We are saying goodbye to Loki today. He knows his commands now and is getting much better about making good decisions (like coming when called). The challenge now is making sure these new skills are kept up at home. His owners are devoted to him, that much is obvious, and I feel they will do a good job of setting rules and having Loki live by them and also asking me for help if they need it. So many owners pick their dogs up from the Farm and then for whatever reason don't ask questions when things come up. Dogs are social animals and just like any animal that lives in social groups they learn early on how to manipulate their situation to suit their own needs. I feel like Loki is going to really toe the line for the first couple of days that he is home and then he will come to terms with the fact that the rules he has lived with at the Farm have fully translated to his old home.
These rules for Loki will include:
the "sit means sit" rule. Any command he is given must be followed through to completion. Even if that means his owner needs to go get him if he hides.
He is not allowed to beg for food. He loves his placemat but his owners will need to stay on top of him for the first few days just to make sure he stays put.
He is not allowed to bite, snap, or curl his lips. I will be teaching his owner how to correct him of he does this. I was able to brush him yesterday and after verbally correcting him for mouthing the brush he seemed to really relax and enjoy it.
Pulling is not allowed. Ever. Even if Loki is not in a heel he is not allowed to put tension on his leash. This means that if he is on leash he needs to have his pinch collar on or at the very least, a slip leash. Even if he is not in a formal "heel" command he now knows that if he reaches the end of his leash he is not to pull forward. The only time he makes this mistake anymore is when he really really needs to pee and even then it isn't acceptable.
He is not allowed to backtalk. He sometimes barks at his handler when given a correction. It is important that his owners understand that he is not being hurt by his corrections. He is simply arguing with his handler. If he barks at whoever is correcting him he needs to be corrected again and made to do what he was asked to do.
Loki is a real sweety. He wants to get praise, he wants to please his people. He does get anxious when he makes a mistake and he still sometimes tries to hide if he knows he is in trouble. Interestingly enough he now runs back to the front door instead of hiding elsewhere when he is outside so he is much safer. Once he is home I will be able to work on his own property with his owner to set boundaries where he lives.
We always get attached to the extended stay boarders. They become such a member of the pack and they