Sunday, September 22, 2013

July the Oneth

 I've been taking Tucker to puppy kindergarten and he's learned to sit. Nothing else yet but wow, can he sit.  He is such a brave guy.  Every time there's a commercial on tv and he sees a dog, cat, cow, chicken, pig, toilet tissue bears, frog - whether real or animated - he barks at them for the full 30 seconds and at the end of the commercial THEY GO AWAY! He actually does that for me, I guess to keep me safe from all those strange critters that are in his house on the big black box.  What a guy!

I learned I've been feeding all my critters wrong. I believed that free-feeding was good.  They always have food so they know they don' have to gobble it down all at once, in case there may not be more coming. WRONG. In order to train the pup, I'm to carry baggies full of food with me all day long. When one of them does something correctly, I give them a few morsels of kibble. Aha, positive reinforcement. But when one gets, all four want. It makes no difference to them that someone just sat. Or did a down. Or is being quiet. I want what he/she got and I want it now, too.

It wouldn't be so confusing if Sadie or Gigi weren't always underfoot. Mister K still gets his food up high so the dogs can't get into it but even he is learning that if somebody does almost anything, kibble will hit the floor so he dives in with the rest of them.

It certainly makes vacuuming fun. Carpet everywhere but kitchen and bathrooms. I don't like putting food on the carpet but "if that's where you get the behavior you want, that's where the kibble needs to go immediately".

So my dilemma is do I want a nice clean carpet and a spazzy puppy with no manners or a not so clean carpet and a puppy that still isn't getting the hang of it but might learn someday?  And no, moving out to the garage isn't an option. Although..... concrete sweeps up beautifully. Nah.

I'll give this a few more days - hoping they don't all starve to death if they should misbehave (not my furkids!) and probably go back to free-feeding. I understand the premise of them doing good things to earn their food.  I'm just not sure I completely agree with it.

Summer Puppy / Kitty Treats

Wash 5 lb of potatoes thoroughly.  Using a fork, poke multiple holes all over the potatoes.  Place them in a large stock pot, cover with water, add bouillon cubes to flavor and boil until tender. Remove from heat and drain. Once cooled, cut into bite size pieces appropriate for your furkid's mouth, fill a freezer bag and pop them in the freezer. During hot weather, these frozen treats will almost disappear; they're nice and cold, flavored and you don't have to thaw them.

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