Board and Train: Storm, Day 1

Storm has had a very eventful day. She has left everything familiar to her to spend a week with me in an unfamiliar environment full of sounds, smells, and sights she’s never experienced before. Then, she was introduced to a dog and cat she’s never met before, and she has to learn how to control her excitement so that they will at least allow her to sniff them. Finally, she was introduced to an unfamiliar kennel in which she will spend her nights while she’s with me. Yes, it has been quite the eventful day for Miss Storm.

From the moment I took her leash, Storm’s boot-camp training began. She is so overloaded with excess energy that she gets destructive if she’s not redirected to something challenging but fun. Storm is definitely a working dog in the making, so I’ll be teaching her some jobs that she can do when she goes home. She’s also teething; when her mouth is hurting, she goes for anything she can get her mouth on to alleviate the discomfort. Heavy-duty Kong toys, as well as ice cubes, are coming in handy.

Supper was an interesting event. Storm was asked to sit and wait for Glimmer and Violet to be served. She tried, but she lost interest in her own food and wanted to investigate theirs. It took a good two minutes to get and hold her attention for even a 1-count. Even when she was given the okay to eat, she wanted to investigate Glimmer’s food. It’s important that Storm learns to ignore other animals when they’re eating and just focus on her own food, because she lives with two cats and she has a bad habit of going for their food at every opportunity.

After supper, we took both Storm and Glimmer out for a walk. It was their first walk together. It was also a real eye-opener for me. Storm was pulling and weaving so much that she nearly tangled herself around my legs more than once. During the entire 20-minute walk, I spent most of it having to stop and recall her to help her learn how to walk nicely. She finally started to relax and pull less during the last five minutes. She definitely needs help walking nicely on leash.

 

We spent a great deal of time outside today. Along with all her other lessons, Storm is also being housebroken. What she has taught me on this first day is that she values touch and verbal praise above food or toys. She has no trouble accepting food or toys, but what means the most to her is affection. She will do – or try to do – anything for affection.  This is excellent, because this creates a very deep bond of respect, trust, and loyalty between a dog and their humans, which is what Storm’s people are striving to achieve with her.

Storm is done. Exhausted. Drained out. Happy. She’s had a very eventful day today. Here’s hoping she sleeps through the night in the kennel…

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