Saturday, October 2, 2010

Bullie Bootcamp: Week 2

We're really starting to see results.

Our daily routine still includes:
  • Ignoring them the first few minutes when I get home from work.
  • No bed. No sofa.
  • No mugging the door.
  • When exiting/entering, they have to walk behind me.
  • No barking frenzy.
  • No compulsive licking (us).
  • No hogging toys. We've taken them away.
  • No mugging the food bowl.
  • No tug of war play.

No mugging the food bowl - When we adopted Basil, I didn't train him to "wait" and then eat when I tell him it's okay to approach the bowl. It was my fault that I didn't have the patience and Basil was so easy going that I just thought, "ehh, he can have that one." With Guinness and Basil, together I noticed that they began mugging the bowl more and more. They inched closer and closer to it for fear the other dog would eat his food. I could see myself on an episode of the Dog Whisperer where I was one of those silly owners who was "afraid" of her dogs and threw the bowl down and couldn't get my hand away fast enough. Something had to be done. Once the baby gates were up, I was able to keep one dog out of the kitchen while I fed the other and no dog had to be afraid that the other dog will eat his food. Since Basil was the being the bully about the food, I fed Guinness first for a week. Before I had the gates, I would tie Basil's leash to the door while I fed Guinness. I made Guinness "Wait". I asked him to "Watch me" by pointing to the outer corner of my eye. Paused for a few seconds and then pointed to the bowl and said "Yes!" It took about 3-4 tries with Guinness. I wouldn't put the bowl down until they kept their head up and waited for my say so. Basil required 5-6 tries and finally he got the hint. That's also why I used Guinness first as the demonstrator since he's better trained and could show Basil what needs to be done. Soon after that, it only takes Guiness 1 try and Basil 2 tries. Also, they aren't scarfing their food down like somedog is going to steal it. When it was all said and done (after 6 tries), it seemed effortless. It worked and all it took was a few minutes. Don't get frustrated while you are training. As Cesar says, you have to be in a calm assertive state of mind.

*It's important to note that by controlling their food, I have far more leverage in training them.

Water bowls - It was suggested that we should keep more water bowls scattered around the house so that Basil can't guard them from Guinness. At first, I didn't see a need. I thought they were fine and it was great that they ate in the same room. I was so blinded by the need to get them to "get along". Perhaps it was more mental in doggie language because I didn't see any outward signs of Basil guarding over Guinness' bowl even though Basil would ocassionally block Guinness from his bowl. I just thought they liked swaping bowls and "sharing". It was suggested that maybe for peace, just keep the food bowls separated and put more water bowls around. So I put a big bowl on the far side of the dining room on a little rug. Immediately, Guinness came over and began slurping it down. My poor wittle man. I could tell he was relaxed and loved that bowl far far far away from "Basil's area". He went to it several times within the hour that day.

No Bed No Sofa - The boys do not attempt to go on the furniture anymore. We rarely have to remind them now. It finally sunk in and they lay on the carpet in the evenings. Then a few days ago, they began voluntarily going into their crates to sleep. Guinness goes into it more often than Basil. Basil jumped onto one of the arm chairs and then I realized he just wanted to go to bed and wasn't necessarily being defiant. He actually has a bed time of about 8:30 PM - 9:30 PM. So I led him to his crate and he slept in there without protest for the rest of the night. I do that every night now. One late night while my husband and I were watching a movie, both boys went into their crates. When Guinn heard a noise on the tv, he came out and Basil came following like "who dat?! what's dat?!" Then they would go back into the crate. They did this repeatedly. It was so funny!

PLAY! We do get to play with them but we do the work first. When they are calm and we've done our training, we'll play with them and let them outside to romp.

After 2 rigorous weeks of training (and seeing results), we awarded the boys on Saturday morning to nap with us on our bed. We let them come upstairs and onto our bed. We cuddled and slept with them for another hour before rising. It was so sweet. Basil and Guinness were huddled between us laying on one another's behind.

Next up...going for a car ride, walk and to Grandma's house.

1 comment:

  1. Boot camp!! You guys better come over here to escape
    Benny & Lily