It’s been three days of treat training as we walk through the streets of the “squirrel apocalypse” here in Charleston. As promised from my training treats post – we’re back with our update…
My disclaimer – I’m familiar with treat training, but for years I’ve preferred to work with praise instead. No horror stories, just a personal choice – until now. #Iveseenthedoodlelight
SQUIRRELS BRING FEAR AND FASCINATION –
- Fascination – comes from Jaxson…
- Fear – comes from me.
IT STARTED IN NEW YORK CITY –
When I was a little girl I struggled with the erratic “darting” movements of the urban squirrel. Scurrying up trees, darting across sidewalks. They always startled me and made me feel uncomfortable. Ask anyone who knows me, I’ve been known to scream out loud and loose my mind #upinhere
Because they were “Big Apple” squirrels (with NYC attitude) -they would often stand on their hind quarters glaring at me as if to say –
What you looking at lil’ human girl?
Well at least that’s what I thought they were thinking. #myphobia
Charleston has become the “Mecca” for squirrels #whoknew
Not sure when this mass migration started, I can’t remember ever seeing so many squirrels in the Holy City before. They’re like Bae-Bae kids – “they don’t die – they multiple.” It’s as if squirrel births occur overnight – every-night!
POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT –
– something I associated with praise, kisses and cuddles, but now I’ve added additional “cuddles” – the kind that come from The Honest Kitchen. Small enough to fit in my poop bag pouch, packed with enough flavor to make them sit at a moment’s notice…
I am now rewarding them for good behavior when they see squirrels and as simple as it sounds, it’s working. #onlythreedays
From all that I’ve read –
Timing is everything! Source: The Humane Society
Correct timing – is essential when using positive reinforcement.
- The command should be short – I’m using “eyes on me.” This is a phrase I won’t use for anything else, which will not send mixed signals to them.
- Consistency is important – if there’s more than one human helping with the training, you’ve all got to be on board.
- Knowing when to reward – only for good behavior! It is my intent to decrease the cuddles, increase the praise once the command is understood.
THREE SIDED FENCE –
So far we’ve got three sides of our backyard fenced in. Because of my “Indian Jones” explorer Doodle, I’ve got to wait until the fourth side is up. This means – romping around the new yard, climbing trees, and chasing squirrels will just have to wait another week or two.
He’s not happy…
Since I’ve spent my entire life trying to avoid squirrels, I don’t know how they act around dogs. Should I be concerned? Are they #petfriendly?
If you’re laughing at me right about now, it’s okay. I laugh at myself when it comes to my squirrel issues.
I know I can’t keep Jaxson inside forever…
…but I can’t have him slinging me all over the park either. I will continue with the treat training, and I guess I’m gonna have to work on “me” a little too.
I’ve got to stop my sniveling and get it together.
My screeching and squealing is starting to scare the other humans in the park! #crazydoodlemom
Face whatever comes today with a positive attitude ❤️