For several weeks now I have been working with Zoey on not biting and her impulse control.
Prior to this, if anything even vaguely exciting happened, Zoey would go into a tizzy and would leap at me and chomp down on my hands, arms or clothes. The vaguely exciting thing didn’t even have to be that exciting; it could be me rushing across the room, singing whilst I walked or moving a hand too fast next to her.
Flapping hands were just the worst. If a hand flapped nearby, it was sure to be snapped at 🙂
Some dogs are more mouthy than others. Kasper had never been taught not to play bite when we adopted him at 9 months old, but when we began teaching him that biting = end of play, he picked it up very quickly. Zoey, on the other hand, did not. Although she rarely bites in play now, she just cannot help herself when she gets over-excited.
So I began doing low-excitement things and clicking & rewarding her when she remained calm. If she became too excited and tried to bite, that was my fault for pushing her too fast, so I made the action I was doing even less exciting. At this point I am able to flap my hands around her face, whilst making tempting ‘swishing’ noises, and she sits there calmly…this is a HUGE step for us!! 🙂
We changed the layout of our living room (yes again 😛 ) and brought in Zoey’s old, rusty, bent crate. My thinking was I could put a soft dog bed in there and, if Zoey worked herself up into a frenzy grabbing onto it and ragging it about, I could simply call her away and close the crate door until she’d calmed down. It’s worked really well so far, and I even caught Kasper slinking in there for a nap!
I’ve also begun mat training Kasper. He’s such a doll, once he got the idea that I wanted him to be on the mat he would go on it and wouldn’t budge! I could walk across the room to the treat pot, grab a handful of treats, and he would just sit there watching…it’s things like this why I love him so so much, he is just so sweet 🙂
And finally here is Zoey, contorting herself to get the last of the wet dog food out of her Kong! XD
The sun is still cracking the flags here. It’s supposed to be sunny tomorrow and cloudy / sunny on Sunday. My parents are driving up on Sunday which should be fun; we’re planning on all of us going for a dog walk, but I’m not sure how good an idea that is…sunny weekends tend to bring out the worst dogs / their owners around here…