Friday, December 12, 2008

Last Man Standing

In our house, the humans try to focus on rewarding good behavior. With 6 greyhounds, good behavior indoors usually means lying down and minding your own business. In other words, not underfoot. Lying down gets acknowledged with love, attention, and treats. Underfoot gets you nothing.

Today, I took the girls for a 2 mile walk/jog. Kudos, to Katie (age 10) who did so much better than Reagan (age 20 months). Reagan was clearly bored with the idea. I get such a kick out of Katie being in so much better shape than many pet dogs half her age. Riley is made for jogging. I think she could run a marathon. I need to find her twin for Ray.

The daily routine is that Riley and Reagan eat after training/exercise (usually in the evening). The other 4 greyhounds eat breakfast (we feed raw food, so each dog eats once a day). Anyone not underfoot while I prepare Reagan and Riley's dinner gets a treat. Lately Katie has not been successful. She follows Riley, Reagan, and I into the dog room in hopes that she will be fed also.

Well, I think Katie had an epiphany because for 2 days now she has followed us into the dog room, but then very deliberately leaves the room and lies down in the living room. Its not a huge accomplishment, but I love to see them figure things out without being told what to do. Treats for Katie.

Next, I stuffed chunks of beef heart and canned pumpkin into Kongs to put in the freezer for later use.

As usual, we have some winners and we have some losers. These are the underfoot losers.

These are the winners.


Winners... Even Riley figures it out!

Last man standing......... no beef heart for Stacker tonight.

I have heard some people say "I don't feed my dog any people food because I do not want him to learn to beg." The truth is that "begging" is a well trained behavior. It has nothing to do with people versus dog food. I can cut Red Barn dog treats at my coffee table without any obtrusive "begging".

Dogs will do what works for them. If you reward your dog for milling around in the kitchen or for staring at you with sad eyes, then that is the behavior your dog will offer. Katie is "begging" for food when she is lying down in the other room. How do you want your dog to "beg"?


Addie said...

I know Hoover will get the picture eventually since I've started to reward Bruno for staying out of the kitchen. Bruno still watches (in case I drop something, I guess), but he'll stay outside the door, so he begs the way I want him to. Now if Hoover could catch on...

Maria Peters said...

Your blog is looking spiffy!

I love the Christmas decorations on top of the gate.

You always give me something to think about...and work on with my dogs. Thank you.

Mielikki's Hunt said...

I must admit my 10 yr old has gotten kinda pudgy LOL. She's been put on babysitting duties with 2 6 month old puppies in hope she'll play some of that off. LOL

But it is soo neat when the lightbulb goes on in their head I've had that happen with my Gossip, OOOOOOOOOOOOOH this is what you want!!! Lots of praise and goodies

Michelle and Mitch said...

Love the new look! =) Unfortunately, Cueball and Booyah are always underfoot at meal time. Maggie keeps herself occupied by laying on the couch playing with a toy. I have lots of work to do with the boys.

Anonymous said...

"Katie is "begging" for food when she is lying down in the other room. How do you want your dog to "beg"?" Well put. That is definitely food for thought. L, M

Denise- LessIsMore17 said...

Peanut gets stepped on daily. But she's learning, sort of. :-)
Limo has learned not to be underfoot.

Love the new look!

Zan said...

How'd I miss this when you posted it. As always, thanks for the training tips. Nick definitely needs to learn to stay out from underfoot.

Love your blogs new look. It looks great and the snowflakes show up better ;-)!

greytblackdog said...

you are so right about the rewarded behavior. roxy has totally figured out that if you stay off the hard floor (kitchen) you get cookies :). she's a smart one. seka is just hard headed. she hasn't learned yet. sometimes i think she just gives up.

btw - i love the snow on the blog.