Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Creating Bad Habits?

I might be guilt! I think I'm creating bad habits in my dogs. I'm an enabler. You see, when my oldest dog, Rocco, doesn't particularly like his dinner (he has allergies, so I have to be careful what I feed), he usually goes to bed hungry. Until 3am, when he wakes me up and whines.

Rocco isn't the type that usually goes to the bathroom at that hour, so I knew something else was bothering him a couple of weeks ago the first time he woke me up whining. I got up, gave him a treat, and he begged for more. Then a I realized that he didn't really eat his dinner, so he must be hungry. I got him some dry food, and he eat it up.

A few days later, the same thing happens. He doesn't eat dinner (which was a nice mix of a high quality canned food and a dry food), and then gets hungry at 3am. He wakes me, I feed him. We both go to bed happy. But, as Mrs. Pet Haven points out, now Rocco knows that he can wake me up whenever he wants and I'll feed him....not something I want to have happen every night.

So, now I must analyze what's going on here. Am I creating a bad habit? Am I basically saying that it's ok not to eat your dinner, because I'll be at your beck and call to feed you? Or am I just over-analyzing the whole thing? Obviously if he doesn't like a particular kind of food, I should try another (that he hopefully won't be allergic to!).

Has anyone else created an annoying habbit with their dogs? Would love to hear other stories. In the meantime, I have to pay extra attention to Rocco to make sure he finishes his meal and doesn't get distracted so that he'll sleep through the night.


jan said...

I keep getting images of the neighborhood dogs all getting together to brag about who has the human that learns the fastest.

When you get the definitive answer to this problem, be sure to let me know where to buy your book. :-)

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Tanny said...

You are not the only one, I create bad habits too, and then work hard on reversing the situation. when my dogs don't eat their dinner they go to sleep hungry and don't get any food until morning,they know not wake us up,unless they don't feel good.
you have to change it now, before it's too late.

My Sassy Mind said...

Hi Matt,

I already add your link in my Blog Roll. Hope you will add mine too ;0

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