a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: Things Will Change

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Things Will Change

I was just out in the yard scritching my other dogs and pondering how my life will be evn more chaotic than it already is.

Tika is still not really a well-trained household dog. Don't know whether she ever will be. In the last recent few months I've been making more and more of a push all the time because I'm just tired of it:

- Rewarding lying down behavior all the time. (For example, this weekend, she got treats whenever she was out of her crate and lay down.)

- Demanding lying down behavior when I'm eating.

- Demanding lying down behavior when I'm getting dressed, instead of the usual play-intermingled-with-yanking-on-clothes routine. I've kept a stash of goodies hidden up there for occasional random rewards. I think she's getting better & better.

- Being more aggressive about nose-checking-the-table behavior. I need to be even more aggressive on that front. This week I got out a spray bottle and used it a few times but probably just need to keep one at the table all the time.

- Being more aggressive about not accepting leaping 40 feet into the air repeatedly while I get out the leashes for a walk--demanding a sit before I open the closet door. That used to be impossible to achieve but there are hints that it's taking this time.

- More determinedly pursuing behaving on leash when there are other dogs shouting obscenities at her from nearby yards or from leashes in the near vicinity. I have been very good about taking goodies & clicker with me. We sometimes spend more time just in waiting and practicing good/calm behavior than we do walking.

- Working to decide what to do about Tika's wildness when people step through the front door. Thrusting her into the yard or living room behind the gate is a stop-gap; sooner or later she will occupy the same general real estate as the person who has come in. I'm trying various things--again, more aggressively.

- And we've been successfully demanding and getting a lie-down behavior while filling the dog bowls for months now.

It's coming along, but SO slowly on some fronts. (Interestingly, she seems to be catching on very quickly to the relaxing while I'm dressing thing, which I was completely unsuccessful at when I used to work at it--oh, say, 2-3 years ago. So maybe a little maturity is helping.)

What I just don't need is to have her teaching a puppy the wrong things.

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