'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, 22 May 2011

Social Life.

Me and Jess - and jealous Lola!
I've been a very social person today, seeing two of my friends (one of whom I haven't seen for a couple of months because of university pressure) for film and tv watching.

Lola was not very nice to the friend I haven't seen for a while, even though last time she was here Ro warmed up to her within about ten minutes. This time, she barked quite obnoxiously for a couple of minutes, until I lost my temper and, rather than shouting at her, put her in the kitchen and firmly shut the door on her. She scratched the door, and I waited until she stopped then let her out.

She was very wiggly when she got out, and only re-offended once about half an hour later (growling very softly when K leaned across me to put her drink down), and back into the kitchen she went. I didn't force any interaction between them, and told my friend to just ignore her, and I think not having to have eye contact with my friend helped. I don't think the situation was helped by my friend's lack of dog-savviness, but Lola did alright. Jess, of course, was her usual attention-loving self.

I think I'll try the time-out method again in future; she can be quiet and avoid my company, but barking obnoxiously at them is going to make her go away, not them. In future, I'll also put her harness and a long line on, so I don't have to pick her up (and transmit my irritation to her). The difference between being told to shut up, and being put in a couple of seconds' time out, was pretty fantastic though.

1 comment:

Sara said...

You handleed that situation beautifully.

It's funny how even a lot of "dog people" don't know how to interact in a nonthreatening way with dogs. Can't tell you how many people at agility trials have tried to befriend Oreo by invading his space and leaning toward him.

I guess it is the human instinct in us.