So now that our girls are at the age where they’re starting to understand “yes” and “no” I’ve been trying to instil some ground rules, i.e. no standing up in their highchairs, that’s the big one right now.
When we were training our golden retriever we did so using tone. We never yelled, but when he did something right we would speak in an excited tone, when he did something wrong we would speak in a lower, stern tone. It worked wonders for him so I figured, hey, why not try it with the girls?
The first time one of them stood up in the highchair (they’re very tiny so even when strapped into their chairs they’re able to wriggle their way free) I looked her straight in the eyes and said “NO. Sit on your bum.” She looked at me…and laughed.
Now laughing at me is one thing, and something that I can deal with (even though all I wanted to do was laugh back because it was pretty cute). The problem is how our poor golden reacted. He ran up to me, immediately laid down and rolled onto his back in submission thinking he’d done something wrong.
My poor pup! He’s such an obedient dog and I barely ever need to use my stern tone with him now that he’s trained. Yet there he was, thinking he was the one not behaving.
It’s been months of this now with no end in sight. My poor pooch being the only one who actually reacts to my ‘disciplining’ when he hasn’t done anything wrong, meanwhile my girls just smile at me with that mischievous look in their eyes.
I keep telling myself that one day they’ll just ‘get’ it. They may choose not to listen to me, but they’ll understand. Part of me is secretly excited for them to reach that age, but then again, I never want to wish time with my girls to pass too quickly.
In the meantime, I’ll just keep at it and hope that our poor pup isn’t emotionally damaged in the end…maybe a time out corner is a better option instead.