Learning to Live Happily Ever After

What Do You Want More Of?

Posted by on Oct 3, 2013 in Dog Training, Uncategorized | 1 comment

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The other day I made some fettuccine alfredo for lunch (I microwaved it – does that count?) and as I was scraping the bowl, Teddy comes running into the kitchen all expectantly.  Because, well, yes, we have been known to let him “pre-wash” the dishes before they go in the dishwasher.

This is the thing with dog training, though.  It’s like a time machine.  The thing the dog likes serves to “buy” whatever he was doing right before and now you get to see more of that behavior in the future.   Neat, huh?

Whenever you have something fun for your dog, look at what he or she is doing and ask yourself, “Do I want more of that kind of behavior in my life?”  If so, yay!  Your fun thing will buy more of it.

But, do I need more running into the kitchen at the sound of plates scraping?  Not really.  I’ve already got plenty of that.  Buying more would be like offering myself up for some behavior hoarder reality show.

But, how about this?:

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 Honestly, can a girl ever have TOO MUCH peaceful lying down behavior from her dog?  Not me!  I love to stock up on this!

So, once Teddy had forgotten about the bowl scraping and went back to chilling out, guess what he got?

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Be mindful about what you are “buying” with all the fun things you and your dog enjoy.  What you buy today will be what your dog does more of tomorrow.

Either watch stealthily for something you’d like as a nice habit (resting peacefully, for example) or call your dog BEFORE you do any plate scraping.  Coming When Called ==> Plate Scraping ==> Licking!

Keep an eye on your sequences!

Note that this is so from the old adage of, “Make him sit first!” No! It’s not about having your dog run through a routine to make you feel like he “earned” it. You have to look all the way back what the dog was doing when you started whatever it was that tipped the dog off to the possibility of the good thing. Any in-between sitting doesn’t change the fact that the dog came because he heard the plate scraping.

One Comment

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  1. Sue L'Hommedieu

    Well stated. Love the time machine analogy. Love your blog.

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