Another Great Lesson & A Graduation

Today was graduation…not for me…but for Annie, another dog we work with. We are a close group, considering there are only 5 of us and we grow closer each day due to our shared experiences with our reactive dogs. Annie is a dog who isn’t aggressive. I am sure she would be if put in a situation where she HAD to be, but she’s really the opposite of Oreo is many ways. Instead of showing she is scared by growling, lunging, or barking, she will run. Most of the time her tail is tucked so far between her legs it looks like she doesn’t even have one. She bounces from person to person excited to get treats, her tail out in sight. As soon as she’s within a foot of a person the tail disappears again.

She was rescued in a field, found on the run. Every time her owner would pick something up, especially the newspaper her dog would run. Obviously Annie was abused in the past 😦  Her owner spent weeks trying to get her out of the corner of her living room from behind a recliner. She has made great strides. Now she can go up to people and perform tricks for treats. She doesn’t love other dogs, but can stand right next to them-as long as they don’t touch her. She has made so much progress she is graduating, and moving on to reactive rally!

Oreo had another wonderful day. We arrived and she was whinning to go play with the other dogs and see the people. Familiar dogs she is okay playing with now, at least the trainer believes so-makes me nervous but slow steps will help. She greeted everyone and we did a “hanging out” session, and Oreo did great, but now she just sits and whines because she wants to greet everyone! (Hey, it could be worse, she could be like her old self growling, lunging, barking, etc). She also learned the send off, a structured greeting for people (she did great!).The trainer said she may be able to do rally one day! I never thought!!

I still don’t see so much of a difference at home when walking (she still barking wildly at dogs, etc), but she is in the same neighborhood still she was in when she was attacked. So her situation here is the same, but within the next 6 months we are looking to move, and Oreo will have a big yard to run around in! Looking forward to the future, but enjoying the present!

It’s A Miracle!

It’s a miracle! Oreo is approaching 2 years old (next week), and today was amazing for her. She had a major breakthrough.

Let’s first start with 3 weeks ago. 3 weeks ago when we did “treat and retreat” (someone throwing treats to her from 10 ft away-starting that far away, then taking stepsback) she barked and started to lose it when the woman was 10 ft away. So the trainer, who Oreo trusts, stood next to the other woman throwing treats (she was a stranger). Oreo caught on, but didn’t show much trust.

2 weeks ago she made a best friend with one of the women who threw treats to her. She wouldn’t leave and go back to the car without her. She had to walk her back (walk next to us) for Oreo to move. Last week, Oreo woke up sick, wouldn’t take her medicine, so I knew it was bad. Then on the walk, she was eating grass, and threw up a few times. I think it may be due to allergies, so the training was out for the day.

Today, we did “treat and retreat” and Oreo did AWESOME! She was okay with 4 different women, did tricks for them, jumped up to them, pulled to get to them, and loved them! She hung out with a group of women around her, completely cool and relaxed. This would never have happened, even 2-3 weeks ago!!!

Not only was she comfortable with everyone there, she was comfortable with the dogs there!! We did “calming curves” and Oreo wanted to meet a mini pincher, so she did, sniffed and was amazing!!! She actually sat 1 foot away from the dog, and just watched, waiting patiently. She was so good! Then she wanted to play with him, but unfortunately, he wasn’t ready for that yet, so Oreo needs a new friend. We then did parallel walking with another dog and Oreo romped around trying to get to play with the other dog. She really wanted to play but I couldn’t let her 😦 The other dog doesn’t get along with dogs. Soooo the trainer said it is time for Oreo to find a play partner. She had one…the neighbor, but they moved. So I’m not sure. It’s scary to let go.

I’ll have to take baby steps with her. However, today she took a LEAP!!! Next time I want to work on her with men, that is her very big issue. However, today a neighbor at my parents (who she never met) was less than 10 feet away and she did amazing. I keep wondering what was different today. What did I do different that she did so well? I hope this progress keeps up!! Things are looking good! Hard work does pay off.