'Not only is punishment risky, but it also fails to teach the dog an acceptable alternate behaviour. The dog does not learn what to do the next time he is in the same situation. He only learns to fear the situation.' Emma Parsons, Click to Calm p73

Sunday, 29 May 2011

Impulse Control: "Project Epiphany."


I spent Lola's dinner yesterday and breakfast today on It's Yer Choice. We only had one minor problem with it, when I accidentally threw a piece of kibble almost squarely at her, and barely had time to squawk out a 'leave it!' (too harshly) when she, quite rightly, bent to get it off of the floor.

Other than that, Project Epiphany (as I'm calling our new regime of regular impulse control games) is going fantastic. Whilst out walking today, Lola was doing a lot of down-stays and releases for her ball, even up to the point of staying still as I very gently pretended to throw the ball.

And then to make matters even better, towards the end of the walk, a Jack Russell came running up behind us. I quickly veered onto a different path--thankfully, I had the ball in the launcher and Lola beside me--and for about fifteen or twenty minutes it just followed us, whilst the owners totally ignored it. At one point, Lola half-turned toward it, her lip curling back slightly; I told her to leave it and instantly she gave me her full attention, and didn't look back again until it finally left us alone. I jackpotted my clever girl so much with bouncing, squealing and ball throwing immediately!

I did have a moment of weakness ('oh, should I let her meet it... they're similar size...') but decided against it, and with Lola's slight lip curl as she turned to it I'm glad I did. I think the owners were pretty put out by my behaviour--they probably thought I didn't want my ickle baby princess to get hurt--and while I hate that I'm adding to the conception of small dog owners (and their dogs) being idiots, I'd rather that than risk a fight.

Lola has been a good girl today and I am very proud of her. :)

4 comments:

An English Shepherd said...

Lola looks very happy today :-)

saralovesdogs said...

Great work. Lola is such a fast learner.

People often must be confused by my behavior with my dogs, but we must do what's best for our dogs and not care what other people think.

Ricky the Sheltie said...

Glad to hear project epiphany is going well!! I agree with Sara that you take care of your dogs and don't worry about what people think!

Bailey Be Good! said...

I found my way to your blog today -- your doggies are so adorable!

Hope you had a happy and safe Memorial Day holiday.

Woofs & hugs,

~Bailey