Sunday, March 28, 2010

Gus the Whiner

As it turns out, this just could be my little puppy's "Indian name."  I guess it never occurred to me while we were first training him that long, hard first year to get on board the "No Whine" train.  It has never really been a problem for me (though Mike has always hated it), but I guess being the Soft One of the two of us it always has pulled at my inner heartstrings. To be fair, I think that the 1st year's lessons were probably more important (potty training, basic commands, trying to teach Gus how not to spaz out when we have company...)  But boy oh boy, the training really doesn't ever end, does it?!

So lately, we've been trying to tackle the whining. This dog whines all the freakin time!  When he's bored, he whines. When he wants to play, he whines. Every time we put him in the car to go somewhere, he whines. When he's excited, he whines. When you have a frisbee to play fetch with instead of a ball, he whines. You get the point. We are pretty much at the end of our rope. I guess I mean I am finally at the end of my rope.

Back when we were in the hardcore training days, I bought a book, called Family Dog by Richard Wolters.
Family Dog
It was recommended to me by my stepdad, whose dogs are very well-mannered, so I figured he might be on to something. And I have found the book to have several helpful hints on training puppies - Labs, to be exact. Well, that book has been on a bookshelf in my spare bedroom since I finished reading it over a year ago - until yesterday, when I opened it up and rummaged through the pages to see if I could find anything specifically on whining. I did, but only as sections like "Whining at Night," etc. Not, "Dogs that Whine All The Freakin Time," which is what I was looking for.

So I googled "Incessant whining in dogs," yesterday, and came up with a few case studies that said that if your dog is whining all the freakin time, you might try getting a spray bottle and filling it up with water, then giving him a good squirt in the face when he whines and telling him "No Whine."

So, today I bought a water bottle, filled it up, and wrote GUS in big black Sharpie marker on the front. Stay tuned.

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