10 February, 2011

Out of Fear

We had our first session last night with Viola from A Pawsitive Difference and there will probably be only one more. It's always nice to have a trainer come in and see things from a more global perspective in order to help me.

We went walking in hopes of meeting other dogs, which we did. Zeetie stares at oncoming dog, I nudge her body with my hand to redirect her attention, do it again if she isn't redirecting and keep walking by other dog. The magic is in the 'gentle leader'. As we walk by, she wants to go lunging but the leader keeps her under control. Viola worked with her the first time, and was very firm with her. I could see Zeetie's face appear to be in some kind of shock. 'Here is this woman telling me no and not allowing me to lunge'. I know Zeetie is afraid of other dogs and we have to teach her that she doesn't need to be afraid (I hope). She has no problems with little dogs and is happy to greet them unless they lunge at her first.

I took my turn with the next dog and followed Viola's instructions (we had asked the people with the dogs if they could stay where they were as we were training). First time by, she wanted to go for it but no go. I then walked back and forth a few times and Zeetie 'ignored' the dogs, although I know she was stressed but at least she was a 'good' girl. I then had her sitting near the dogs and no problem. Still, I know she was stressed and that was confirmed by the diarrhoea she had half way through the lesson. Poor Zeetz but lots of 'good girls' for her.

Zeetie should always be at my side when walking and slightly behind so I can be the one in charge and she doesn't have to worry so much. Viola gave me other tools such as, if a loose dog comes barrelling up, step between Zeetie and loose dog, redirect other dog by pointing away and telling it to go. I'll see how that works when the time comes.

Viola will bring her dog next session and we'll work some more with face on greetings. Viola has had success with this training and I feel positive we, too, will be successful with work.

Once we were back home, Zeetie ran upstairs and went to bed. She didn't even want to snuggle, my little monkey.

No comments: