Pick Me!

A weblog by Laura Moncur


Positive Reinforcement

Filed under: General — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

When the new neighbors moved in over the summer, they brought their two dogs with them. Sid, our dog, had finally gotten used to Rick’s three dogs, but suddenly they were gone and two completely new dogs were in their place. As you probably know, Sid’s barking problem returned.

We started giving him treats when he was quiet. Every time he went out and didn’t bark, we gave him a treat. He learned quickly. Once the barking problem went away, we eased up on the treats. He had started thinking that every time he went outside he would get a treat. This amounted to Sid begging to go outside every hour.

I started giving him a treat only when the other dogs barked but he didn’t. That has worked for the last three weeks or so. Sid has been very quiet despite the constant barking of the neighbor dogs. Then, I found out the truth…

Every time Sid goes outside now, he silently taunts the dogs next door by jumping on the fence. Sid doesn’t bark, he just keeps taunting until they do. Man, I thought I was training the dog not to bark. I didn’t know he was training me to give him treats.

No more treats for Sid…


1 Comment »

  1. That is a great story. It’s amazing when we think we’ve outsmarted someone or something, but it turns out they have conned us. I am an elementary teacher, and I am constantly amazed at how conniving six-year olds can be!!

    Comment by Kate — 1/30/2006 @ 7:23 am

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a comment

Powered by WordPress
(c) 2003-2007 Laura Moncur