How relieved am I, it’s the 5th November and Dana is sitting in the back garden watching all the fireworks, no problems with the noise. Although I would never take it for granted, hopefully I can cross that potential problem off the list. I am also aware that many noise phobias don’t develop until the dog is over 12 months old!
I have started to introduce heelwork, a few minutes a day, luring with food. As always success seems to depend on the level of distractions at the time, but I am very pleased with her progress. At this stage just a few good steps on a loose lead is all I need.
Socialization is also going well both with people and dogs, in fact I am using her with clients to provide a distraction for their dogs. We then practise the recalls away from their rough and tumble. I am trying to get a particular message across, namely, that I am happy for you to play but when I call then I expect a recall.
I have been giving out some very handy leads to my clients, they are lightweight webbing, 2 metres long and loopless (http://www.megheathpetstore.co.uk/) ideal for teaching recalls etc.
I am also working on the ‘no’ & ‘leave’ commands. So every now and then when the pup shows some interest in something, I will pick up the lead which has been trailing. Then I give her a ‘no’, ‘leave’ then ‘come’ & ‘sit’ and, of course, reward. ‘No’ is not a telling off, it is used in the context of ‘change your behaviour’. There is no need to ‘yank’ the lead, if the pup needs encouragement just run backwards a few steps.
The idea is that, if practised when the dog is mildly interested in something, when a more challenging interest is shown, then we have already laid the groundwork and given ourselves some tools to use.