Thursday, 21 July 2016

Things I Have Learned About Dogs: the Charlie and Scruffy update

We're cute. What more could there possibly be?

2 dogs are so much more than the sum of their parts! Multi-dog management is a thing. Other than knowing their individual quirks (assuming owner has them on the same routine), you have to manage their relationship as well. I don't know if other packs of dogs coexist utterly harmoniously or whether Charlie and Scruffy's relationship dynamic is common.

Some dogs smell more than others. From my experience the non-shedders (poodle-type) seem to smell more doggy. Experiences?

Different dogs definitely have different habits. Energetic Scruffy takes himself to bed straight after dinner and nothing will get him up -- except his brother getting a treat.


Dogs generally want to be where the people are. Out of the limited sample size that has come through my house, every dog, even those without separation distress, has chosen to stay where the people are.

So are you coming back in now?

Being firm is a good thing. So far, being firm with dogs hasn't steered me wrong. I'm not using any positive punishment* past a firm NO, but using negative punishment** like turning my back, ignoring, time-outs and just plain not letting the dogs get away with stuff seems to work on these guys, on Penne, and so on.

Some dogs are definitely rougher on their toys than others. Guess I'll have to make another USA trip to get Ava a new Peep.

If you think this toy is still alive, you'd be... mistaken.

Having non-reactive dogs on walks is a wondrous thing. Even Ava reacts more than these two do, because she wants to greet every human and dog she sees. These guys pay no attention at all to passers-by and I love it!

Operant conditioning crash course:
* positive punishment = giving something the dog hates as a result of their behaviour, to make them less likely to repeat it
** negative punishment = taking away something dog wants as a result of their behaviour, to make them less likely to repeat it


  1. It's great to see that everyone has their own personality.

    1. Yup - I bet it sounds obvious to you and your experienced peeps, but it is definitely cool to discover!

  2. Oh wow--non-reactive dogs! That is amazing. Those two are pretty cute. Looks like you're learning a lot from each dog experience, and that is the way to do it!

    1. Hehehe Kirsten. And I'm so glad you feel it's the best way!


Thoughts? I'd love to hear them!