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Saturday, October 23, 2010

Woof and Meow, Part IV: A Little Training in Respect

by Carrie Boyko, CEB
© Carrie Boyko
Patches Enjoys Peace in Her Kingdom--
as Tanner and Oliver Keep their Distance
Yep! You guessed it. Today we're going to employ some training to give Meow some peace from the ever curious Woof. We'll call that respect. 

Tanner and Oliver have been good sports. As much as they like the laundry room, Patches' dish, and her litter box, their kingdom stops at the entrance to the 'powder room', which leads to the laundry room where Patches kingdom starts.  As seen in this photo, Patches' feeding area (at right) and her Litter-Robot (out of sight at right) are all out of reach of the pups that know the rules: Leave Patches' area alone.

Need  a little help getting the message across to your pups? Here's my secret weapon--doggie cocaine (yeah...that's a nickname!). Shhhh! Don't tell anybody how you pull off this cool behavior with your dogs.

In the absence of Natural Balance, you might try another strong-scented treat such as grated cheese or natural hotdogs. Try to avoid preservatives, if possible.

Here's a few tips:
  • Ask Woof to Down or Stay in the location you choose, outside of Meow's special area. Some dogs will find this easier, if given a mat, dog bed or towel to lie on. Then give him a whiff of the Natural Balance food you are holding. That one sniff will have him groveling at your feet to do whatever it takes to get the goods! (NOTE: This stuff is not preserved, so be sure to cut it all up, once open, and bag it in small bags. Freeze in small packaged portions for other days.
  • While your dog waits patiently, feed and refill Meow's water. If good behavior or effort is displayed, offer a small treat and continue the stay. Don't forget the praise! If Stay is a tough command for your dog, accept brief Stays and give a treat when YOU release Woof from his Stay.
  • Gradually work up the time till Woof can wait until you are done in Meow's area and ready to leave. Then Woof will have earned several nibbles of the Natural Balance as a wonderful and worthy reward.
  • If Woof tries to enter Meow's area, step toward Woof calmly and point out of the room, giving a no-nonsense body language that will clearly set the boundaries.
  • With practice, this exercise will send home the message that Meow's area is hers alone, not to be entered by Woof. To keep up the good work, be sure to remain vigilant whenever Woof gets too interested in Meow's area.
Keep in mind that litter box maintenance will help to reduce Woof's  desire to treasure hunt in Meow's box. Clean litter as provided by the Litter-Robot will most certainly reduce the enticing smell of kitty box goodies. 

Further, as a green living family, we encourage you to do your part by using sustainable products like corn-based kitty litter. We love the new World's Best Cat Litter that is sustainable and compostable, when thoroughly sifted.

So, as you can see, it all comes down to leadership, with a few training aids. Got questions? Leave me a comment here or on our Facebook page and I'll be happy to help.

Have you missed any of our earlier posts? Here's the links:

Have you entered the drawing for our prizes? You can enter at any or all of these sites, as often as you like:

Full disclosure: The Litter-Robot and World's Best Cat Litter described in this series have been donated to All Things Dog Blog for an independent review. I have not been paid to provide my opinion of these products, and the opinion provided is my own.
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Darcey said...

Another good post! I've actually put the cat box in a small dog kennel and that keeps the dog away from it and the cats like the privacy.

Carrie, with Tanner and Oliver said...

That's actually a very good idea, and so obvious I can't believe I've never heard it before. Excellent creativity!

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