Monday, November 26, 2012

Dognomics: The Law of unintended consequences

      I've mentioned before that I've started using cheese as the treat of training for Annie and Paul.  In the evenings, when the hubbs is at class, I cut up some cheese before I take them out for their evening walks and work on training.  (sit, stay, leave it, come)  Annie now knows the word "Cheese" and will stop whatever it is she's doing and run to me when she hears me say it.  As soon as she gets to me, she sits and looks at me while I'm holding the piece of cheese.

     Here's the Dognomics: the "Law of Unintended Consequences."  After a few weeks of sit and look at me, Annie has decided that any time her butt hits the cold concrete and she looks at me, she deserves cheese for doing this.  It suddenly doesn't matter if I've asked her to sit, or leave something else that's appetizing alone.  This is no longer just the reward for going through grass (something Annie hates to do for reasons I don't understand).  She has gotten to the point, she's now an anchor when we're walking.  I've tried tugging gently, staring off into space not looking at her, and picking her up to get her to move.  (70 pounds of dog mean I'm getting more of a workout than I bargained for.)
     I intended the cheese to be enough of a reward to encourage her to do what I wanted her to do, but now I find i'm being slightly trained by my own dog...........oie vey!


  1. Ha! She sounds very Miss M.-like. When I started adding more treats on the walk to get her to go poo on command, Miss M learned to 'ration' her poo, so now she goes several times so she can get more treats.

  2. Yep, that would be the law of unintended consequences. There's an economist named Steven Levitt from your fair city who tried using Skittles candy (It's either skittles or M&M's) to toilet train his daughter. Within a week, the kiddo had figured out how to ration both of her bodily functions to get more candy from her father's toilet training efforts.