Alright, our hands should never be used to discipline/hit/shove or otherwise create negative impressions (literally and figuratively) on a young dog, right? Hands are your friends, we tell pups, bringing pleasure and good things. They can’t possibly also be cruel, two-faced, mutinous appendages bent on emotional or physical harm, huh?
So, when he’s barking, chewing a table leg, eating deer poop, or worse, what can we do? Evict him!
I wonder what animal behaviorists would say, but so far, physically removing 16-week-old Manny from the temptation seems to work as well as removing the temptation. Yep, simply lifting him up and moving to a new location. And when the temptation is smelly, fresh, wet horse manure, believe me I’d rather pick up a puppy than an armful of horse apples! He’s pushing 35 pounds and I’d still rather risk a backache, than backsliding on the bonding thing.
Maybe it has something to do with the whole “place learning” theory … dogs learn and associate behavior with where they learned it (or are learning it). And it has an added benefit: no tug-of-war with the check cord and the long-term problems that could harbor.
Ideally, Manny is learning that being picked up by his human leads to good things: physical interaction, food, water, crate and nap time, etc. So he hasn’t yet savvied to that same set of hands lifting him away from the mmmmm-good chipmunk burrow and plopping him down 20 feet distant. Poof! New surroundings, no enticing smells and it’s off on another adventure.
And so am I, less worried and more relaxed.