Opening presents

Luke's pupils are dilated here, he's in the zone.  And being given the go ahead to tear he has become over-stimulated and quickly moves onto the next where he is then stopped in his tracks.  If you don't want your dog to enter "the zone," you don't allow this level of excitement.

This one is actually his and at the end of the gift opening.  This was a good opening.

Ah presents; who doesn't love presents?  Well Luke adores new presents and considers every package that comes into the house a possible gift for him.  The gift monster was man-made, a creation of allowing a behavior to grow.  "Oh look how cute."  Last Christmas it became quite obvious that the behavior had to be placed under control.  But I mean honestly, how cute is it that he wants to open every gift?  And combating everyone in the room that thinks he is the cutest thing ever is not an easy quest.

Here there is a lull in the gift opening, look at that innocent face.

So we tackle the problem head on; a firm "leave it," is used to let him know what he is and is not allowed to rip open.  As long as the person who is doing the unwrapping cooperates then everything goes to plan.  Luke walks away and lays down knowing that this is not for him.  Several times he went over to the gifts to find one for himself which again was adorable because it was his but not so cute if he had wrecked someone elses gift.

The process of changing a behavior must be done with consistency and the more over stimulated a dog becomes while doing it the more you must stick to your guns.  Luke needed several very serious "leave it's," from Mom.  This let him know that we were not kidding about the destruction.  We then had a dog that was under control, sure he still wanted to rip into every gift, opening it to display the goods inside.  He wanted to see what was inside but he didn't.  He waited for the "okay" from the owner of the gift and then went to town if he was given permission.

What a good boy; "As good as gold and better."  

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