Friday, December 16, 2011

Gozer progress report

Gozer and I are doing very well in our behaviour modification training. I'm thrilled with the progress we've made!

Ian crates her when he leaves for work and before I look at her, talk to her, or let her out of her crate, I've started ignoring her completely for at least 20 or 30 minutes. She has to be completely calm and relaxed before I let her out and I have to wait so she doesn't associate me getting up with her getting out.  I've also stopped giving her looks, hugs, and pets in the half-hour before bedtime so that I'm not withdrawing my affections at the same time as she goes in the crate and she doesn't associate the two things. She still sleeps on the chair with me before bed so she's in physical contact with me but there's no targeted affection.

Another thing we're trying to promote is a feeling of independence in her. Ian had wanted me to crate her when I had my bath but I've been using that time for her to be on her own outside of the crate. At first I was letting her into the master bedroom while I had my afternoon bath in the master ensuite but she ends up sleeping on the bed, which is something we don't want her to do just now (or maybe ever). Because I'm trying to ignore bad behaviours, I'd just grab her collar without touching her fur and, without saying anything, lead her down off the bed. 

The person we saw last Monday said that it is more important to develop her feeling of independence than it is to keep her off of the furniture. However, I don't want her to get used to sleeping on our bed when she has a perfectly good ottoman to sleep on in the living room. Today, after she realized I was running water for my bath, she went and slept on her ottoman all by herself. I closed the door anyway, of course.

Gozer is also behaving a lot better on our walks although when she does behave badly, she turns into a wriggling, leaping, barking, demonspawn of a dog. At least she's good about walking beside me instead of in front of me and she's very good about waiting to cross streets or giving up on yummy-to-her smells.

She's also learning that we control the food and the exit doors in the house and will wait for permission before eating or going through a door. She still has a lot to learn, as do I, but we're definitely making good progress.

No comments: