Koala and I had a little argument recently because I expected her to clean up after herself and she … resented that.
No, I haven’t figured out how to get dogs to pick up their own poop. They can pick up their own toys, though.
Toward the end of their time here, Deni was out, and Koala and I were in the basement, where there’s a well-stocked toy basket. (There are overly full toy baskets on each floor … and dog beds … it’s kind of a dogs-first household.)
Koala wanted a specific toy. It’s a great toy from West Paw, a Montana company. Anyhow, the toy happened to be at the very bottom of the toy box. Of course.
Koala methodically removed every toy in the box, distributing them around the rapidly emptying box. She finally reached her toy and happily pulled it out.
She brought it to me, asking for a tug game. I played with her for a minute, then took the toy. “We’ll play more once you’ve cleaned up your mess,” I told her. She looked at me, turned her back, and lay down.
I asked her to “get a toy” and “put it away,” things she routinely does. She ignored me.
I repeated the requests in a firmer voice. She got up, picked up a toy, and dropped it near the box. Looking at me and sighing. It was soooo hard.
I did not relent. No longer asking, I said in my best “I mean it!” voice, Get the toy and put it IN the box.
She did, then lay back down.
“Nope,” I told her. “You need to put all of the toys away.”
One by one, she got the toys and put them into the box.
When she finished, I offered her the toy and suggested a tug game.
“Nope,” she said, bu turning her back to me and lying down with an annoyed sigh.
Normally, when Cali and Koala put their toys away, they get rewards for their efforts. But since she had so deliberately taken all of the toys out of the box, a behavior I did not want to encourage, I did not give her any reward other than the offer of playing with the chosen toy.
Koala was annoyed at having to do it — and annoyed by the lack of rewards.
She got over it pretty quickly, though, and decided that she was willing to forgive me if that meant she’d get a belly rub …
One thought on “Clean Up Your Own Mess!”
It is interesting to me how Koala will do as I ask or keep out of my way when I am walking in the house, but refuses to do that for anyone else. She seems to know that she is supposed to work for me and doesn’t have to do what other people say.
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