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i've made a big mess

Posted: Sun Dec 06, 2015 12:35 pm
by whiteboxerboy
this whole bedtime ordeal with Pi & Gringo is a disaster. it's still all my fault.

so, even though Heather pointed out what i was doing wrong i've yet to figure out how to fix it. i think the basic 'toss a treat to Pi when Gringo comes upstairs to bed' could have dire consequences. i'm SO paranoid it's exhausting. i've been having them take turns sleeping with me / sometimes Fannie sleeps with us, too. she's neutral like Switzerland and i feel like she helps Pi remember that it's important share & to use his nice manners. the easy way out of this would be to keep crating and rotating at night BUT i feel like i'm just putting my head in the sand and ignoring an underlying misunderstanding/grumble/issue b/t Pi & Gringo and i worry that there's something that needs to be resolved. OTOH, maybe i'm over-thinking this and i need to find something else to do with my spare time. they're fine together with the exception of ONE time a few evenings ago when i was upstairs at night (NOT bedtime), Pi was on the bed when Gringo came up the stairs. i pretended to be doing something but was watching Pi out of the corner of my eye and didn't like his energy or the look in his eye. he didn't have any major stink eye going on but he was definitely NOT open mouth, loose & relaxed. i very casually called Pi off the bed, we all went downstairs & they were fine, even laid next to each other on the dog bed for a while.

So, i've made my bed / bedroom a ticking time bomb. :frown:

bottom line: i could totally get used to having them take turns sleeping with me/being crated especially if there's some crazy chance that all of this MINE! over my bed will resolve on it's own. any chance that'll happen? :lol: :rofl:

Re: i've made a big mess

Posted: Sun Dec 06, 2015 1:11 pm
by UpwardDog
This doesn't sound like a Big Mess to me. If it is stressful and you are in overthinking mode--which I totally get--just use whatever management works whether it's rotating or everyone sleeps in crates and leave it for a while.

Then when you feel like working on this, train it at a non-bedtime time. Teach each dog to jump on and jump off on cue. Just make it a trick. You could delineate space with a mat or towel if they already have mat behaviour. That way everyone has their own space/spot. When that is snappy and fluent and fun, have one on one side of the bed and they both get cookies when the other jumps onto the other side on cue. then the only way you get a cookie on the bed is when the other dog jumps on.

I would also have a rule structure in place where nobody gets to jump up on my bed without being invited up. You are in control of that resource, not Pi or any other dog. If they get on the bed without being asked up, they just get told to get off.

Re: i've made a big mess

Posted: Sun Dec 06, 2015 3:03 pm
by Jen
I think you are overstressing because of your experience with Brinca. Stink eye and bad energy just doesn't rate as that bad, imo. Especially one time among many. Dogs are allowed to have feelings too. When I feel like Bella's energy is turning (or Scout's - she can give a mean stink eye), I just interrupt and redirect. Bella's allowed to be annoyed that Scout has what she wants and Scout's allowed to be annoyed that Bella exists, but they're not allowed to do anything about it. Just like little kids get to have whatever feeling they're having, they just don't get to act negatively upon them.
i think the basic 'toss a treat to Pi when Gringo comes upstairs to bed' could have dire consequences.
Why do you think that?

Heather's advice is great. Manage it. Train later. Reinforce the fact that you're in charge of the resources, not Pi, Gringo, or Fannie.

Re: i've made a big mess

Posted: Mon Dec 07, 2015 4:56 am
by connie
Yeah, I think it's not as bad as it looks to you, Lynn, you're too close to it and probably are over-thinking it. I do that, I get to where I can't see anything else.

The only thing I would add is that in my multi-dog house, I don't toss a treat to one dog and not treat the others. I might HAND a treat to one dog, but if treats are given to one dog, they are usually given to all. Maybe other owners of multiple dogs have less of a brouhaha than I do when giving only one dog a treat -- I wouldn't have fights, but I'd have a lot of arousal energy that then would have to dissipate. No thanks. So if I were doing this exercise, I'd get the other two dogs off the bed, call them all and give them an ear-scratch, and then put all three on the bed.

If your feeling is that Pi and Gringo have space issues with your bed involved, then defuse those by removing the bed as a source of friction. I don't like snarking at bedtime, it messes with MY energy. And you know your dogs and can tell if they're not relaxed at a time when they should be.

Whatever you decide to do, you'll be fine and so will the dogs. :thumbup:

Re: i've made a big mess

Posted: Mon Dec 07, 2015 7:59 am
by UpwardDog
Yes! No tossing. And I wouldn't keep food near your bed and train this at bedtime or Pi has an extra reason to guard the bed. Train them separately to get on and off on cue. Train it together only when they know the drill well. If and when you feel like they've got it and Pi is anticipating Gringo coming up as a good thing, starting moving it to real life scenarios.

Re: i've made a big mess

Posted: Fri Dec 11, 2015 6:18 am
by whiteboxerboy
thanks everyone! i'm feeling much better/less *catastrophic* about this now that some time has passed.
i'll update this after i work on everything. all of them know on/off bed so at least that part is done, although Pi needs extra work for a quicker response. he is The Most Stubborn Dog ever, worse than his mom was. :shocked:

for now, it's actually been good not having all 3 of them hogging my bed so i may just continue the crate/rotate program.

thanks again.

Re: i've made a big mess

Posted: Sat Dec 12, 2015 6:50 am
by connie
Good, I'm glad you're feeling less stressed about it, Lynn! :thumbup: