Back in January, I was fortunate enough to adopt a wonderful American Eskimo dog who I named Relay. His name came from the fact that it took a relay of four vehicles to bring him from Oshkosh, Wisconsin to Greater Lansing.
While Relay is a very good boy, there is one trait he has that is less than appealing. He decided the cushioned chair he would sit/sleep now and then in was worth gradually devouring. Not that he really ate it, instead, he more or less shredded the seat cushion and some parts of the main chair itself. Fortunately, the chair was rather old and wearing in the first place, but I certainly did not want him to repeat of this on my better furniture.
Since I am gone much of the day at work, I did not feel it was fair to expect him to spend eight hours in his crate. But, I also do not want to come home to nasty and expensive surprises. As a result I would keep him in his crate during the morning and then let him out at lunch and let him be free to wander in the living room/dining area/kitchen area.
Every now and then he would still nibble at this one chair leaving me to clean up discarded stuffing, threads, and feathers and making me worried that he might move on to other pieces of furniture. To deter that from happening, I position the seat cushions upward so they are less inviting.
About three months ago, when I was leaving my apartment to go back to work after lunch, I came across what seemed like a silly, but humorous idea. I turned towards him and consistent with Robert De Niro’s character in Meet the Parents series of movies, said to Relay, “I’ve got my eyes on you,” and proceeded to do the same hand signal that Mr. De Niro used in the movie – my first two fingers pointing (not including the thumb) towards my eyes and then pointing them at Relay. Relay stared intently at me as I said/did this a couple of times.
When I came home that evening, everything was fine. So, I tried it again the next day with the same results. The next day, the same. The following, the same, and on and on and on. Since first using this saying and hand signal, Relay has not done anything naughty in the apartment while I have been away. I don’t know if my idea is transferable across individuals dogs or to other breeds, but for me it sure works like a charm.
So, if you are having similar difficulties with your pet dog, you might give Robert De Niro dog whispering a try. Ya never know.