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Managing the Environment

Samantha, who adopted Lily a few months ago, sent me an email the other day asking how she could keep Lily from counter surfing.

Since my Keagan, who is almost 4, pictured here surfing for his treats, brings me almost anything I leave on the island, I was honest and told her what we do.

Keagan is the only one of my four goldens who surfs. He knows he is not supposed to, but I’ve had a few scares with him like when he brought me a knife he found up there. He also gets “off” as soon as he sees me seeing him.

So what wonderful training technique worked with Keagan? None. I’m not going to use adversive training strategies so we do the next best thing….we don’t keep stuff on the island! Nothing on the island for Keagan to find means he’s less interested in looking. Training myself to leave nothing up there means I don’t have to rush a dog to the vet for eating an oatmeal raisin cookie or a cinnamon – raisin bagel.

We also are challenged by all four of our goldens when a guest first arrives. The poor person or people are overwhelmed with golden attention. We’ve tried training to sit and be quiet; get a toy; go to your mat, etc, but it’s just easier to baby gate them in our bedroom until our guest get settled and then we let them out. The commotion is greatly reduced and our guests aren’t maimed by golden kisses.

What ways do you manage the environment to make life with your golden easier?

February 9, 2018   1 Comment