Sitting on a High Throne

January 19, 2011 § Leave a comment

Maple did it again… she lept up on to our sofa and bounced from one end to the other, all the while donning a gleeful look of pleasure. MM and I have been pretty stern with Maple by not allowing her to set one foot—let alone all four paws—on the sofa (see Maple’s New Year’s Resolution #3). We turned our backs for only a few seconds and, before we knew it, there was Maple smiling smugly on the sofa. Hmpf…

I spewed a string of commands: ‘No!’, ‘Off!’, ‘Down!’, ‘Naughty Maple!’ Nothing seemed to work. Maple was either truly very scared of coming down herself, or just pretending to be (after all, she did manage to overcome any pre-existing fears of height by jumping on to the sofa in the first place). Since Maple was not budging, I carried her and placed her on the floor.

In a state of frenzy, Maple circled around and around the coffee table, picking up momentum before lunging back on to the sofa. I’m not sure what got into Maple—she was being extremely cheeky that day. Eventually, however, Maple tired herself out of whatever one-woman game she was playing because MM and I certainly were not eager participants.

I gave Maple one last warning by pointing down towards the floor and sternly commanded ‘Off’ while MM stood by my side and gave her the evil eye. After several repeated attempts Maple, with a glum look on her face, finally lept off the sofa (*sigh* our little drama queen). That didn’t stop her from later hopping on her two hind legs as she tried to get back on to the sofa. MM and I had to barricade the sofa with our legs and did a funny side-to-side step-shuffle in order to block Maple. Maple soon gave up and brought out a toy from her crate to play with instead.

I think the lesson, here, for both MM and I, is that we have to be unified and consistent with the house rules. At the beginning, MM and I would let Maple join us on the sofa as we watched TV. Later, when we agreed that there would be no more TV-watching on the sofa, MM would still call Maple to come to him while he sat on the sofa. Maple would get so excited that she would sprint and land her two front paws on the edge of the sofa as MM gave her a pat on the back. Hmm, no wonder Maple gets confused. 

Our training needs to be revised, so these are the rules we have set for ourselves:

  1. We shall refrain from inviting Maple to join us on the sofa while watching TV, listening to music, reading newspapers, etc.
  2. We shall refrain from petting or coaxing Maple when she paws us while we are on the sofa.
  3. We shall make it a pleasurable experience for Maple to sit or lie down on the floor by playing with her and giving her belly rubs while we reach down to her from our position on the sofa.
  4. We shall praise Maple every time we see her sitting or lying down nicely by our feet on the floor.

With some practice and patience, hopefully, we will see some improvement over the next few days!

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