While you’re training good behavior, or when you are not able to control your dog’s behavior, then you’ll need to manage it.

If your dog surfs the counters and grabs what he can to your displeasure, manage this situation by keeping the counters free of objects.  When your dog does get something from the counter, it’s a reward to him for his efforts as a counter surfer.  When you come home to a clean counter and nothing chewed up, it’s a reward to you.   So keeping nothing atop counter space for Poochie to get, will make the counters a boring place to explore and a rewarding environment for you to come home to.  So keep them clean.

If your dog has a shoe fetish, the only way he can indulge in that fetish is by having shoes around to chew.  Who’s in charge of the shoes in the household?  You are!  So be sure to put them away in a place Poochie can’t access.  Otherwise, leaving a shoe around is fair game for the dog, and he should not be punished for taking a shoe as a chew toy.  Poochie doesn’t know the difference between a $100 shoe and a $5 toy, but you do.

Any lapse in your behavior to manage access to Poochie’s temptations is a chance for Poochie to reinforce his hobbies.  You must keep one step ahead of Poochie by thinking ahead of the possibilities of how a dog may behave.  After all, Poocie IS a dog.  So take action to prevent his self-rewarding behaviors when you’re not around.

Write down your goals for the Poochie management project and follow through on them.   Hang them on the refrigerator to remind you.
1.  Shoes away
2.  Counters clean
3.  Secure lid on trash bucket

If you ever feel the urge to lapse because you’re in a hurry, fast forward the picture in your mind of what the outcome could be.   A shredded shoe.  A half-eaten bank check.  A mangled pair of sun glasses?  It’s up to you, but that lapse in perseverance with your goals is most likely not worth it.

It’s your list, so create it to help you remember new behaviors you need to put in place while training and managing life with Poochie.  Add to your list as you discover more management skills you will need as the owner of your new dog.  Behaviors change.  Some don’t.  I had a Dalmatian who had a shoe fetish all eleven years of her life.   Dogs are for life, so adjustments are necessary on both our parts.  Be vigilante and do your part to help Poochie do his.

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