Sunday, March 29, 2009

Rules, Boundaries & Limitations

Last night we hosted our quarterly social of "The Warwick Group." There are four couples and each quater a couple makes dinner reservations and then plans an activity afterwards. Over the years we've had a lot of fun with this--going for dinner and then to a semi-professional baseball game, going to Maryland for seafood and then going for a walk, or just having dinner locally and playing a card game or board game. Last night was our turn, and it turned out to be a wonderful affirmation for me for all the work I do with my dogs.

Not everyone in our group likes pets. I want them to meet and interact with the dogs if they like, but I don't want the dogs (and the hair) to bother people. We were going to play a board game after dinner at our large dining room table. Rather than crate the dogs I decided to let them out, but they could not cross the doorway between the kitchen (where their crates are located) and the dining room (where we were). I gave no command like "stay" but reinforced (treats) when they were in the kitchen and relaxing. They were glorious. They never came into the dining room even though people were coming and going. At one point they decided it was bed time and when I checked on them, they were asleep in their crates.

A Good Choice
I was so proud of Cosi. When new people come in the house and he's excited, he's invented the following game: take your pointy nose and poke people in the leg. If they don't play with you, nip at their pants legs. This is not a good game. I don't like it. Instead I've been working with him to learn the phrase "get a toy." When he brings a toy, I ask the person he previously tried to poke to play tug, throw it, and use the toy to interact with Cosi. Last night as the 6 guests came in the door, Cosi turned and went *immediately* to get a toy. Good choice, buddy.

Everyone works their dogs at activites like obedience, agility, fly ball, herding, etc. I work my dogs so they can be accepted and welcomed. I want them to have good manners. No one likes a bratty child; no one likes a bratty dog. I was so proud of my dogs last night. They could have won the National Good Manners championship. =:O)

1 comment:

Acadia Shelties said...

YEAH!! Good Dogs!!
I agree- no one likes bratty kids or bratty dogs. It is very important to have "good citizens".
Congratulations on the work you have done to make yours Good Dogs!