Friday, August 12, 2011

Your Bed Not Mine

Yesterday I spent a good portion of the morning cleaning and organizing my room. Among one of the things I did was strip my bed down to its bare bones and add new bedding. For a very long time I never had a problem with dogs in the bed, but since my dog sheds and it was getting into my linens, I decided to go with a new approach. My bed is my bed and your bed is your bed. So I put some pillows and blankets together and made a makeshift dog bed. Last night I reinforced sleeping in the "dog bed" to Abbey. Now, for most people this may actually take a couple weeks to retrain...not me. On night #1 (which was last night) Abbey slept in her bed the entire time not even thinking once to come into bed with me. I woke up and praised her for sleeping in her bed and this morning built a high value to her bed as she sometimes wants to jump into mine. When I leave the house, so as not to encourage self-reinforcing or rewarding, I close the room door. The dogs sleep on the couches while I am gone as I don't mind them on the furniture in our living area (plus it's leather, it can easily be wiped down). I have resorted also to FURminating Abbey every day to reduce the shedding hair that's in the house.

I am trying to start better, "cleaner", habits with my dogs since I was diagnosed allergic last year. There's no way that I want to go through the agony that was giving up a dog again. So even if it means extra vaccuming, grooming, and the purchase of an air dogs are staying with me. NO EXCEPTIONS. My first major step was getting them out of my bed and into their own. Abbey seems quite comfortable though a little confused, but I'm sure after a few more weeks of reinforcing the behaviour she will be totally fine with not having access to my bed. She still has plenty of added liberties around the house that she can indulge in.

Really quick note: ABBEY CAN NOW DO A HANDSTAND WITHOUT THE AID OF A BOARD. She still resorts to the board of course from time to time for help/reassurance, but I don't find that to be a problem.

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