Luna’s Life… A Dog and A Trainer 4/16/2017
Hey there folks, another week down in the life of Luna and again this week had tons of improvements but on the taking food from strangers front we are still working… Same on the occasional startle growl and run away, which normally happens when parked in a parking lot or when someone comes in or out of a room or door un-expectantly… So again almost 2 months in and while we are so improved, the big-ticket items I want to have are still yet to come! And while I would love to push Luna harder and harder, I must realize the only way to fix a fearful dog is time, patience and understanding. Trust me she will get there but on her timetable not mine 😊 So just what did we do this week?
Again, she rides with me in the car each day taking my sons to school, work, scouts, you name it… Luna usually goes for 3-5 rides a day with me and honestly her barking/growly thing with people is decreasing!!! We also try to just park in a Wal-Mart or Grocery Store parking lot for approx. 30 minutes a day and just listen to the radio and I give her treats!!! Let’s face it how else will I teach her to have a positive association with people, crowds or cars 😊
Doggy Daycare is still paying dividends… Luna now is regularly in a 5-6 dog playgroup. She now on her own (no carrying or having to use leash) to get in and out of her kennel, and even now is approaching all the employees to get love and pets while playing with other dogs. I even had one employee proclaim she was not going home with me but rather her… Apparently, Luna is getting her own fan club even before beginning her actual work with Kiss Dog Training 😊
Easter Egg Dying and Dinner at my sisters… This one was awesome, Luna was at a strange house with 4 small kids (my great nieces and nephews) along with both of my nephews and their wives, my mom and my sister and her husband… At first, she did her normal find a table and hide under it (the one closest to me) then as I started moving around she gravitated to my mom (she stays with her from time to time) and eventually was out in the open but in out-of-the-way areas!!! She would take little bits of ham or dinner roll from not only the adults but the little kids as well (3- 8 years of age) She did awesome but would still hide if anything got to loud or fast, but would rebound and come back out quick!!!
And finally, the dog park, today where she went bonkers she was running through the woods chasing other dogs, running at almost full speed and having a blast. She kept her distance from strange people but was way less concerned with people unlike last time… As we have talked before the only way we can normalize an environment is to keep a dog under threshold (fear, growl, bark or whatever other response we are working on) while making the environment fun 😊
So how did we do this week? I think pretty damn good but still not where we want… As we move forward with getting her more around people, I will tell you I ordered a customer service vest for Luna this week… Keep in mind while it is a service dog styled vest, I did not and would not ever put the words Service Dog on a vest for a non-service dog!!! That is an insult to all the hard work Service Dogs do… Instead I ordered hers in Yellow and have an “In Training” Patch and two “Please ask before petting” patches… So that with all the hard work with people we are going to have upcoming, we will have better luck with folks not scaring her or approaching her until she is ready!
As I have said before dog training is 70% management and 30% training but at least we are keeping her under the fear threshold and allowing her to make the decisions of who she wants to approach… I will make sure to have picks of the vest next blog and talk about how socializing her to wear it is going!!!
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