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Discussion Starter #1
Mercy is alone while I am at work. How would I implement NILIF with regards to the toys and treats I leave with her to keep her occupied during the day? Is is enough to have her do a sit, or whatever, before I give her her stuff in the morning.

Also, does NILIF mean that I can't let her amuse herself with a ball or Kong anymore? I understand that I can't let her initiate play with me, but what about playing by herself?
 

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Mercy is alone while I am at work. How would I implement NILIF with regards to the toys and treats I leave with her to keep her occupied during the day? Is is enough to have her do a sit, or whatever, before I give her her stuff in the morning.

Also, does NILIF mean that I can't let her amuse herself with a ball or Kong anymore? I understand that I can't let her initiate play with me, but what about playing by herself?
NILIF is DEFINITELY something you can customize to your dogs' individual needs. If you don't see any behavior problems, possessiveness, or any other concerns continue with the regimen you already follow. You can be as strict or as lenient as you need to be.

My dogs have toys that I provide to them before going to work. They earned the privilege to be out and about and have toys for being trustworthy in the house. If they started being destructive, they are crated when I'm out. If I leave a kong in the crate and when I come home they and the crate have PB smeared all over, they lose the kong until they show that they are ready for that privilege. I personally use NILIF as a system of my dogs earning privileges since neither have possessiveness issues.
 

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Mercy is alone while I am at work. How would I implement NILIF with regards to the toys and treats I leave with her to keep her occupied during the day? Is is enough to have her do a sit, or whatever, before I give her her stuff in the morning.
NILIF is the introduction to focus/attention training - a very early stage, of course. As such, it does require somebody to be there to focus on or to pay attention to.

However, if you are conscientious and consistent in doing it when you ARE there, you will be fine.

Having her sit before giving her stuff in the morning will be a fine start to the day.

Also, does NILIF mean that I can't let her amuse herself with a ball or Kong anymore? I understand that I can't let her initiate play with me, but what about playing by herself?
Of course you can let her play on her own. Free play time on her own is an important part of socialization, as is free play time with other dogs.

NILIF is a form of working with your dog. It should be fun and non-threatening, of course, but it is still work. And you know the old saying about all work and no play.
 

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I think you can customize NILIF, and I would never let a dog free roam without something to keep them occupied other than my furniture.

I just use NILIF as a way to keep my dog in the habit of listening to me and seeing that doing so leads to good things. You want a treat? Fine, do a sit for me first. Oh, you want me to make the flirt pole alive again? Let's work on drop it a little first. You want to go for a walk? Great, sit nicely so I can put the leash on you.

Then again, I'm not dealing with resource guarding or any really tough behaviors, so ymmv.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I don't have any "serious" issues to deal with. Mercy just has no attention to speak of. Last night we started a new Walking Nicely class and she was a terror. She clearly wanted to play with the other dogs and she wanted to do it NOW! The trainer has reassigned us to her Reactive Dogs class, explaining that some dogs reactivity is based in excitiment, rather than fear/anxiety. I thought that doing NILIF would be a good way to develop her focus and self-control.
 

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You can customize .. Lindbert just had a typo event :) .... One thing that NILIF can mean is that every time she wants something, you ask for a behavior - like Sit - and then you can allow the behavior - meet and greet - as a reward.
 

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Totally a typo... silly third shift brain! Let me fix that!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the guidance everyone.

I've started requiring Mercy to sit/stay before she gets to eat or go outside. After only two days, I'm already seeeing a difference! The stay part is a challange for her, because she's so excited to go do the thing she wants, but I've noticed her starting to get up, catching herself and either settling back into a sit or throwing herself into a down to regain her self control. It still takes a few attempts before she "fully complies" but she's definitely getting it!
 
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