Where to sleep?

7 Jan

Our old dog Clay, was originally a gun dog. He was gun shy, and we rescued him when he was a year old. As a gun dog, he was used to sleeping outside and we had no problem in getting him to sleep outside in the kennel.

Maya on the other hand, protested, and we gave up. Although she lived outside with her brothers and sisters, it seemed that being outside alone, in a strange place, wasn’t something she was prepared to accept. After about three nights of keeping us, and the neighbors awake, we gave in to her demands, and ever since she has been sleeping in our kitchen.

The aspiring trainer in me, tells me to give you the advice to persevere! A method of behavior modification known as “extinction” involves removing any reinforcement. The puppy considers any attention it gets reinforcement. So, when we went outside several times during the night to tell the Maya to be quiet or check that she hadn’t hurt herself, we were reinforcing the bad behavior. Ignore the barking or whining and eventually the puppy will learn that they are not revealing any attention and will accept that it has to sleep outside.

If only we could follow my own knowledge and not our hearts!

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