Basic Training

Good Monday to everyone.  We have a full schedule ahead today, working on the following lessons:

— recall (short leash and long leash)

— sit, stay, down, sit/stay, down/stay

— interruption/comfort (interrupting harmful physical behavior and giving calm comfort)

— heel and heel/sit/stay

— alerting for potty (Lacey is 14 weeks old now and she is still not alerting when she has to potty)

With regard to the alerting for potty issue, I am picking up some counter bells today. I’ve been working with a jingle bell, but it isn’t having the desired effect.  Lacey is 14 weeks old now; she should be completely housebroken, but she isn’t. And she is still not alerting when she has to potty.  I’m picking up the counter bells today because I’m thinking the jingle bell might be a bit too difficult for her to use.  Counter bells are very easy to use and they can be placed pretty much anywhere. So, using the counter bell, as well as the clicker and high-value food rewards, I’m hoping to resolve the housebreaking trouble once and for all.

Note: Generally speaking, Lacey only has her “accidents” on carpet, not linoleum.  At her forever family’s home, where most of the flooring is bare linoleum, she rarely has in-house accidents.  In my home, where most of the flooring is carpeted, the opposite is the case.  She goes inside more than she goes outside.  I don’t know if she thinks the carpet is like grass, or what the deal is.

Where manners are concerned, Lacey is finally starting to show some improvement.  Since allowing Glimmer to help me with the correction aspect of things, Lacey has slowly started to connect that her behavior is unacceptable.  On the down-side of this, however, her behavior towards Violet is not improving. Instead, she is taking hold of Violet and trying to shake her like she’s a rag doll.  Corrections are swift and very firm – and she is immediately removed from Violet – when she does this, but she is not connecting the correction to her bad behavior.  At least, not yet.  This is a concern to me, as Violet refuses to defend herself and teach Lacey that her behavior is harmful and unacceptable.  Violet is half-feral and has no problem at all using her claws and teeth when she’s dealing with humans who won’t leave her alone; I don’t understand why she won’t do the same when Lacey takes hold of her so roughly.  So, I supervise their play very closely, and when I need to interrupt, I do so quickly and firmly.

Lacey is definitely a work in progress, and though it might seem like she’s presenting a lot more problems than good points, she’s actually a very smart little puppy who genuinely wants to please her humans.  When we are working, she works very hard and she tries very hard to earn her rewards.  She is a very compassionate puppy with an instinctive drive to comfort and reassure anyone who is in distress.  She is funny – she makes us laugh every day – she is loving and caring…  Really, Lacey is a wonderful little girl who brings joy and laughter to everyone she meets. Yes, she is a challenge, but when the time comes for her to begin her life as a full-time Support dog, she’s going to show everyone that she’s been well worth fighting for.

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