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Galen here. I'm having training trouble with my humans. Does anyone have advice?

They have bad potty training. They both go potty in the water bowl. Disgusting, right? How do I fix it?

They are food aggressive. Sometimes they bring in really good smelling food, and they get all snarly if I try to taste it. They even get snarly if I try to taste the cat food, which they don't even seem to want to eat. They are just resource guarding. How do I fix it?

They are territorial. They get snarly when I stand on my hind legs to look at things. (Which is really weird, since they stand on their hind legs to look at things all the time.) They sometimes also get snarly when I want to sleep in a bed or a chair. I'm not sure if the bed issue is resource guarding (specific object) or territoriality (a bigger area.) How to I train them to be better about sharing?

They don't get enough exercise. They hardly ever run. They ignore me when I bring them a ball, unless it's early morning or early evening. It's very difficult for me to get them to play during the day. Do you think they might suffer from the mid-day heat? Any ideas how to get them to play more?
 

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Galen, Annie here. I dont like counter food because when i gave it a try water appeared out of thin air and hit me before i even got to put a tooth on it! I tried it again another day, ans it happened again! So now i just occasionally take food left unattended on the coffee table. My trick is to avoid the resource guarding by doing it when they arent there!

I have found humans are incliked to give me food when i am lying nicely, not looking at them, in my spot on the floor. Or sometimes if i am on the couch, and i gently rest my head on their foot. They get snarly and annoyed if i try and whine or something, so i dont do that. The older human is susceptiboe to Trixie crying, so i hang out with her, she does the work, and i get fed for being good :)
I like cat food too but our cat is gone. Sometimes i go to a different house with a cat and they keep cat food on a BIG table and the cat jumps on it. Thats annoying because i cant reach it.
My humans good about sharing, except they sometimes sit practically ontop of me when i am on the couch, and my human is SO wiggly i hop off in a huff because the movement is disturbing my beauty sleep.

My humans potty in the Water Torture Chamber. I dont go in there, in case they decide i need a bath.

I dont know what to say about the hind leg thing! Mine gets huffy if i do it when not asked, and try and lick someones face. Or if i put my feet up on the railing to bark. But sometimes she asks for a jump up, and thats fun!
Mine are also so boring and slow. I usually manage to make them play or walk oir by going wild and crazy and barking at everything that moves and bugging Trixie and even pouncing on her. They say my barks hurt their ears and i need exercise and then we DO something.. Repetition and reinforcement of their good behaviour by not barking after our outing has done wonders to train them.
 

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Fluffy here. I have tips for the food and territory problems! If you look up at them with verrryyy big, watery eyes, they might be convinced to share. Only certain foods, though. Mine will never share bacon with me. I don't know why. As for territory, if you creep up slooowwwlly and lightly, you might be able to squeeze on the chair without them noticing. You have to stay very still, though. They might even pet you if they're distracted.

Regards, Fluffy
 

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Dear Galen,

Humans are very weird. They have an idea that they are Always Right, and that anything which is not exactly like their way of doing things is Wrong. Then they make up lots more rules about how what is not convenient for them is something called Morally Wrong (don't try and understand that - it is something no dog could begin to comprehend. The cats do, and tried to explain it to me, and it was so STUPID I didn't believe them.). The trouble is that humans control all the good stuff - food, treats, playing outside - and they are also very slow to understand, so you have to learn how to train them using something called Positive Reinforcement.

This is very, very easy for cats. Cats have managed to convince humans that a cat is a wild, superior being, and that they should be looked up to and practically worshipped. If they deign to sit on a human's lap that is an honour; if they refuse to eat the cheap horrible food humans buy better and better stuff till they get something worth eating; humans make special doors for them, and sometimes completely rebuild their houses to make them nicer for cats.

But we dogs started out being Nice, which was a big mistake. Now humans expect us to turn ourselves inside out to fit into their idea of how the world can be. We have one big weapon though, which is Sad Eyes, and another big reward, which is saying "I LOVE you!" and really meaning it. So first you use the Sad Eyes till they do what you want, and then you say "I LOVE you!" with everything you've got to reward them for getting it right. It is hard work, and takes time, but if you keep at it you can train most humans to do most things.

Or you could just be born a cat...

Love Sophy (Poppy just bounces, and doesn't think these things through).
 

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Dear Galen,

Humans are very weird. They have an idea that they are Always Right, and that anything which is not exactly like their way of doing things is Wrong. Then they make up lots more rules about how what is not convenient for them is something called Morally Wrong (don't try and understand that - it is something no dog could begin to comprehend. The cats do, and tried to explain it to me, and it was so STUPID I didn't believe them.). The trouble is that humans control all the good stuff - food, treats, playing outside - and they are also very slow to understand, so you have to learn how to train them using something called Positive Reinforcement.

This is very, very easy for cats. Cats have managed to convince humans that a cat is a wild, superior being, and that they should be looked up to and practically worshipped. If they deign to sit on a human's lap that is an honour; if they refuse to eat the cheap horrible food humans buy better and better stuff till they get something worth eating; humans make special doors for them, and sometimes completely rebuild their houses to make them nicer for cats.

But we dogs started out being Nice, which was a big mistake. Now humans expect us to turn ourselves inside out to fit into their idea of how the world can be. We have one big weapon though, which is Sad Eyes, and another big reward, which is saying "I LOVE you!" and really meaning it. So first you use the Sad Eyes till they do what you want, and then you say "I LOVE you!" with everything you've got to reward them for getting it right. It is hard work, and takes time, but if you keep at it you can train most humans to do most things.

Or you could just be born a cat...

Love Sophy (Poppy just bounces, and doesn't think these things through).
Sophie, I think you have made two very good points. Today I didn't want want to go on a slow boring walk; I wanted to stay home and play ball. I walked very slowly and kept looking back sadly at the house. It worked! We went home and played with the flirt pole! It wasn't quite as good as a ball, but it was real progress!

The cat has also taught the female human an excellent trick She keeps a pile of rolled up socks next to the bed. All he has to do is meow or bang on something to wake her up in the middle of the night. She starts throwing sock balls at him. It's amazing! I have no idea how he managed to train her like that. I would love it if she threw sock balls at me at night.
 

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Well done! I have taught my human not to try and make me go for walks in the rain, and to let me poo on an emergency mat in the bathroom when it is really horrible out. We are still arguing about boring walks - these days she usually has good stuff in her pocket to encourage Poppy, and that makes walks much better!
 

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Galen, it's Normie, and that throwing-sock-thing-at-night thing is dynamite. My humans keep me in a crate all night long. How does the cat get out?

Other than that, they're pretty well trained. He gets up and we sit together as soon as it's daylight, then she sets the clock and gets up extra early just to walk me.

My only real complaint is that I don't have one of those 'opposibable' thumb things. She just smiles at me when she opens doors and treat jars and latches my crate and waves than darn thumb thing at me. Next time they leave I'm going shopping for one at Chewy.
 

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Galen, it's Normie, and that throwing-sock-thing-at-night thing is dynamite. My humans keep me in a crate all night long. How does the cat get out?
The cat sleeps in a tree, not in a crate. It's like Sophie said. Cats have this weird power over humans. I might on a lucky day be able to bring a little tiny stick inside without the humans claiming it for themselves. (Seriously, they have resource guarding issues. ) The cat got an entire tree covered with ropes and carpet, and he didn't even have to carry it himself.

I am making some progress with my male human. I jump on the bed at night. Then I lie down on a pillow and pretend I'm going to sleep. If I stay very still the male won't put me in the crate.
 

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Galen, if I had an opposibable thumb I'd take notes. I can see that I'm making my mistake by going into my crate to rest my eyes for a few minutes while she plays with that I-Pad thing and that Maddow woman talks.
b-o-r-i-n-g When I wake up, somehow the door latched.

That indoor tree thing is weird. I like to chase birds who roost too low in the bushes in the back yard. Can you flush the cat when he roosts?
 

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Galen, if I had an opposibable thumb I'd take notes. I can see that I'm making my mistake by going into my crate to rest my eyes for a few minutes while she plays with that I-Pad thing and that Maddow woman talks.
b-o-r-i-n-g When I wake up, somehow the door latched.

That indoor tree thing is weird. I like to chase birds who roost too low in the bushes in the back yard. Can you flush the cat when he roosts?
I made a mistake last night. I tried to get the male to run and play. He needs the exercise. Instead he made me go in the crate, and then he went to bed. What a boring training setback!

I can't flush the cat out of his tree. He sleeps on the top most branch. I can't reach him even when I stand on my hind legs and jump. See my previous note about how standing on my hind legs triggers human territoriality .
 
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