Monday, August 29, 2011

Overnight guests!

Furry Husband's buddy M and his standard Poodle dog came to stay with us on their way back to the Southern, Grand Mesa part of CO.

You can imagine what Furry and I thought once we found out that M was an hour away and we discovered for the first time he had his dog with him .....given Keenan's "Cujo persona" right now. 

I kept saying, "Oh, honey, it'll be fine."  with a bravado I'm not sure I felt.

Seriously tho'.  We have crates, we have halti's (gentle leader or head halter for dogs),there is the power of the ez cheese.  

Worst case scenario?  We kennel Keenan, and rotate dogs in and out for potty breaks etc.  Not like she would be out of our control or running loose to savage any one at any time.... it can be managed.

We started out introducing her to M when he arrived and leaving his dog in his car. 

Yes, Keenan reacts and at the same time, her reactions are less and she gets over them faster than she did.  Progress.  I'll take what I can get.... any move forward is A-OK with me.

I taught her this cool "trick".  I say "touch!" and she touches whatever it is near her.... I figure most people hold their hands out to dogs to sniff... could train this into a trick and it may help her with any fear she may have toward a new person.  (with people she is more fearful)

I wasn't sure if the trick would transfer over but if not, nothing was lost in teaching it. 

Turns out it does transfer!  Once she was sitting near M, I'd tell her "touch"... she'd reach over and touch his leg or his hand and look immediately to me for a treat.   Pretty cool.   Tho I think at one point she reached over and touched M's privates and I'm sure he was thinking... "Gawd I hope she doesn't react NOW".  

I think men are sort of particular when it comes to their testicular area.  

Once Keenan was comfortable around M, we brought his dog out and worked on getting her near and tolerating a strange dog.   We did the dance of near and far... putting pressure on her as we neared the new dog and as it became too much, backing off... rewarding her for relaxed, non-reactive behavior.... moving in close and backing off again, all the while inching closer and closer to this new dog. 

We got to a point that she could tolerate which was us standing near M close enough I could reach out and touch him or his dog.... still a dance of sorts because as M moved or his dog moved, spaces were infringed upon, looks were given, moving dogs and people are different than stationary dogs and people - the world is static and ever shifting, not stationary much to Keenan's dismay.

Through it all, Keenan has the halti on and I have her leash.  It's manageable.

We came indoors and kenneled Keenan while we ate dinner so we could relax.   We brought her back out after dinner and she tolerated the strange person and dog in our living room while laying down and remaining relaxed.... always on her leash and with her flexi.

I thought she did well considering. 

There was no blood and no loss of limb, testicles or life.

1 comment:

Funder said...

Touch is the most amazing thing I ever taught my horse. I think giving them the choice to touch something, plus the big reward is just a magical combination. My Lab Cersei ~kinda~ knows it but she's so sweet and easygoing that I've never needed to work with her all that much. Awesome to hear that it works so well with Keenan!