Lacey’s training resumes September 6, when her boy starts school. She will start with two one-hour sessions per week to identify tasks needing work and to resolve problem behaviors. Tanya and Matt have been working hard with Lacey – and it shows – but there are still some areas that need attention.
I recently spent some time with Tanya and Matt in their home, and I observed that not only is Lacey disobeying, she is also continuing to vocalize, especially when corrected. This vocalization is not a result of confusion or uncertainty about what she’s being asked to do; it is the outcome of being given commands incorrectly, as well as a lack of follow-through on corrections. Lacey has learned to use vocalization as a means of getting her own way, and she can be very loud about it – like a human child throwing a temper tantrum and screaming or otherwise raising their voice. It is frustrating for both Tanya and Matt, as they are renters and they can’t risk getting noise complaints.
So, during my visits with Tanya and Matt, I spent some time working with Lacey to curb that behavior. Lacey has always responded faster, more quietly, and with less vocalization when she is corrected with just energy and body language. From the start of her training, this is something I have tried to teach Tanya and Matt. But when she vocalizes, she is very loud; it can be difficult to deal with that when there is always a concern about noise complaints hanging over one’s head. I am confident, however, that Tanya and Matt are ready and able to do things the right way, now.
Lacey has a long way to go because of her vocalization issues. But, aside from that, it is very apparent that Tanya and Matt have been working with her. She has made tremendous progress and I know that once her obedience and vocalization issues are resolved, she will be ready for the next phase of her training and development as an emotional support dog.