Friday, June 5, 2009

How many bowls of soup does it take?

This was the third time that a bowl of soup had been upended on my carpet. But it is all my own fault. I know that I should be teaching my puppies not to jump up and send the tray flying off my lap.

When they are small and cute, it's difficult not to want to indulge them. But when they leave muddy paw prints on my smart business suit just as I am about to leave for an important meeting, it begins to sink in. This is why trainers go on and on about teaching your puppy not to jump up onto people. The moment they do it you ignore them, cross your arms and avoid eye contact. When all four paws are on the ground you praise and reward them.
And you need to get your visitors to play ball ( I mean co-operate).

A fellow puppy owner was boasting about how they never fussed over their puppy on arriving and leaving home, nor did they encourage jumping up. The result: a puppy that sits, does not jump up and does not whine when they leave the house.

OK, I know the theory and I am trying to put it into practice after learning the hard way.
However their destructive instinct is still going strong. I have heard puppies are most active at dawn and dusk. They definitely get restive around 4.00pm and I know its time to take them for a walk.

But there is not much I am prepared to do about what they are up to at dawn. Every morning I walk bleary eyed down the passage dreading what I will see. This sight greeted me the other morning.

It does not snow often in Africa. They had disemboweled the cushion they sleep on. They also steadily eroded the foam inside the basket itself.
Don't they know there is a recession on? Dog baskets are not that cheap! So I spent the morning washing tons of blankets and towels which will have to do until the recession recedes and my puppies learn to be more responsible!

1 comment:

  1. the book the Dog Listener emphasises no eye contact on arrival at home and to ignore the dogs until you are ready to greet them. All about being the pack leader and ignoring the "minions"!