Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Big Disciplinary "Gun"

Belle has always been crazy about critter watching. She can sit by the sliding doors for hours on end, still and quiet as a mouse, watching the birds and squirrels in the backyard. K, as shown here looking out of my office window, is similarly enthralled. But there's a problem...

K does not sit quietly. She cries. Since Belle and Meg were in my office, I left K alone downstairs. Periodically, I'd tell her to be quiet. But she got louder and louder. That's when I brought out the big gun... a squirt bottle.

She must have experience with one of those. All I had to do was show it to her and she stopped. I squirted her once, from the upper floor, about 15 feet away. She barely got spritzed.

The squirt bottle is a great tool. For some reason, these dogs hate being squirted. When Meg first moved in, she came with a shock collar. It didn't work, but the squirt bottle did.

For particularly stubborn dogs, you can mix some vinegar in with the water. Just enough that it stings a bit if the water gets in their eyes. I haven't shot a dog in the eyes for YEARS.

I doubt it would do well in the heat of an overly exuberant play session, but it does wonders in lots of other situations (stopping the crying, keeping dogs out of the kitchen when cooking, etc.).

K is very good. We're working with her on recall (to come when called), and she's learning quickly. Not only is she crazy for critters, she has a super-sensitive nose. She's even learning how to play The Nose Game pretty quickly. (NOTE: I have a video on YouTube showing Meg and C playing The Nose Game if you don't know what I mean. I'll work on getting a video of K.)

In yesterday's long, two-part post, I explained the adjustment the dogs need to go through. They're doing great. It's funny that Belle is the one that gets over-excited first. It's not an aggression or dominance thing, as I've seen the same behavior in her when she's playing with Hubby or me. She's just a little one that gets carried away.

Before she gets too wound up, they have a great time.

This is just one of a series of pictures that shows them playing in the leaves yesterday. I could've posted all 18 of them here, but it would have taken forever. So I uploaded them to Picasa instead. CLICK HERE if you want to see them.

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