Thursday, April 25, 2013

Pooches: All My Lovin' (aka How much love is too much love?!)

Maggie and Nigel have been back on track with Brandon Fouche's methods for a few weeks now.  Basically, this includes a strict "no free lovin'" rule as well as not talking to the dogs and refraining from using their names as much as possible.  It sounds pretty simple, and it is.  But simple is not always easy.

"Don't you want to snuggle with me!?!?"
"You give me pets??"
We love to give lovin' to the pooches.  We like smooching them and cuddling with them.  However, we have found that when we don't just give out cuddles all the time, the doggies are better behaved.  They listen more and come when called more often.  We started thinking though...how much love is TOO much love?!  Is there such a thing?  Why do we give love to the pups, because they want it or because WE want to give it?!
"You called!??!"
What is your cuddle policy?  Do you rain down the love or use a Nothing in Life is Free method?


15 comments:

  1. I know I'm taking the route that is maybe not the best for my pups but lovin' them is what keeps me going so I'm an all about the lovin' Mom. They may not be the most polite pups because of that but we sure are happy :)

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    1. Amen! This is just what works for our pooches but I get that some dogs can be smooshed all day without being little beasts. :-D

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  2. We're pretty free lovers around here, but Ed went through over 6 months of NILIF training. Not to say we didn't show him love, but we really refrained from too much affection (not to mention that most of the time it sent him over the top). Because he is so high energy, we kept the pets to times when he was completely calm and relaxed (which was not often), and we had to give affection in a very low energy manner - no squishy faces or vigorous pets.

    After having him for a year and a half, he's come along way. Lovings come more freely, but every once in awhile, we find ourselves needing to reign it in.

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    1. We totally love to love also. I guess I didn't even mention again that the reason for stopping the free love, at least for a while, is Maggie's reactivity on leash. She's a nutcase when she sees other dogs on walks. Poor babe. :-/ She can't play with the doggies AND we've cut off her cuddles...

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  3. I love love. And Sadie loves love. And Maggie loves love if there's a ball for her to fetch afterwards. And Hurley tolerates love because Mom is the source of all yummy things in his life and tolerating her love gets him more treats. :)

    We have used NILIF before and for me, it wasn't about restricting love, it was about them showing polite behavior when asking for love. Our rule is that they must always sit before receiving any love or being asked to cuddle, etc. They are all pretty good about it but we did have to work on the proper behavior part a lot at the beginning.

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    1. Ha!! I love that you said that Maggie loves love when there's a ball in it at the end. We tried the good behavior before love method and that's essentially what happens now...they need to be sitting calmly and behaving nicely before any type of pets can happen. They've been really good lately!

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  4. There's so much love to go around in our house... we give loves when we think they are needed, when we need them and then when they politely ask for it.

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    1. It seems like everyone is lovin' over there. They seem very well adjusted too!!

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  5. Hmm...it makes sense, but I know we would especially struggle with the talking a lot and not using their names. Especially with Miss M's intense gaze, she just seems like a good listener, plus E loves singing songs to Mr B, all of which include variations of his name.

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    1. Oh man, this is our favorite also!! My thing used to be making up songs with their names in it. Now I try to keep it to a minimum but one day...I will be able to sing their silly songs all day again. :-)

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  6. We are beyond lovey/mushy with the dogs and I told him we need to stop. It's such a hard habit to break though and it goes against any natural instinct.

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    1. It's SO hard to stop, even for a week. We were really good for about 2 weeks and now we're cuddling an awful lot. BUT we are doing a great job of not saying their names and not talking to them when it's not necessary. Baby steps!

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  7. I think this is a great way to start things off with new dogs but maybe doesn't need to stay that way once they "get it." We have a new dog in the house and I think this would be perfect for her, but she's my friends dog so I think I'll have to be careful on how to explain it. Kaya and Norman get free cuddles when they're calm. I'm strict about no free treats and I always ask guests to ignore them until they're calm though sadly they don't always listen and I need to be more strict about it because it works! I've always ignored them when I get home and I love how relaxed they are even when I've been gone all day:)

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    1. Yeah. We've only had Nigel since January and Maggie's going on 7 months with us now. She's the one who's reactive on walks so this is really for her benefit. We can't give Nigel all the free loves though if Maggie isn't getting them too so sadly, Nigel is on a short leash (hehe) because of his sister. They're both getting plenty of lovin' though because they know that they can climb on the couch and sit with us if they're calm. So, essentially, they're getting tons of cuddles but only in the appropriate ways. It's working well so far! Hopefully when they reach adulthood, we can be more relaxed with them though...

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  8. We're all about free love though I can see the benefits of NILIF. I mostly try to get my hubby to refrain from talking to Ray too much. Typically, Ray and I will be chilling, watching TV and the hubs will come in and say something like, "I suppose Ray is going to mess with me now." Then proceeds to talk to Ray who was quietly laying down until being spoken too! :-)

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