I met Chirag from Domestic Manners today. Mummy thinks I need some help to live in the human world. And she knows she needs some help to help me. 😉
As I ran down to greet the visitor, I see this big man coming up the stairs. I was immediately unsure of his purpose. So I barked at him. But he kept coming and I didn’t know what to do. I hear Mummy saying to me – he’s ok, he’s a friend – but I don’t know that. As he gets closer to the front door, I stood guard and barked. Who are you? What are you doing here?
Oh, wait! Mummy has brought out some treats. Oh, I’m distracted.
And then the man, Chirag is standing inside the hallway! He followed Mummy into the kitchen and I followed them. This guy is ok – he kept throwing treats my way. For whatever reason, I’m eating them. Hooray! This stranger is nice.
They sat down at the kitchen table and Mummy was telling him all these things about me. He was taking notes on his iPad. Hmmm, I’m curious to see what he he’s writing about ME!
Hey! I can’t see!
Then we went out for a walk and Chirag kept giving me treats … I can’t even remember what else was going on out there, I just focused on the treats. Like this walk.
He told Mummy – it’s all in the timing!
Chirag, when are you coming back again?
May’s comment: This was a perfect scenario to illustrate to Chirag how Darcy reacts to a stranger who is male. Of course I had briefed him before his entering the building. She did her usual – ran down the stairs excitedly thinking it’ll be a friend. Then she sees him and stops in surprise and as he walks up the stairs, she barks at him.
But once it was established that he’s ok and a friend, she’s back to being fuzzy face! She just followed us around and was curious as to what was going on. And no fear.
Domestic Manners was recommended to me by one of the Cockapoo forums on how to deal with some issues that Darcy is having – so we’re trying out a different psychology. So far so good.
We went for a practical session to show me what to do at any signs of uncertainty on her part. So whenever she looks at something that I know would bother her, to catch her before she barks. It is treats galore for awhile. Very fine points which I had noticed before but dealt with them differently – say, more in a human way. We humans are told to confront issues – deal with them. Apparently not so for dogs. AND – it’s about rewarding correct behaviour not overusing “no”! Besides I am tired of saying “no” to both Darcy and Sasha!!! Let’s move onto positive reinforcements.