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"?