Quickpress: Default Crate at Dinner!

Breaking news bulletin!

Barnum recently turned 10 months old. Following Melissa Alexander’s excellent advice that I should chill out and go slow, because the hardest period of dog adolescence is usually seven to 10 months, and sometimes they know things, and sometimes they have no clue. Their hormones are stomping around, confusing them, and they you never know when they’re going to act like a teenager or act like a real dog. Thus, Barnum and I have been on a “no formal training” break.

But, there are still daily manners to work on because life is just one continuous training opportunity! I thought I detected some things clicking into place in his brain

One behavior I’ve tried to teach is that if I’m eating dinner (I eat in bed), he’s to go into his kennel (which is at the foot of my bed). This is as opposed to, oh, say, resting his chin on my blankets and looking longingly at my food. Whining. Barking. Jumping up and down while barking. (This is called “the Bouvie Bounce.” Really.) Resting his elbows and entire upper body on my bed while reaching toward my bowl, etc.

(Yes, I know I’ve complained about him not having a lot of food drive. This is true for any remotely stimulating environment, but since we spend almost all our time in my bedroom, food in here is much more likely to be interesting — especially late at night, when he’s hungry, and I’m eating hot “people food.”)

I thought we still had a long way to go with this particular behavior.

Today, as it happens, I got an order of raw meat in for Barnum. I had to organize and package it. Smelly, messy process, and he was hovering the whole time, knowing it’s for him, as it goes into the freezer in the bathroom that adjoins my bedroom — “the dog meat freezer.” So, we’re surrounded by all this meat smell, and he hasn’t eaten all day. He wants that meat!

I thought, when my PCA brings me my dinner, and I lay down, he is going to swarm all over me. Then, I forgot that I thought that, because I have no attention span (thanks, chemical injury and chronic infections!). So, I’m, wiped out, lying here, eating my chicken stir fry, when it occurs to me that Barnum is not standing or even lying next to the bed! He isn’t staring at me. He’s lying quietly in his crate!

He happened to glance my way. (Maybe he heard the choir of angels burst into song inside my head?)

Very quietly and calmly, I said, “Good boy.”

He put his head down and made one of those wonderful dog sighs.

I’m still eating dinner and typing this post.

He’s going to get an excellent, excellent dinner (and a lot of hugs and kisses) later tonight! Good dog!

2 Responses to “Quickpress: Default Crate at Dinner!”

  1. 1 Eileen Anderson November 4, 2010 at 10:51 pm

    Oh Sharon, congratulations! I understand what a wonderful achievement this is!


  2. 2 Sharon Wachsler November 6, 2010 at 1:04 am

    Thank you, Eileen! I always appreciate your support and your expertise.

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