Tue, Jun 10
By Eric Gillaspy CPDT-KA
She had me at her first “wu wu.” No….really….. I mean it. Making her "wu-wu" noise was one of the first things we taught her.
Lulu is a very vocal dog. Evidently, she has been that way since birth and since, I’ve just encouraged it. She makes the most hilarious sounds I think I’ve ever heard. She howls, growls, snarks,snorts, and just plain barks a lot. I knew I had to do something about this behavior so, I named it.
If we don’t give dogs something to do to get attention, they might try other things to see if they work, like jumping, nipping, stealing things and other behaviors that we want to avoid
Just like any behavior that I wanted her to do again, I had to catch her doing it in order to reinforce it. It was pretty easy since she makes all kinds of noises a lot. At first she did it for no reason at all. So it was easy to capture the behavior. Then she did it for treats. Then I added the word "wu wu" right before she made her noise. I also stopped rewarding her for her "wu wu" if I hadn’t asked for it.
Lulu eventually stopped being so vocal all the time. Once I taught her the behavior, she stopped doing it as much when she wasn’t asked to. Lulu also knows a really easy, positive, and rewarding way to get my attention is to "wu wu" at me softly instead of jumping, nipping and stealing things.
I love to get Lulu to howl at me every once in a while, just to make me smile. Lulu knows that the best way to get my attention is to “wu wu” at me. That one gets me every time.