Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Who's in charge here ?

Things have changed a lot in our house. Did you notice?

 I used to post lots of photos of beds and couches covered in pets.

Seen any lately ?

In a house with four dogs, things can get out of hand pretty fast.  One dog barks -- they all bark.  One gets excited -- they all get excited.  You get the picture.

Over the past few months a lot of overdue, doggy-type changes have happened. No longer are guests mobbed by excited, bouncing dogs.  Good behaviour is expected.

No dogs on furniture.  That one was harder on me, than the dogs who quickly adjusted to their lovely new beds.

Trey with his "sucky" pillow.

Excited, jumping greetings, are not acknowledged.  We follow Cesar Milan's mantra, "no look, no touch, no talk", until the dogs have calmed down.

Dog owners love their pets.  But like me, they often have it backwards. Hugs, love, affection and kisses  are NOT what a dog needs most.

#1 in importance is exercise.

#2 is discipline.

Don't worry, I'm not going to show you photos of me beating the dogs.  That's not discipline.  It's about becoming the "alpha", top dog, and is reinforced every day.  They must wait for permission to eat.  They let me take bones and food from them.  They sit and "wait", when told.  Before going out for a walk, they wait at the top of the stairs, then on the stairs and then on the deck.

#3 is Affection.  Rather than give affection randomly, I give it in response to good behaviour.

The other big change has been the switching around of the pack.  Kaitlyn now takes care of the "pups",  Buffy and Sooki, and I have Wendy and Trey.  She often takes the pups to work where she grooms, as they have a doggie day care. I take the "oldsters" with me around town.  Hence all the photos of them at Admiral Cove park.

The new system is working really well.   The house is a calmer and quieter place.  Nice.

Don't worry about me having to sleep on that big bed all alone.

Cats are not so easily trained ...


  1. Good dog owner! Who's a good dog owner?! You's a good dog owner, yes you are!

    Congratulations on the training! (My cats have me well trained, too.)

  2. Good Girl! What a good girl you are!
    I try to do this also with Callie. She sits and waits to be fed......without barking. The other two "Animals" in the house I'm afraid are lost causes.
    (BTW, .... where is Chandler?)


  3. Thanks Patricia, wag, wag, wag, wag ... (I am wiggling with joy)

    ITC-1, I re-homed Chandler last summer. The five dogs were getting out of hand. Chandler, being the smallest, often got neglected. Though he was the smallest he was the noisiest and would set off the entire pack. I found a retired couple who would give him a good home. He is an only dog and just loving it. I have stayed in touch with them and have met Chandler and his new mom having their daily run at Shubie Park. I miss him but he is so very happy in his new home ... I think I did the right thing.

  4. I'm impressed. 4 dogs and two cats.
    That's a lot of work - and food.
    My cousin is teaching on a dog training course, He tells me that he is not training dogs but dog owners. It is best that they have their dog with them so they can practice what they learn right away.
    BTW, we have a cat (one), and it is possible to have him behave as we want.
    But it takes l o o o n g time.

  5. What sweeties. They just want you to think you're in charge. Only they know who alpha dog/cat is, and you will be the last person to know. By the way, it's not you...tee hee hee!

  6. I like the picture of the four dogs all lined up in a row. (I saw this before, but apparently neglected to comment. That happens.)

  7. Carsten, the problem is with the owners and rarely the dogs.

    As for the bed sleeping, Roswell (the bald cat)sleeps under the covers.

    Roswell is 7 pounds. Butters is 14 pounds. Guess who's the boss ? I'll give you a hint. It's not Butters !

  8. Good job, Sybil. The lineup on the stairs is particularly impressive.

    Rob the Firefighter is always trying to get me to be a more assertive dog owner. I'm sure he is right, but I am awfully distractable. I think it might take more than a few months to train me properly.

  9. Just back from my Tuesday training course with Nino-the-Beagle. The educator again told us, six dogs' owners, what the three more important words in training dogs were : "patience, patience, patience". So true ! You are doing very well, bravo, love those pictures of your buddies.


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