This Blog Has Moved!

I moved my blog on New Years Day, 2010. If you haven't come to see my new blog, head on over HERE now. This blog will be available for archive reading but I won't be posting here anymore. I hope you'll join me at my new bloggy home!

p.s. I am slowly but surely moving all the blogs I follow over to the new blog, so if I haven't come to visit you for a while, my advice is to leave a comment on my new blog, so I don't miss you in the shuffle!

About Me

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I am a bereaved mother and wife. I began this blog to help me look for the "good things" in life after my daughter, "Babybear", died in July 2005. Three years later, her daddy, my husband, "Bear", died in November 2008. (You'll find a link to their stories on my blog) And now, as difficult as it is, I continue to look for the good things in my life as I learn my new normal with my pup, "Furrybear", at my side. And the angels on my shoulder...

Monday, July 28, 2008

Walking With Em

Emma has had 3 in-home lessons so far. We are absolutely amazed by the results of her training. There are only 2 more lessons left, so I am looking forward to seeing how much more we can achieve.

  • She rarely barks anymore. Before her barks were very guard-dogish and often unnecessary. Now, she still barks in play, or to let us know she needs to go out potty. Sometimes she will bark once and then stop herself, which means she is thinking, not just acting.
  • Emma is learning how to control her energy or put it to use in different ways. For example, instead of running hard around the house, trying to get us to chase her, she will get a bone and chew it.
  • Emma finally understands the concept of Fetch!
  • She waits at the top (or the bottom) of the stairs until we have gone up or down and give her permission to join us.
  • She now waits. And Stays (most of the time).
  • She almost always comes when she is called.
  • She rarely has to be forced in her kennel.
  • She will lay nicely on her mat for longer periods of time.
  • Emma is more relaxed and not so hyper
  • She is learning how to walk nicely (we just started this)
  • She is learning who the Alpha Dogs are in this house, and it's not her!
  • She can sit on command (has always been good at this one), go down on command (was decent with this before) and now can sit, down, sit, down in succession.
  • Emma has not been jumping up on the couch or bed for the most part. In almost a month, she has only been caught on the couch twice, and on the bed twice. Not bad for a pup who practically lived on the furniture prior to starting the lessons.
  • She can catch. (I had already taught her this, but it is improving)
  • She is learning to greet people at the door in a less hyper way.

It is still a work in progress. In fact, it will be life-long learning. The trainer said it this way, "her whole life will be training, she will be in training mode for the rest of her life".

I am still a little bit nervous about the pinch collar. It pinches the back of her neck the way a mommy dog would grab her baby if she was doing something wrong. Emma does not seem to be reacting in pain (with exception of one time when she first had it on and tried to run full force ahead of my husband). She generally tries to avoid being pinched, which is really the point of it all anyway.

The trainer was here yesterday and she seemed amazed at how quickly Emma is grasping some of the concepts. One of the things we do is something called Wolf Rollover. It is when we will stop her, roll her over onto her back and hold her down with gentle but firm pressure, to show her that we are bigger than her, stronger than her, we could kill her if we want to, we can manipulate her body. This is to show her we are the Alpha dogs in this house. The very first day the trainer had us do this, Emma succumbed to it almost right away. She told us that some people have to wear hockey equipment because their dogs fight it so much!

On the whole, we are happy with the progress, and I hope this will be a lifelong thing.

Below is a video I took last week when we were practicing "Follow" (walking) in the park that is immediately behind our house. Note: Outside the view of the video, the neighbor's boys were playing in the park and she never even barked at them. She usually, runs at them, eager to join them in play. Their mom was right there and she couldn't believe Emma wasn't barking at the kids!

I'm so proud of Emma!


Jo said...

Wow! She's such a good girl!!!!

Good job you guys! I can tell you ALL have been working hard :)

Congratulations! You definitely need to post her graduation pictures :)

Anonymous said...

wow, she is learning quickly! I know quite a few dogs that could learn these lessons. :)

Jen Sue Wild said...

Good job Emma!!
Great work Teri it takes a lot of disaplen to train a dog!! I am very impressed.