We took it easy for her first day and just took a walk on a loose leash and practiced sitting when we stop. She has accepted me as a good pal and she solicits attention and affection from me which is something she was unwilling to do during her demo. She walked well and sat automatically a few times. She is a quick learner.
I am teaching Birdie this week on a small pinch collar. While using such a harsh-looking collar may feel counter intuitive I do it very intentionally. While a pinch collar looks mean if it is sized correctly it can be a wonderful tool for a shy dog. The feeling of being nipped on the neck when corrected is a very familiar feeling and it is not confusing at all but it gives very clear leadership and direction which is often what a shy dog craves. At the same time I can reduce the force I use because so much of the correction is delivered through the prongs. I can use a wrist flick or even just a quick closure of my hand (I will show her owners what I mean) to give a teeny tiny correction that isn't scary or heavy handed but clear and direct.
I plan to push Birdie a little harder tomorrow. Today was definitely successful for her and I am happy to see that, though shy, she warms up to patient and gentle dogs quickly and makes puppy friends quickly. She is a special girl.