Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Training Really Works

We all know that training works, but sometimes it hard to see any progress. Our dogs stay in the laundry room at night to sleep. It allows us all to get a good night sleep. If my husband comes to bed late, after Tanner goes to sleep, Tanner gets protective and starts to growl. Daisy wants to sleep in the bed and only with me, which doesn't thrill my husband. Kota would be content to sleep in the living room, but it ensures he doesn't try to wake us early.

Kota has been terrible about barking to get out of the laundry room in the morning. I guess I was the one who just perpetuated the behavior by trying to hurry in the morning and get to the door before he started. With their acute hearing there's no possiblity to beat them to the punch. I had a Duh! moment and thought stupid, you should wait until they are quiet to open the door. Well, as we all know it's hard to get a behavior to get extinct when it has been reinforced. So it has taken months to get them to quit barking. My husband would walk over to the door and they would get quiet, but then I realized that it was just a negative reinforcer perpetuating the behavior even farther. I spent many a morning walking into the kitchen, when the barking would start I would walk right back out. When they were quiet and I would walk back in and it would start all over again.

So now for the past two mornings they are finally quiet when I go to open the laundry room door. Dog training is usually something that takes work and doesn't happen immediately. I really need to be careful of my actions because before we know it we are reinforcing a behavior that we don't want.

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