Maggie had more down time than usual today since my lesson schedule was busy but she still got her exercise and obedience practice in. She is doing well. She puts her little doodle signature on everything she does but she gets the answers right. She goes home soon so we are working on her self restraint and her focus ability. She has some growing up to do still but she is doing such a great job. She knows all her commands now. The trick now is to make sure she does them under more distracting circumstances. That is the work that will continue after she goes home in a few days.
I’m afraid today was a little boring for Blue. I had back to back lessons all afternoon so the boarders got some down time. But his exercise walk and his workouts were pretty spot on. He needed a few reminders when he got nervous but he barely needed to be corrected. He goes home in a coupe days so we are just giving him lots of practice to boost his confidence. He’s a good fellow.
Maggie is such a sweet marshmallow. She wants so badly to get the answer right she sometimes makes mistakes just from rushing. But if you can slow her down she can show you how much she knows. She is so young you can tell she is going to age into a lovely dog. She needs some direction and rules but she is soo happy about them.
She knows Heel/Autosit, Down, Come, Sit and we are working in Place. Where she toils is with self restraint in the stationary commands like Implied Stay and Place. She is so wiggly and happy and silly that she wants to be with you all the time that she struggles not to ooze all over the place instead of staying still but we are working on it! And she tries hard and that’s half the battle. One thing is for sure she keeps us laughing!
Blue is coming along so well. You can tell that obedience is becoming his way of life. He likes direction and he likes knowing what to do. The last 3 or 4 days he has been able to completely ignore the television and stay on Placemat only hating it a little bit. He has a very sweet friendship with Maggie, the little doodle puppy who is here this week. I can tell that what his people will need to make sure they do set the ground rules and have high expectations when he goes home in a few days but if they do that then he will absolutely shine. Such a fun dog!
Maggie is a sweet little Hershey kiss of a doodle who is here for a week of obedience training. She arrived this weekend and we introduced loose leash walking, Heel and Autosit (which she picked up immediately) and Come. Tomorrow we will do Down and Implied Stay. She has been a sweet, timid student so far who is an absolute love sponge. I can tell she is going to be a good little worker and her cute subby grin greeting me each morning is pretty much the most endearing thing ever. This will be a fun week for sure!
Blue is finally starting to relax on his Placemat. He will stay on it for about an hour and will relax even. We had the tv on and even when his least favorite commercial played he stayed still. He doesn’t like being left in the room alone so we are working on his “parking brake.”
His obedience is coming along well. He is gaining confidence and is needing fewer reminders. He needs firm but gentle handling and then he really shines. Such a good fellow.
Blue is now enjoying the freedom that comes with a remote collar. He is having off-leash play time and walks. His obedience work is still using a 10’ leash because he gets overwhelmed and needs guidance still. But he is making strong progress and is enjoying the work.
Funny enough the hardest thing for him has been Placemat! Easily the simplest command I teach, to keep two paws on his bed, it stresses him right out. He will stand frozen on his mat or pant and tremble to release some stress. He is very used to acting like Velcro to his people and so he is learning that he can’t be in their laps all the time. Forcing them to touch him has been how he deals with anxiety and so now that I am not letting him do that he is stressed about being made to stay on his bed. He does it, it just upsets him. But with practice and some good snacks while he does it he will start realizing that it isn’t the end of the world and in fact his rug is actually kind of comfy!
Blue is a bit of a drama queen but the most important thing remains to be not praising his stress. Once I see him relax on his mat I will go sit with him and give him some love. That way he will learn that it is calm, collected behavior that gets him the affection he wants so badly.
Buddy has been working hard for a week at his custom Board and Train and he is ready to go home and for his mom to take the leash again. He has been here to work on his ability to walk by other dogs peacefully. He still wears his muzzle but he has been able to walk on the levee, in a neighborhood and downtown mass without having any violent reaction to other dogs.
I’m proud of his progress. It’s clear that a lot of his confidence comes from his brother, another heeler, and so as they settle in to their new home (they are moving from country to town) it’s the perfect time to redefine the rules. I am going to recommend that while the routine is being established that the dogs walk individually to make it easier for their owner to correct and direct the dogs’ behavior and then walk them together once they understand the rules individually.
Buddy is a sweet boy who assigns a lot of stress to things he doesn’t need to. Hopefully with direction he can relax a little and be the happy boy we know he is!
Blue is making major progress. He will be ready to introduce his remote collar tomorrow. He still needs his leash mostly because he is still a little too nervous but once he is a little more confident he will get to enjoy some more freedom. But his commands are going well and he is finding his feet and his job.
One of the things Blue is here for is a hatred of the television. He has broken at least one television during a tantrum. He spent 2 hours inside with the tv on (animal planet!) and any time he started acting stressed he would get a correction. At the same time, and this is important, when he would solicit attention to comfort his anxiety he would be told to lay down. He would get no contact, no cuddling when he was anxious about the television. Once he was relaxing and ignoring the tv he would get affection and it didn’t take long for him to understand that his anxiety would not get him the touch he wanted. Now this is something that takes time. Tomorrow it will feel like I am starting all over again. But slowly and with consistency of correction and well timed praise he will start letting go of his anxiety about the television.
Buddy is trying so hard. He is still acting pretty uncomfortable around the dogs here at the farm but he isn’t growling or snapping. Mostly he looks like he wants to sink into the floor when he is around them. But we have been giving him some solo time in the house to relax and nap and feel comfortable so he can rest.
His workouts in town are going pretty well. Things like bikes spook him and he whines and wants to bark at other dogs but he tries hard to hold his discomfort quietly. He is very codependent with his brother and much of his confidence comes from him and so his owner knows that the work won’t be done on Friday. It will be important to keep working with both of them together now the foundation has been laid for Buddy.
I’m proud of him and he can continue to make progress with support from his people.