Little ones have been a bit of a feature this week! Maudie the cocker spaniel made great pawsteps with some careful work from her mum throughout the week. Her owner has a lovely calm, smiley approach with her and has managed to change her fear towards the lane at the end of the garden from somewhere very scary to somewhere that she felt ok. She isn’t yet ‘Feeling Good’ about being out there – but in the small area where we were working, she was very happily playing Ping Pong Puppy between us.
After a while, she was so confident that she did a sneaky skitter after the cat, who had been trying to weave his way into the action with purrs and a quivering tail. It has to be said that he’d definitely done a ‘Catch-me-if-you-can!’ face at her. We were happy to let them both burn off a bit of steam – it gave Maudie a bit of a brain-break from training.
We also met Pablo and Rosie, two little Chihuahuas who we assessed last week to see if they were ready to join our Life Skills classes. Rosie is a little bit uncertain of the world around her and Pablo is uneasy about other dogs getting too close, but we were very pleased to see that they both came into class calmly. Rosie feels she needs her big brother around and wasn’t so sure when Pablo was taken outside to do some work with Big Jack, the Great Dane who comes to class regularly. She was a wee bit scared of a red plastic brick, but her mum was so skilled with Clicking and Treating that she had her putting her nose on it within seconds. Then the next minute I turned round to see Rosie’s head in a ring in a treat tray. Her owner’s skilled work had changed her mood from scared to curious in a very short time.
Rosie’s first session, learning to be comfortable with eye contact
And finally, we were delighted to meet Bella and her owners yesterday. She is a very sweet-natured Shitzu who is devoted to her owners. It was lovely to see the special bond that she has with her mum and dad, who have created a very calm, secure home for her.
Bella has lived in a rural area and used to go to work with her dad in a secluded spot where there were flowers and grasses, where she could run freely without meeting other dogs. Moving to the city and adjusting to a busy place where she meets dogs and noisy vehicles has been a bit difficult for her.
During her session, we were all a bit dismayed to stumble across a rubbish truck bang outside the front door when we went outside to practise Ping Pong Puppy. Undaunted, we kind of shrugged our shoulders and used it as a training opportunity – you never know when another Dust Cart might amble past …
You can see from the pics how quickly her uneasiness about the truck changed, by doing some simple refocus work with Ping Pong Puppy. Eventually she simply lay down and watched the truck trundle away down the road.
It was lovely to work with two owners who picked-up the Clicker so quickly. And especially lovely to work with such a delightful little dog.