Monday, September 8, 2008

Random Update

I moved the crates out into the sunroom (that I'm having heated this week for winter.) I'm trying to organize my house and get all the dog stuff in one area, instead of everywhere.

The sunroom has less of a "den" feel than the bedroom, but they have their crates and I don't have to parade through the entire house which is a problem with messy paws-although, honestly, my dogs are angels about not detouring and not jumping on the furniture when muddy.

It opens to the front part of the house where they can see me more and it allows me to expand my various experiments with them. It's still a crated zone for now, although when it gets really cold I've tiled part of the floor for the little dogs who struggle with snow. I've also put down some rubber flooring stuff for a training area-more for me than the dogs. Heel work and such on concrete is tough on my old bones.

They've done really pretty well with the transition-which involved shuffling crates as well. Greta and Lily had a bit of relapse on the idea that I could walk by and there should be no barking etc, but they figured it out pretty quickly. It never ceases to amaze me that someone will have a wonderfully trained dog that they can't leave crated while they work another dog. "He just loves me too much".....uh, no, he doesn't respect your wishes enough.

Moonie was funny as heck with his crate training. He got the concept immediately, would willing enter the crate, then protest.......and protest.......and protest some more. The fearful part was over quickly, but the bratty, let me out stuff lasted a looooooooooooong time. I had to make the rule that I never entered the room and released him when he was bawling-ever ever ever, even if it meant he piddled in his crate. Even if someone ELSE piddled in their crate. Oi oi oi.

Then I generalized it to the other dogs-no crate door is opened if there is noise. Even Lily, the deaf dog, and sure enough, when I started demanding the behavior from her, she started giving it to me.

The next phase is pulling the dogs in one at a time, in the Xpen in the kitchen where the crated dogs can see THAT-and then getting all parties to relax, even if the Xpen dog prances to make sure they are noticing. My goal is to make the Xpen kind of a status place for the dogs-which will be oh so helpful for the ones who travel.


Rachael said...

You have to be a bit of task master with that many dogs!

messyfish said...

so many dogs!! you are one lucky woman!