Consequences drive behaviour.
Unwittingly the young couple have made a rod for their own backs.
They are first time dog owners and hadn’t realised that something only needs to be reinforced just the once to create a behaviour. If the dog barks in the night – that ‘come and talk to me’ bark …and if they go to her just once …she will very likely do the same thing the next night!
Now Freya has them up shortly after 5 am each morning. One of them comes down, maybe lets her out, gives her something nice to chew while they lie on the sofa trying to get a bit more sleep. If it’s a bit later she may immediately get a walk.
What very rewarding consequences for barking at 5 am!
Behaviours harder to undo than to create
It takes a lot more work to undo a behaviour that has been reinforced by enjoyable consequences than it does to cause it in the first place. (more…)