable to teach her anything since I taught her how to spin, because she gets excited and... spins.

    my sister taught her service dog to pick up her shoes and hand them to her.

    every time she drops them on the floor to put them on he’ll pick it back up and this will loop for like 5 minutes

    The notes on this are endlessly entertaining

    I was trying to train my last dog as a service dog and was therefore teaching her to do tasks for me while I was in the wheelchair. One of these things was ‘opening doors’, which is all well and good and a useful skill for her to have.

    Except...she absolutely refused to learn to close them again. Utterly refused. Did not see the point to doing that. She, in fact, became adamant that all doors should forever be open from that point onwards. No room in the house was allowed to have a closed door ever again. If I got up to close a door she would just get up and open it again. If I went to the toilet and locked the bathroom she would stand outside trying the handle over and over again and occasionally howling about the fact that her magic trick had stopped working.

    The only thing that saved us from her opening the front door and escaping was that it used a knob rather than a handle.

    ....my dad’s house, which contained a total of 3 dogs when I brought mine round there, was not so lucky.

    I taught TenSoon to turn off lights. He’s a sport dog, not a service dog, but why have a smart house when you have a doberman? Right? Wrong. He has quickly figured out that I need light to read. And that he can end this dog-ignoring activity by turning off the light and bopping the doorknob to ask to go out. I now read by lamp.

    My best ferret stories were all things I accidentally trained. Hobbes knew how to get attention via WiFi router. He once accidentally unplugged it, and it summoned everyone right to him. He never forgot. If we ever ignored him too long, he would mosey up to it and wait, like a cat. If that didn’t work, he would unplug it and wait for someone to notice. He was of the conviction that negative attention was better than no attention, so the roommate holding him up and yelling “come get your ferret!” was great reinforcement.

    I taught Puzzles “feets!” as a target touch thing - I tap a thing and she puts her feets on it; this is great for getting her to stand up so I can put her harness on or pick her up without having to bend over too far when my back is messed up.

    Of course now she also stands up and just starts slapping my knee whenever she wants what I’m eating.

    When my puppy took something he shouldn't have, I'd take it off him and give him a toy to distract him from losing the forbidden thing. However in the last few days he seems to be of the mindset that he can also swap toys for forbidden things. Yesterday he walked into the toilet with a toy, left the toy and took a toilet roll. Today he came into my room, dropped a toy and went to take a shoe. Trying to work out how to head this off as soon I'm going to be seeing a toy in an odd place and working out what is missing.

    Yes this is a nice toy, but not the same as a roll of toilet paper.

    You accidentally taught your dog the concept of currency and you’re on the Fun Toy Standard.

    This was meant to be a quick warm up, but it turned into a comic that I’ve wanted to draw for a while. This is something that is extremely important to me, and I appreciate it if you read it.

    A while ago, I heard a story that broke my heart. A family went a cat shelter to adopt. The daughter fell in love with a 3-legged cat. <>The father straight up said “absolutely not”. Because he was missing a leg. That cat was that close to having a family that loved him, but the missing leg held him ba<>ck. Why?!

    Many people have the initial instinct of “nope” when they see an imperfect animal. I get it, but less-adoptable does NOT mean less loveable. 9 out of 10 people will choose a kitten over an adult cat. And those 10% that would get an adult cat often overlook “different” animals.

    <>All I want people to do is be open to the idea of having a “different” pet in their lives. Choose the pet that you fall in love with, but at least give all of them a fair shot at winning your heart.

    Don’t dismiss them, they deserve a loving home just as much as any other cat. They still purr, they still love a warm lap, they still play, they still love you. Trust me, next time you are in the market for a new kitty, just go over to that one cat that’s missing an eye and see what he’s all about!

    Let me tell to you a thing.

    This is Lenore. I first saw her in a little cage at the Petco I frequent (I used to take my parents’ dog in for puppy play time), and she looked like the grouchiest, old, crotchety cat in the world, and I fell instantly in love. She was cranky, she was anti-social, hanging out at the back of her cage. Her fur was matted because she wouldn’t let the groomers near her.

    She was perfect.

    But I didn’t have a place for her. I wasn’t living in my own space yet, and where I was, I wasn’t allowed cats. So I pressed my face to the bars of her cage and I promised that if no one had adopted her by the time I’d bought a house, I would come back for her.

    I visited her every week for oversix months while I looked for a house. At one point, they had to just shave her entire rear-end because the mats of fur were so bad. They told me she clawed the heck outta the groomer that did it, screamed the entire time, and spent the next two days growling at anyone that came near the cage.

    A couple of weeks later, I closed on my house. I went back and I got an employee, and I said: “That one. I need that cat.”

    They got the paperwork and the lady who ran the rescue that was bringing the cats in told me that Lenore (at the time, Lila) was 8 years old, had been owned by an elderly lady who had died, and brought in to a different rescue, who’d had her for six months on top of the time I’d been seeing her at Petco.

    This kitty had been living in a 3x3’ cube for over a YEAR because she was older and “less adoptable.”

    I signed the paperwork, put her in a cat carrier, and drove her to my new home. I had pretty much nothing; a bed, an old couch, a couple of bookcases, and a tank of mice I called “Cat TV”. I let her out of the carrier and onto my bed, and I told her “I told you I would come back for you when I had a place. It’s not much, but it’s yours too now.”

    Lenore spent the next three days straight purring non-stop. She followed me around the house purring. Sat next to me purring. Slept next to me purring. Leaning into every touch, purring, purring, always purring. She still purrs if you so much as think about petting her. She’s amazing, and I love her.

    So, you know, if you’re thinking about adopting, and you see a beast that others consider “less adoptable,” think about Lenore.

    Dangit I’m crying


    Crying, too! I don’t care if this is off-topic; it’s too important not to share.


    As a humane society volunteer I cannot scroll past this. Please, adopt our older animals!

    I’m not crying I’m just allergic to love