It’s the holidays, so we’re going to keep it a little more lighthearted with this month’s Positive Pet Training Hop, and our theme “Your dog’s good points and bad points, and how you’re working on improving them.” I’m going to select each of my dog’s worst habits and best traits, and they are illustrating (as best we could) while wearing their “Naughty/Nice” Christmas bandanas (the bandana folds so one word or the other is seen).
The truth is, when selecting what I might think is their worst behavior, I realized that we mostly don’t work on improving those particular things. We accept some things as part of their personalities. Luke has a lot of issues we are constantly working on (not necessarily naughty, but sometimes just frustrating behaviors arising from his fears), and sometimes we just need to choose our battles. Cricket is mostly very well behaved, she is 13 years old, and a stubborn beagle, so by now there are some things we have just accepted about her.
We’ll do naughty first, so we can end on a high note. 🙂
Luke – Naughty
One of Luke’s bad habits that is most challenging for us has nothing to do with his fears. He is an unrepentant counter surfer. Other than saying “no”, “get down” or “off”, we have not found any way to stop him from doing this, and even those words don’t often work if there’s something he really wants. I believe this is called “self-rewarding behavior”, which seems apt. The only way we can deal with this is management and that means we simply cannot leave food unattended, on the counter or anywhere else.
On the long list of things I need to work on with Luke, right now, managing this one is easier. I also haven’t found the answer of exactly how to train him not to do this. Although training myself to stop leaving food unattended, when I’m easily distracted, hasn’t exactly been easy either!
Now, Cricket would disagree with us that this is Luke’s naughtiest behavior. She finds it far more annoying when he keeps her ball away from her (plus sometimes she’s standing by egging him on when something comes off the counter…..like the chicken breast he stole once).
Luke – Nice
Luke’s intelligence and willingness to learn are strong points for him, and he is such a good model for photographs for the blog! But by far my favorite thing about him is how loving he is, how he wants to be by my side (it means so much to me that he follows me around the house like our late beagle Kobi used to do), and how he loves to snuggle.
Cricket – Naughty
Cricket really is a good girl, and it was more difficult to come up with something for her. If you’re a regular reader of this blog, this won’t be the first time that you’ve seen photos of her barking at me when she wants me to throw the ball! I used to try to get her to stop, by not throwing it until she stopped barking, but honestly, she can outdo me in the stubbornness department every time. I gave up, and since to me it’s harmless behavior (other than when she lets out one of those high-pitched barks right in my ear when I’m bending over!), I have let it go.
I’m just so happy that she’s still this excited about playing ball, when she is 13 years old, and has arthritis and a heart condition. We are going to do everything we can to make her happy!
Cricket – Nice
Well, she’s just so sweet and happy. She spends a lot of time napping, and she looks adorable when she is (and it’s so cute when she snores)! She brings a smile to my face every day, whether she’s quietly napping or merrily dancing around the house waiting for her treat when we come home.
I also cherish those moments when the two of them are this nice together. They have their times when they argue over space or attention, so it’s extra special when they get along so nicely. I think they must know Santa is coming, because I did not set up these photos of them together on the couch, they did it all on their own….that’s especially nice.
Do you let any of your dogs’ naughty behaviors slide sometimes?
We are pleased to be co-hosting the Positive Pet Training blog hop with Tenacious Little Terrier and Travels with Barley. Pet bloggers, please join us in this hop by posting your positive pet training stories. The hop remains open through Sunday. Our theme this month is “Naughty & Nice”, however, you may share any positive pet training story, whether it’s on our theme or not!