Princess: Day 4

Life has been busy since Princess arrived in our house a few days ago. I apologize for not updating before now. I’ve needed the time to observe her and determine her obedience and behavioral needs. I’m happy to say that while she definitely needs obedience training, behaviorally speaking, she really is a gem. She’s very affectionate, she’s playful, she’s very good about giving space to Glimmer and Violet, and when corrected for an unwanted behavior [she has a habit of putting her nose on the counter to sniff at things], she responds immediately and calmly.

Where basic obedience is concerned, Princess has to start with the most basic lesson: learning how to focus. She is doing very well with “sit”, “stay”, “wait”, and “place” commands, but she has a lot of trouble staying focused and holding the position. Thankfully, this is where Violet and Glimmer have provided tremendous assistance; Violet is a wonderful distraction, and Glimmer shows Princess how to maintain eye contact despite that distraction. However, Princess is starting to learn how to watch and then mimic Glimmer; she is very food motivated, so treats are used to catch her attention, hold it, and then show her what is being asked of her.

Since her arrival, Princess has had no in-house accidents. She is not alerting yet, because I’ve been getting her outside every couple of hours, but that will be changing in the next couple of days; I’ll be teaching her to paw at the door. I may also teach her to bark once or twice as reinforcement so that her forever family [when they find her] will understand what she’s asking.

Princess has been doing excellent with the kennel. Initially, she refused to have anything to do with it. But half an hour of conditioning her to it with treats, and she was fine. She goes into it calmly, and she’s calm and relaxed for the duration.

Overall, Princess has been doing very well these past few days. She has presented quite a bit of insecurity by either following us from one room or space to another, or by literally being underfoot when we’re trying to get things done around the house. However, she is starting to learn that we’re never far away, and that if we do happen to be out of her sight, it’s never for very long. We always come back. As a result, she’s starting to relax, which in turn is creating a decrease in her tendency to literally dog our heels.

Today we’re going to start leash work. Princess doesn’t seem to recognize the leash even as a restraint. It’s as if it doesn’t even exist for her. She pulls extremely hard to go somewhere, but she isn’t making the connection that the leash is preventing her from doing that. So I need to introduce her to it, help her make the connection between it and the handler [in this case, me], and then help her learn how to work with it instead of against it.

Have a great day, and remember: Stay calm and lead on.

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