Another young dog has begun his 30 Day Obedience Boot Camp here at Muck Creek Kennels. Our young recruit is a mixed breed, Lab/Shepherd cross. He enjoys counter surfing, barking, and a long list of delightfully destructive behaviors which include bed-shredding. Here is an photo of his latest creation:
This is what I found in the kennels this morning at 6AM. This kind of destructive behavior always stems from inadequate exercise. As you can see, I have my work cut out for me!
I did a brief training assessment with Jessie yesterday and found him to be quite responsive. He craves attention and he’s willing to work for it. All I have to do is channel his desire for attention into more positive behaviors.
It all begins with SIT. It nearly always begins with SIT. When a dog has learned that he can get what he wants by barking and whining, we need to ignore the attention getting ploy and counter it with some demand of our own. Jessie REALLY wants me to pay attention to him. He’s already well on his way to learning that I won’t even look at him unless he sits first.
Later, we’ll apply the N.I.L.I.F. principle and require a sit or other trained behavior before he gets anything he wants. N.I.L.I.F. stands for Nothing In Life Is Free. When we practice this principle we require the dog to sit before he gets anything he wants. This means every time Jessie goes out of his kennel he has to sit first. Every time he gets a pat on the head – Sit first. Want a treat? Sit First! Before I put his food down and let him eat? Sit first!
But before we embark on this new journey, our first order of business is to wring some of the vinegar out of this guy with a healthy dose of strenuous exercise. I’ll try to get some pictures for you later today. He’s quite a handsome fella with a mischievous glint in his eye. He can put on a ridiculously goofy face at times, but don’t let him fool you! This guy is a smarty!
Slack Leads to You All!