Thursday, October 16, 2008

Day 51 and 52

Somebody's been throwing temper tantrums and it isn't me, the husband or even "The William."

It started over the weekend when Bear discovered he had a voice and that he didn't like to entertain himself. This explains the lack of posting because every time I sat down to write, I have been boxed with the paws, climbed on and when all else failed, barked at with increasing volume and voiciferousness.

This doesn't work for me or the husband for that matter, so today we decided to get matters under control. Every time Bear either barks, paws or mouths on us, we are standing up and turning our backs to him with our arms crossed over our chests. If he walks around in front of us, we simply turn around and put our backs to him again. We don't have to yell. We don't have to swat or push him...and we don't have to put up with being mawled at, barked at and constantly interrupted from everything we are doing because Bear wants us to entertain him 24/7.

Right now he's a bit confused about it, but is calming down in the house fifty thousand percent which should improve the regularity of my posting. It is amazing how quickly this behavior escalated and how draining it was becomming! Bear was literally climbing on me every time I sat down to do anything and all of the walking and playing in the world was not helping the situation. I am sure that part of it has to do with hormones, but a lot of it is puppy stuff too. Again I run into the problem with him that he is a very large pup and, consequently, his puppy stuff can be painful to the rest of us and has to be corrected.

While I would love to say that we thought of this technique ourselves, we didn't. We stole it from the dog lady. We watch her show a lot and saw it there, thinking at the time that it was pretty dumb. It really does work though! It takes consistency, but after about an hour of both the husband and I doing it, Bear is actually minding his manners.

The hardest thing about this behavior is that this wasn't really a "control thing" on Bear's part. He just wanted to play...incessantly and to be engaged with us, incessantly. At his age, its hard to realize that all three of us, even "The William," get tired and sore after a bit and that, in the house, romp, tug and wrestle are not good games to play...and barking every time you don't get your way doesn't cut it either.

In the end, I can't wait for the neutering certificate to get here because I think that is going to help a lot, but even without it, we are correcting the behavior without being punative and that's a really good thing!

As far as the "come" training is going, Bear is doing much better than "The William." Because he wants to be wherever we are, he isn't going very far and all we have to do is walk in the opposite direction and call him and he's there. "The William" on the other hand, comes when he feels like it, so I am giving a loud and high pitched "Bop!", waving my arms and walking in the opposite direction. Will thinks he's going to miss something and pretty much comes running now, after Bear is at my we're getting there.

Happy wandering!

The Writer...and her dog, Bear


Irene said...

The Überhund used to do that irritating stuff when my ex still lived here, because my ex found it hard to ignore him and constantly reacted to him one way or the other. I ignore the Überhund when he tries that on me and he quickly stops and goes to sleep. It's just spoiled dog behavior in his case. The need to get attention and to be entertained constantly as soon as my ex came home. A bit of jealousy also. I have no problems with him now and speak to him sternly if he tries it when the ex is here, for the rest I ignore the behavior. I play with him and cuddle him when I think it is a good time and that is often enough.

CC said...

It sounds as if you are doing all the right things with Bear and I am sure he will settle down soon. I know exactly what you mean about time, now that I am working again full time and this being my first week back, I have not written on my own blog since Tuesday, but I promise to catch up this weekend.

Therra Cathryn said...

All your hard (and consistant) work is going to make for many happy well-behaved dog years to come! You're on your way, trust me. Yay!