|Barked: Sat Mar 2, '13 1:54pm PST |
|Charlie, back when I first got him at eight months old, had learned that the only way to get attention was to get himself into trouble. Not the case in my home, of course, but he decided to do just that. One day, I walked from my bedroom around the hall into the dining area to find him standing ON TOP of my kitchen table! Tail wagging, staring at me with this cute grin on his mug. The first time, I gave him trouble. But when I realized.. I can turn this into something he does ON COMMAND.. So.. I taught him to jump onto furniture(not kitchen tables of course) on command.
I taught him to bring dropped containers to me. Much like your chapstick scenario, Charlie liked to chew plastic containers, so I taught him to bring them to me on command instead. He no longer chews them, and he's about as keen to bring them to me, but he's my grumpy old man, so whatever, lol.
Dig as a trick! One day, out camping, he found a fallen tree and began digging at the small hole that went through the roots into the ground. I turned that one into a command as well. He's NEVER dug up my yard, for the record.
Ria likes to use her paws. On people. Claws and all. Much like a cat. If you point down and say "Down" and your arm is within close range, she'll throw out her paws to grab your arm, drag her claws down your entire arm, and slam into a down, leaving scratches all over you in the process. I turned 'paw' behaviors into 'shake a paw' instead and stopped rewarding when she clawed people and ONLY when she did the command without using her paws.
My foster dog, Beau was a barker. Chronic barker. Barked when he played, barked when left home alone, barked when he was left separated from you in another room, barked at other dogs, barked at people going by the fence, etc. But Beau was also a fear aggressive biter who, on several occasions, had bitten other foster moms prior to me. One day, his foster mom simply leaned over him to put a harness on him - he bit her. He also bit her one day when she was putting him in his kennel(he was a MAJOR resource guarder of furniture, kennel, food, etc)... So I decided to use the barking to my advantage. It was HARD to do... But I captured the moments he did a specific behavior to turn it into something positive. For example, if he was clearly uncomfortable about something and would bark at me, I'd do what he wanted(to an extent) - I'd go away and give him his space, and after a few minutes, I would call him to me and reward the heck out of him once he was calm. He learned that he didn't have to bite me. He could tell me he was upset simply by giving a bark! I NEVER got bit by that dog in the several months that he was in my care, and I managed to work through most of his resource guarding issues too.
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