I was at the market in Alpharetta yesterday and had just rolled the shopping cart up to my car. The car has signage saying “Home Dog Training of Georgia” on the side so it is obvious that I train dogs. A person approached me and wondered if I could answer a dog training question for her. She has a King Charles Spaniel named Ivy. She explained that Ivy was “a handful” and was often quite difficult to keep quiet when people were over or when she left to run errands. She had tried giving her doggie treats and toys, but they just didn’t work. She was wondering if I had any other suggestions.
When someone approaches me in a Publix parking lot with a dog behavioral training issue, it is obvious that I can’t go into a long discussion. They probably have ice cream melting in the back of the car and need to get home. With this in mind, I wanted to give her a quick and unique trick to try to redirect Ivy’s attention.
From the information she initially provided, it was obvious that the standard redirections of toys and treats didn’t have an impact on her King Charles Spaniel. I decided to ramp the process up by adding a characteristic that most dogs just love.
Do you ever notice that whenever you drop an ice cube on the kitchen floor from the freezer that your dog thinks that money had just dropped from heaven? They are all over it and will play and chew on it until it is completely gone. The great take away from this activity is that you have instantly gained the ability to redirect their focus in a manner you desire. I decided to provide the same type of solution for my fellow Publix shopper.
- I told her to get an old ice cube tray (those things that you used to need before automatic ice makers in your refrigerator door). Fill it with low sodium chicken broth or low sodium beef broth. Also, put “a little goodie” such as a piece of cheese, dry meat, or a frozen vegetable bit in each cube. Freeze everything.
- When Ivy is in the kitchen and behaving, she is to take one of the cubes and roll it across the floor to Ivy. Encourage her to get it and to focus on that frozen goodie. Repeat once or twice a day for a few days.
- Next, she is to give Ivy the ice cube “goodie” when she is in her crate, on her bed, or any other part of the house. Make sure that Ivy continues to focus on the “goodie” as she moves on other things. What I am telling her to do is to build up a process of simple, calm, and consistent redirection through a ”yummy distraction”.
- Now, I want her to give Ivy the ice cube when she leaves the house. Only leave the house for a second and then return. She isn’t to make a big deal when she returns so that Ivy continues to focus on the ice cube. She is to repeat this for a few days, but extending the time between leaving and returning. After a while, Ivy should no longer care about her leaving.
- When people are about to come over, I told her to give Ivy the ice cube “goodie”. Ivy will focus on that because it is fun and tasty and more interesting than the people coming over.
- Yes, I know that this is a “trick”, but sometimes a harmless trick makes life so much easier for everyone!
Having a misbehaving dog can be more bothersome than a misbehaving child. In today’s world where we never have enough time, quick and easy answers are always a blessing.
We hope you will phone us at (770) 718-7704 it you are in need of any dog training help. We have a wide range of wonderful dog training advice at Best Dog Trainers Alpharetta Georgia. Locate all our phone numbers, text addresses and email contacts at Dog Training Help Center Alpharetta Georgia.