At dinner, Kiera lies by my chair while we eat. She likes to monitor my eating, as she knows she gets my leftovers when I’m done. If I take too long, she starts “talking” to tell me to hurry up.

Andrew finally gets annoyed and wants me to discipline her to get her to stop being pushy. So I remember Suzanne Clothier’s time-out lesson where you remove the dog from where you are for a few moments to essentially help the dog “reorient” itself toward better self-control. I decide that the next time Kiera talks, I’ll put her in a time-out.

I don’t have to wait very long. She talks, I say, “Oops, so sorry…” and close her in the bathroom (right off our kitchen) for a minute, telling her she can come out once she’s quiet.

She gets quiet immediately, so I tell her “Good Girl” and let her out.

She lies down and behaves — for 30 seconds. Then she starts talking again.

So I say, “Oops” again and put her back in the bathroom for another timeout.

She’s still talking, so I tell her through the bathroom door that she has to be quiet to be let back out.

So she gets quiet.

I tell her, “Good Girl” again and leave her there for another minute to make my point.

And she stays quiet…

Apparently, she thinks she’s been quiet long enough. Next we hear a click — and, voila, there’s Kiera. She’s opened the door by herself and let herself out of the bathroom.

She comes over, lies down and doesn’t make another peep for the rest of dinner.

It’s been several months since we’ve heard a word from her at the dinner table.

 

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