Monday, December 26, 2011

Small Victory

We had a small victory worth celebrating in the Holder house this afternoon.

Today I did the weekly vacuuming to clean up all the white fur all over the floor, in the nooks and crannies, in the cold air returns, on the couches, on the beds, behind the toilet, etc. and it was the first time EVER that Oscar did not bark once at the vacuum cleaner!  Woot-woot!!  Last week before I vacuumed I re-evaluated why Oscar barks at the vacuum monster after I had recently finished reading the BAT book.  I was reminded that he is trying to increase the distance between him and the scary yellow Dyson monster, therefore the previously attempted mark/reward near the vacuum was working against me.  So, I started marking and rewarding him for non-reactive behavior, but used my brain and tossed the food AWAY from the vacuum.  A double-reward, if you will, the food AND what he wants in the first place, increased distance.  DUH!

So, this afternoon when I revealed the yellow monster from the closet, I started to mark and reward for the absence of over-threshold behavior and tossed the treat away from the vacuum.  It took some coordination b/c Fanny always tries to get in on the food action, but we succeeded and, boy-oh-boy did it feel gooooooooood!

That's (1) small victory for Oscar and a step in the right direction! 

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