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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Tuesday's Training TIP: BE QUIET

FLD Scout's first task: learn to be quiet.

Typical times of BIG VOICE exercise (from her point of view).
  1. "Food? Am I going to get any food?"
  2. "Why am I in this pen? I can't reach you!!!!! I just want to be close to you! Don't you understand that?!!!"
  3. "Hey, I don't want to 'kennel up!'"

Here is a short video of FLD Scout in her pen in the kitchen, voicing her feelings about the situation.


Believe it or not, the quietness is growing around here. Oh, FLD Scout is not totally silent, and she will probably never completely stop expressing her opinion, but her noise-making episodes last considerably less time.

How am I helping FLD Scout suppress her natural urge to vocalize?
  1. IGNORE, IGNORE, IGNORE.  This is definitely easier said than done. But seriously, ANY attention only reinforces her noise-making. Eventually she'll figure out it's the sweet sound of nothingness that gets her what she wants.
  2. PRAISE THE QUIET.  Catch the brief intake of breath and reward the lack of noise. Timing is critical to bring the quiet on.
  3. TREATS.  Yep, make the crate a wonderful place with a few well-placed morsels of her daily food allotment. Use treats as in #2 above, then wean away to just praise.
  • Get everyone on board. I caught Andy reaching into the pen to pet Scout when she was hollering for attention. He got hollered at from both sides!
  • Make sure it isn't something else. The other day FLD Scout raised her decibel level. I suspected she was trying to tell me something specific. I snatched her up at the first noise-less opportunity. She had to "park!" YIPPEE, making progress on that front, too!

A very quiet FLD Scout next to me as I'm writing.


  1. Such a cutie! I've already forgotten those puppy noises and our guide dog puppy is only one.

  2. They grow so fast, that's why! Little Scout will be heading off in a blink of an eye. Thank you for raising your puppy!