Dudley and Fiona have been keeping me very busy lately. They are very well behaved dogs… when their dad (Richard) is home. When it’s just me, they know exactly how to push my buttons.
From jumping on the couches, chewing on socks, getting into the garbage and any other bad behavior you can think of; you name it, they do it! As soon as Richard walks through the door they lay down and go to sleep as if they have been sleeping all day. Fiona has also shown signs of anxiety over her toys and treats, which has encouraged me to embark on more serious training and behavior modification.
I’ve been working with them on my own, to try to curve these unwanted behaviors before it gets out of hand, and exercise has been a key component. After working all day, it can get quite difficult to take them on long walks or runs. Recently I’ve been using a Frisbee to burn off all of that extra energy. Being able to let them off leash is a huge benefit. Luckily we have a fenced in ball field near our house where we can let them run, which wears them out quite quickly. (Make sure you keep ball field etiquette in mind, and clean up any mess that your pets may leave behind)
I’ve also been working on their listening skills. Treats have been making this process a lot easier of course! By getting them to sit and stay before any sort of reward such as eating supper, going outside or getting their treats and toys etc.. they are more willing to listen and trust me.
Crate training has been our friend since we brought the dogs’ home, and we will probably continue until it is no longer necessary (…forever!). It has probably been the best decision we have made regarding the dogs, and has saved many of our personal belongings.
Needless to say, Dudley and Fiona need much more training to be “perfect dogs.” However, no matter the messes they make and the stress they cause me, they will always be my babies.