Emmett and Lucas do wonderfully with the clicker. Emmett has been able to learn a number of tricks, and we’ve overcome a lot of Lucas’ troublesome behaviors using the clicker and slices of American cheese. But, unfortunately, both boys have a couple of very troublesome behaviors that the clicker has not been able to address…
As we approach a new month (is anyone else as shocked as I am that it’s APRIL already??), I’m working on setting new training goals. The overarching theme for the month, though, is to address and eliminate self-rewarding behaviors.
Emmett is a world-renowned counter surfer. He’s also a ninja about it. When we’re home, Emmett shows zero interest in the counters. Oh, no. He’s too clever for that. But as soon as we walk out the door, he’s up on the counters, checking for any goodies. Stacking pots and pans to clatter to the floor? Didn’t work! He startled a little, then went back to scour. I refuse to use a scat mat. Refuse. So we are extremely diligent about making sure our counter doesn’t have a single crumb to entice him. Oh, but we’re human. We err, especially when we’re in a hurry to get somewhere. Plus, there are the times when he stays at my parents’ house and scores entire loaves of bread (UGH.). So even though we’re pretty diligent, to Emmett, it’s worth checking the counters every single time we leave just in case.
The plan? A little webcam action! John got a new laptop with a built-in camera, and my laptop has a camera. We’re going to arrange a sting with one webcam trained on the kitchen counters, the other with us down the street. As soon as he so much as sniffs the counters, we’ll correct via webcam microphone. I’m actually pretty excited about this idea (totally inspired by It’s Me or the Dog), and if I can record the session, I’ll definitely post it here!
I’m still formulating a plan for addressing Lucas’ self-rewarding behavior. Details to come soon.
In the meantime, do you have a counter surfer? How did you address/correct the behavior?