Zoe has gotten not only obnoxious with her jumping on people but her barking! Oh my goodness. It is a high pitched pierce your ear drums and no matter how many times we've told her not to bark she hasn't listened. With our other dogs a stern, "No bark" was enough to get them to stop. Not Zoe! She just laughs and tosses her cute puppy head and keeps on barking. She's being a teenager.....
Do I dare admit that I seriously contemplated a shock collar? I know!! I'm sorry! It's just, I have my eldest boy who works all night long and sleeps during the day and a shrill barking dog all day long hasn't endeared him to the puppy and quite frankly, my nerves were getting frayed so yes, the thought crossed my mind and I'm sorry!!! Forgive me?? I didn't actually go and get one............ I did better than that which is what this post is actually about!
I was cleaning my book cases the other day and came across this book:
I'd totally forgotten about it! I'd forgotten I had this book. I'd bought this book when we had Julie and tried to implement what Jan Fennell was teaching but Levi would come behind me and undo everything I tried to do. It was a disaster. Levi has a habit of doing things like that. This time around though, Levi is older and with a ton of my help, is sort of able to not undo what I am trying to do!
So, I've begun a serious 30 day program with Zoe. We're on day 4. Yesterday I started the 'intense' part. Day 1 and 2 I started what is called the, "Amichien Bonding". It has four parts. One of the steps is where before I feed the dogs, I eat something in front of them first and then when I'm finished, I put down their bowls for them to eat. As soon as they are done, I pick up their bowls. This is all done quickly and without fuss. Another step is has to do with separation and the five minute rule. Anytime we are separated meaning a door is closed between us, when I enter back into the room with the dogs, I ignore them for five minutes. Easier said then done when you have a puppy doing everything she can to draw your attention. I'm not the only one that has to do these things by the way which is why you can see I failed miserably with Levi before with Julie. Now, I can set the timer and he knows to wait until the timer goes off before he showers Zoe with affection.
Yesterday Zoe had been in her new 'training' for three days. I started working with her on other things like her sitting, waiting, come, etc. Here's where we really started to notice and things got cool. I decided to focus on her barking. Every time she'd bark and wouldn't stop when I told her "thank you" and reassured her with a pet that she'd done her job alerting me, I would without emotion or a care in the world (ha ha) would take her by the color and lead her into the hall where I'd shut the doors and she would sit in time out. She'd sit in there for ten seconds and then I'd let her out ignoring her for five minutes. When she'd bark again, I'd take her back into time out and go for 20 seconds, increasing the time each time, and again when she'd reenter the room ignore her for five minutes.
I did this for a couple of hours and you would not believe the difference!!! I had a neighbor come over to the house last night and as he came through the door I warned him what to do. Ignore the puppy! She barked and jumped on him so I calmly took her to time out. Waiting a few seconds, brought her back out and reminded my neighbor to ignore him, and Zoe walked into the room calm as can be and sniffed my neighbor and then walked away.
Today, Zoe continues to make progress. It is so amazing to me how doing these simple things shows such a fast marked difference.
I don't know Jan Fennell but if you have a dog or dogs.......... I would suggest getting her book and also going to Youtube and watching several of her videos. Amazing I tell ya! Just amazing!