My adoption came with a bonus: a free visit from the behavior trainer guy my foster mom had hired to work with me. He wanted to teach the new peeps how to keep my mind occupied so I didn’t chase my tail when I was stressed. I admit it’s not a pretty sight. There’s a lot of growling, snapping, spinning, and general mayhem when I throw one of my fits. Even I didn’t like them.
When Paul Owens arrived, I showed off my good manners and expertise at all the games he had taught me: “find it,” “peek a boo” (for babies, I know), “here,” and others. I did everything perfectly. Of course! The ones who had to be trained were the peeps, not me. This guy’s method of compassionate, non-violent training coupled with his more than 35 years of experience made for “Good Habits for Great Dogs.” Just like his book says.
FEMALE PEEP: “Charlie Bear barks at dogs on the other side of the block wall, chases his tail, lunges at the screen door, and barks in his crate at night. How do we handle these situations?”
TRAINER GUY PAUL: “Manage his environment. Substitute the behavior you WANT for the behavior he is exhibiting. Remember, it takes 45 seconds for a dog to process a command. And anticipate the behavior before he does it.”
FEMALE PEEP: “So you said, Paul, it takes 21-28 days to form a new habit?”
TRAINER: “That’s right. Give him time. He’s a smart dog.”
Yes! Finally it is acknowledged that I am one intelligent cookie. I like to think of myself as an Oreo—tough on the outside but a softy on the inside.
I just hoped the new peeps liked Oreos.
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NOTE: If you want to catch up with what happened in LBA (Life Before Adoption), you can look under “Charlie Chat” on the right. All the posts are there, and these new ones about LAA (Life After Adoption) will be there too. Watch for more of Something to Chew On by me, Charlie Bear, in the weeks ahead.
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