Day 3 in the program, and Skylar is beginning to show me more of her personality, her needs, and what does and doesn’t work for her. She’s showing me her thresholds with sound and movement, and she’s showing me how I can best help her control her reactions but still feed her breed.
For Day 3, Skylar was introduced to the treadmill. She’s never used one before, and anyone who does use one knows that it uses muscles that aren’t normally called into play on an actual walk. Because of this, it was important to ease Skylar into using the machine – first, by introducing her to it properly, and then, teaching her how to “walk” on it at its lowest setting. Glimmer was a tremendous help with this exercise; she showed Skylar what to do and how to do it.
To my surprise, Skylar took to the treadmill like a duck takes to water. Even more surprising was that she enjoyed it so much that even when she was finally too pooped to pop, flopped out on the tread after the machine was turned off. The machine became her new best friend. 😀
Today – Day 4 – we’re going to be doing more treadmill work [because it’s still too cold to get out for a real walk] as well as more work with sounds and movements.
Overall, Skylar is making great progress all across the board. Her uncontrolled barking is rapidly decreasing and her excitement levels are slowly but steadily beginning to become more balanced as she learns to control herself. It must be remembered that [a] she is still a young dog – only 2 years old, and [b] she’s a Sheltie, which means her instincts and her need to alert are very strong and they must be accommodated. Teaching her how to alert and when to stop is the most challenging task in front of me, but Skylar is extremely smart and she learns very quickly. I have no doubt that she will learn to self-regulate fairly quickly, too.