Today we started working with Reggie, a young Pit Bull mix that has typical young dog issues - jumping, nipping, and sometimes out-of-control craziness. Today we started with the bedrocks of obedience - Sit and Down - and he did very well. He is starting to offer a Sit on his own, which is great for curbing the jumping. The Down we had to teach from scratch and he picked it up fast.
Lance is a Shepherd mix who is very fearful when meeting new people, especially men, and some dogs. When I first arrived at the house it took him quite a while to take a treat from my hand. As part of the counterconditioning process we taught him to touch a hand in order to get a treat. By teaching him this we are helping to alleviate the fear he has when people reach out to pet him.
The first Puppy Kindergarten class of 2015 has graduated! Sadie, Izzy, Maizey, Elsa, & Rocky learned how to walk with a loose leash during their final session. The socialization aspect of this class was especially beneficial for a couple of the dogs who began the class very fearful, but progressed nicely over the weeks.
Today's session with Rica was Loose Leash Walking. Being a former street dog she is not very familiar with a leash and she does pull. We worked on the cues Heel (walking by my side and paying attention to me) as well as Let's Walk (walking anywhere as long as there is no pulling). Rica actually picked it up very quickly. The only time she really pulled hard was when we were walking back to the house. She is from Puerto Rico, is not used to the cold, and wanted to go in. At that point I was in total agreement!
This week the puppies learned Wait, Stay, and Leave It. This was, by far, the best week as all the puppies are used to each other, and are interacting well with the humans in the room, including kids.
Despite heavy distractions all the pups did well with tonight's lesson of Come When Called. We are half way through and the puppies who were a little fearful and anxious are much more relaxed and more receptive to engaging with the other dogs - socialization at work.
Marty, a 7 year old Cairn/West Highland Terrier mix, and his family have moved across country to live with 4 year old Chesapeake Bay Retriever Dexter and his family. Besides being stressed by the move and the strange white stuff outside, Marty is also resource guards food, his bed, and some other things. We prescribed a counterconditioning protocol to change Marty's emotional state when Dexter is present. By doing so Marty will soon look forward to Dexter being around his stuff.
“Owners of dogs will have noticed that, if you provide them with food and water and shelter and affection, they will think you are god. Whereas owners of cats are compelled to realize that, if you provide them with food and water and shelter and affection, they draw the conclusion thatthey are gods.”
- Christopher Hitchens
Jeff Dentler, CPDT-KA, CTDI