Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Counter surfing and Garbage

I really enjoy reading Companion Animal Psychology as it pops up in my Facebook newsfeed, always food for thought. This time they shared a tongue-in-cheek blog posting titled Canine Criminality, which in my pre-tea morning fog, I understood to be about dogs scavenging in the garbage when unsupervised, and how, or how not to deal with it/ allow it in the first place. I found it most confusing, and wasn't sure what exactly the message was, but in a nutshell, it seems, as Candice Gray was kind enough to comment: "The primary method implied here is management - don't leave garbage anywhere the dog can get to it, or don't allow the dog to roam the house unsupervised."
I like my rescued setters roaming free in the house, and while we have crates (part of the rescue contract on getting the dog from CACI Gundog Rescue), I mainly have the dogs there for feeding and to use as their space at will, not as a place to cage them when I am out. Sherlock, when he came, completely freaks out in cages, seemingly panicked and claustrophobic, peeing wildly and barking uncontrollably, so again, the free roam part was a must with him. He's better now after eight months, it's his safe delicious feeding spot, albeit with the door comfortably open, haven't pushed his limits further for the time being- but that's another story.
Anyway, the not leaving garbage anywhere the dog can get to it...
I love the garbage hanging off my kitchen counter, two or three bags, so I can easily separate plastic recyclables, paper, bottles and rawer stuff.  A pain to keep up and down with it every time I leave the room. So, to my mind, the dogs had to learn to leave it, and they do, but I can't quite remember how  I achieved this. 
During walkies I was thinking about this and when I got home, I commented: 
"One thing that really worked for me, upon reflection, was declaring the kitchen counter and all things pertaining including the trash hanging there, as mine, by shoving my bootie in the dogs' noses when they got too close, or bumping them away with a sideswipe of my hips- picture me dancing back and forth along the counter like a typewriter head ready to do a bum's up at a moment's notice for a couple of weeks when they arrive. Can't remember whose fantastic tip this was....maybe Patricia McConnell, Ph.D.?" 
I couldn't keep Sherlock from biting open bags of kibble when I get a fresh stock, so there indeed I use the management technique with kibble in a flip lid plastic bin, and a tray upright against it to clatter and fall if he gets too close, and other unopened kibble in the broom closet and counter cabinets, which touch wood is working this last half year. However, the garbage, it seems, is MINE!

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