|Puppy Training - The Wonders of Squirt Gun Discipline
Dog training has always been a little bit of a mystery to me. Positive reinforcement only works if your
pet cares about pleasing you and/or if you have a constant parade of treats to offer.
And, I don't believe in
negative, harmful, discipline either, it can hurt your pet and it does absolutely nothing toward building a
meaningful relationship between you and your pet. My puppy
now twelve months old gave me quite
the challenge around the age of six months or so, chasing the cats, jumping on me, harassing the
other dogs, getting on cabinets, rough housing on the furniture and so on. Where correction was concerned,
nothing seemed to work, either she completely ignored me or she acted all cowering for a
few minutes and then went back to doing the misbehavior. That's when it was time for a trip
to the dog trainer, a lady I've grown to think of as a real miracle worker. Perhaps one of the
most valuable lessons she taught me was the use of a squirt gun when Sammie was misbehaving. I'd always
used this method with my pygmy goat to keep her from butting the doors or harassing the dogs, but,
Sammie had always loved splashing in the water so much, that I had never thought of using it on her.
Well, there must be a difference between playing in water and being squirt with it, because she hates,
I mean really hates, the squirt gun. It's use first showed it's real value when she was chasing
and harassing the cats, by the second squirt in the face she had decided cat chasing just wasn't worth it anymore.
I think she was also amazed that I could correct her from as far away as ten feet. Now, she
realized I didn't actually have to have a hold on her to correct her, all I had to do was to
be in the vicinity. I've been careful not to overdo it too, after all she might grow to think it's
not all that bad after all. In six months, I've probably only squirted her about two dozen times.
For the most part, all I have to do is let her know it's on my person and that does the trick.
It's been good for our relationship too, she can go to the barn with me now because I know I
don't have to worry about her chasing the cats, she can go on runs with the other dogs because I
know she won't harass them, and, last but not least, she comes when called because it's strictly
a positive experience these days. It's hard to believe that something so simple and harmless could be
so effective. In short, the squirt gun has done wonders for Sammie,
the other animals, and our life together on the farm.
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