Monday, May 24, 2010

You say tomato, we say sabotage.

One of the things we've been working on with the trainer is getting Emma to not jump onto our kitchen counters when we leave her home alone. The trainer suggested "sabotaging" her by getting a bunch of empty cans, putting pennies in them, and lining the counters with the cans so when she tries to jump onto them, the cans fall down on the ground and make a loud noise. I also call this tactic "scaring the shit out of my dog so that she won't knock stuff off the fridge."

It took me a while to get the cans together, but on Wednesday, we did the experiment.

This is how the cans looked when I lined them all up on Tuesday night:

And this is how they looked when I got home on Wednesday:

At first glance, I didn't think that it had worked. But at second glance - there was no sign that she'd actually been on the counters, and all of the items on the fridge were still in tact!

I did it again on Thursday when I left, and Sean said that when he got home around 10am, she'd knocked down the two sections of counter that she had the day before. So I did it again on Friday while I went to get my oil changed - and when I got home, none of the cans were down! Not sure if I can quite call it a problem solved, but it was definitely encouraging!

My new question is: Do I keep putting them up when we leave, or has she gotten the picture now?


CageQueen said...

my humble opinion is that dogs are smart so i would keep doing it for the next month or so.

Rachel/The Sheriff said...

There is almost no training that is successful and sticks after only 3 tries, so I would definitely suggest doing it for a while (at least a month or two) to make sure she really gets it and sticks with it and not just gets by. Often training doesn't stick because people think they have it when they really don't have it 100% yet. Good luck, sounds like it's working.

George said...


This was an awesome story! I have 2 cats and my large gray cat was very mischeivous as a kitten and used to jump onto the sink, move onto the dish drain, and onto my shelves where proceeded to knock down my things and eat my bread... I wonder if this would have worked... he was very stubborn (and still is). I could tell that no matter what I did to stop him, it had no effect. He would 'pretend saddness', but I knew it was fake! Reminded me of this kid I knew when I was young.

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