Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Walking Dogs

I'm still trying to recap our super fun month in Asheville, but it's taking some time.  Mainly because there's so much to say that I keep losing my focus.  But I'm working on it- because I want to preserve those precious memories for myself, here.

But today, I wanted to give a quick updated report on how Lucy and Ricky are doing now that they're back in boot camp.  I had written a post here about that monkey-like behaviors they expressed while on our trip, and how that was going to change.  We were going back to basics with dog training and we were going to fix this problem we had fallen into.

We've been doing fun, positive focus games- one puppy step at a time.  They're certainly not puppies anymore (although they still seem like it to me!).  They're actually so much easier to work with while we're "training" now that they're more mature.  This probably wouldn't be the case though if they hadn't had a lot of training as young dogs- so my hard work from back then paid off, even if we've lately gotten a little off track. But they focus easily, and they seem very eager to please.

Today, the four of us (Lucy, Ricky, Fermin and me) went for a walk.  First, Fermin and I took just Ricky.  Ricky is the most hyper when we take him out together somewhere.  I figured he needed the practice the most.  It was very low key.  So low key that after we walked about a mile and a half, Fermin asked if I wanted to swing back by the house and get Lucy.  So we did. This would be our first walk with the two of them together since our trip.

Fermin and Ricky continued walking past the house while I ran up and got Lucy.  They walked one direction and Lucy and I walked the other, and then we met up on the next block.  There was no crying, no howling, no pulling.  Just treats, treats and more treats dispensed by the dog walkers!  Our dogs are very food motivated, so they stayed very focused on that.  And once we all got together, everybody was calm.
hypnotized into good behavior by FOOD
After we all walked together for about a mile, Fermin and Ricky went home, and Lucy and I walked another mile or so.  And there was no drama.

I'm not saying they're perfect.  We still haven't had the distraction of seeing other dogs when all four of us are together.  But this is huge progress that the four of us could all walk together this morning, and even go opposite ways and walk on opposite sides of the street, without major drama.


Valerie said...

Glad to hear it's going well!!

Kerri said...

thanks, Valerie. hopefully next time you see them, they'll be perfect angels. ;)

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