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March 20, 2021

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My dog is a rescue who was fostered for two weeks. In this foster home he slept on any bed or couch he wanted. When the fosters brought him to our house, the woman said, “Wait until you see him dance like Snoopy when it’s time to eat.” I silently vowed, “That stops tonight.” It did stop that night. I made him sit, put his food in a bowl and told him to wait until I told him to take it. He didn’t have to wait long; just long enough to show who was in charge. He has never been allowed on the furniture here. Dogs to come in and say, “I’d better not get on the couch. My feet are muddy.” However, when he has stayed overnight with a dogsitter, he sleeps in the bed and on the furniture there and is smart to realize it is okay there, but not at home. I think dogs are a lot like toddlers: they crave boundaries and look to the adult in charge to set them.
I am very glad some of those barbaric practices have changed, like rubbing their face in the mess or hitting them with a rolled up newspaper. We practice loving guidance with our dogs like we do with our children. We don’t hit.

@Lynn, they are pack animals. They DO crave guidance and boundaries; they need to know where they reside in the pack. I've always thought the key to mixing dogs and cats is to have the cats established in the house and bring the dog in as a puppy. Then the dog can learn from day one that the cats outrank him or her. Assuming the cats have claws, the dogs might learn it pretty quickly too.

Jaime, I loved this post. My father's a veterinarian and very old school. A friend of mine got a puppy who wasn't gaining weight fast enough and I told her my dad's "secret recipe" for puppies to gain weight - full fat cottage cheese mixed with an equal amount of scrambled eggs over a little kibble - and she asked her vet about it. He laughed and said, "Yeah, that's how we used to do it." But it worked!

I'm the first admit to that I baby my kitties all the time. It seems like it depends on if you have kids. If you have kids, then the animals seem to inhabit their appropriate place in the family hierarchy. If you don't, then it's a lot easier to justify spending a lot of money on crap they don't necessarily need. Or maybe that's just me!

At any rate, as Lynn said, I am glad to see that people are moving away from using negative reinforcement and towards positive reinforcement with their animals.

I haven't owned a dog in over 20 years but I agree with the "not on the furniture" sentiment. That's one of the reasons I don't think I could stand a cat. It's been a big *swipe left* on me for dating sites too. Don't even get me started on dogs in the bed :-O

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