March 11, 2011

Positive Dog Training

March is running away from me.

Might be nicer if March were running away with me. To someplace green and relaxing and warm, with endless acres of quiet. Sleepy, restful quiet.

But no. March is simply running, very quickly, and headlong on into April.

And it's very very noisy.

Turns out that border collie - have you met Oswald, the border collie? Well, it turns out that border collie and full-on Aspie tantrum don't get along so well. We get amped up tweenage Peabo on an "I don't wanna do my homework" tear, and Oz goes "What the heck? That young sheep is misbehaving!" and starts barking the roof down. Which amps Peabo up further. Which amps Oz up further.

My loud house has gotten a whole lot louder.

I've combed through every dog training book I could find - which in my house means exactly one book, The Complete Idiot's Guide to Positive Dog Training, because of course I haven't had time to go to the library and look for more. Did you know that barking is a sign of stress? Much like your typical Aspie tantrum, oddly enough.

I also learned that dogs don't understand English. So I can't tell Oz to be patient because tantrums don't last forever. In fact these days tantrums are generally quite short, unless there's a dog barking nearby feeding the madness. Oz doesn't seem to hear that. He thinks I'm barking too and just barks louder.

So I worked on the other side of the equation: Peabo and his junior cohorts. Every person in this house under the age of 20 now has instructions to lie down the instant the dog starts barking. It's hilarious. Aspie tantrum begins. Dog starts barking. All three children promptly lie down. Dog goes, "Huh?" All three kids giggle. Tantrums - both doggy and human - averted. Because it's really hard to be upset about your homework when you're laughing at the dog. And it's a routine. Routines are genius.

Probably I should have bought the Complete Idiot's Guide to Positive Child Training a few years back. I'm trying treats and clickers on them next.

1 comment:

  1. That is the best solution! Ever! In the whole wide world! You are a genius! And I am seriously impressed.