Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Pooches: On Party-Training

We always think it's funny that some people who read our blog believe that our dogs can do no wrong.
This is definitely far from the truth.
Much like the Von Trapp family, the pooches and I live by A's strict set of rules in our home. We have to be really strict about enforcing the rules so they are well-behaved in our home.
But I tend to break the outdoor furniture rule.
Knowing how food-motivated our pups are, we have a lot of rules about food.
The pups must perform a trick to get any type of treat.
They are not allowed to eat people food from the table.
To prevent scrounging, we also don't allow them to eat any of their dog treats if we happen to drop them and they fall on the sidewalk during our walks.
We thought that these were good rules, then we realized this makes them even more excited when someone breaks these rules for them.
It first started when we brought the pooches to one of my Family Parties.
Miss M's crazy-eyes emerge at the mere glimpse of food
My family thought the pups were so cute, they spent the entire night feeding them Korean BBQ, turkey, apples and Asian Pear from the table. Miss M realized all she had to do was look at someone and they would feed her. She didn't even need to perform a trick.
We think this ranks as their best night ever.
Though it all came to a close when Miss M decided to forgo the looking at someone and she just decided to feed herself.
By sticking her head in an entire bowl of potato salad.
Unfortunately, the pups are now conditioned to think that all parties are similar free-for-alls. And if people are not cooperating with Miss M's demands, she will become very vocal.
Remember that smashing-entrance we described when the pups' attended their black-tie party?
And it has become nearly impossible for them to be well-mannered at our Family Parties anymore.
So Miss M is not invited. And Mr. B is not invited by association.
We wonder if all of our rules and training as been a disservice in this type of situation.
There are a few dogs in our extended family who have all have been allowed to eat table scraps and they seem to do just fine at family parties.
On the other hand Miss M cannot contain her excitement, which eventually excites Mr. B.
How do you balance enforcing the rules when other people don't? And how to you re-condition once the rules have been broken?

How they do at home.
Pitbulls in Party Hats!

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Katherine said...

I have found that if you are strict with your rules with the dogs then you have to follow through in training other people too. If I am asked if my dog is allowed to eat people food at friends or family, the answer is no since I don't do it myself. No couch lounging since it is not allowed at home. This only confuses dogs. For me rules are rules no matter where we go even if strangers want to give her the licks of the bottom of their ice cream cup. The only thing outside of her food that she gets are ice cubes from the freezer. It only took one time to offer one, now when the cubes start rattling, she comes a running. There is absolutely so staring or gawking when I eat - that gets the doggy death stare from me - a very serious energetic body language stare with the intentions in my mind of "Back off this is mine" works every time. If you want a good dog everywhere, you have to stick to the rules everywhere with everyone. Peace and happy butt wags.

Rebecca said...

I have the same issue with people coming over; Miss Eleanore *loves visitors and immediately turns into a little jumping bean. We even have a sign on the door that says (nicely) "I love you, but DO NOT SAY HI OR PET ME until my mommy says okay!" Of course, friends walk in, she looks at them adoringly and out come the baby voices, the high-pitched squeals and crazy antics. Sigh. It's tricky (but the most fun ever) living with the ultimate socialite ! R

Two French Bulldogs said...

This is so frustrating. I have asked friends over and over to please ignore Lily (& when Benny was here) when entering my home. Nope, they refuse. Same with food. Ugh

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