Who’s Training Whom?

Our little pup, Cody is just over two years old, is a barrel of fun.

Training him however…not so much.

One of my biggest issues with him is his barking at the TV. When he sees anything with more than two legs, he goes into his high stress reaction, jumping and barking at the perpetrator, whoever that might be.

I’ve read articles about stopping this behavior, tried Cesar Milan strategies, and even discussed with my dog consultants (vet, groomer, trainer and sitter) but so far, no luck.

It came to me this past weekend that, of course, I am the problem. When Cody gets agitated, so do I and I jump up from my comfortable position in front of the TV, get between him and the screen and give a verbal “no.” Of course that stops him for the moment but then he goes right back to it when I step away.

This weekend I decided to try some of my own resilience strategies (duh.)

Recognizing that I can’t keep his stress from happening, I am now allowing him to jump at the TV and instead of my reacting in a similar manner, I am just putting the TV on “pause” and waiting until he calms down and then rewarding him with a treat.

I recognize that this strategy may take some time and may not even work but the important lesson for me is that I am trying something different from what has not being working.

Now, I just hope Cody understands about his changing too. After all, dogs are suppose to be more resilient than us.

© Richard Citrin, All rights reserved, 2017

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