Just got off the phone with my parents. Seems their little Rottie, Copper, got a pair of my dad's shoes and chewed them to bits. They were a little angry with her. I asked: "How on earth did Copper get the closet door open?" (knowing full well the shoes were left right there on the bedroom floor where Copper had free and easy access to them).
Sheepishly, my parents said they were at fault for Copper's antics, as they left the shoes out.
Not too long ago, they would have found the ruined shoes, showed them to Copper and shouted "No! Copper, bad! No!"
Which wouldn't have done any good at all. Except to make Copper think that my parents are a little off their rocker and not to be entirely trusted.
So it seems I'm making some inroads at least. Little by little…
I'm also reminding them to praise Copper when she's doing something right. They tend to ignore the good and only pay attention to the not-so-good.
Turns out that timing is everything: if you notice and reward your dog for sitting instead of jumping (immediately when the dog sits), you'll get a lot more sitting. And a lot less jumping.
In the same vein, if you feel you must punish (correct, admonish, whatever) your dog for doing something, don't do it after the "deed is done." If you find a chewed up shoe, just throw it away. Don't drag your dog in to the pile of dead shoe, or pick the pieces up and put them in your dog's face and say "No!"
For the record, I never recommend punishing, correcting, admonishing, etc. Ever. You'll get much better results "dog-proofing the house, managing your dog's access to the house when you can't watch him, and giving the dog toys he likes to keep him away from your "good stuff."
More importantly, remember that your dog likes to chew shoes and put those shoes in the closet!
Think of it this way: I love brownies — if you leave them out, I'm going to snack on them. Same thing with dogs and shoes.
the three dog blogger says
Sounds familiar. Our clothes room has no door and we have had a few serious shoe issues to say the least.
They seem to have mostly grown out of it now, thankfully.
As someone said “The smellier the feet, the nicer a treat”!