Skylar: Week 1

Skylar’s progress has been phenomenal this first week in the program. Here’s where we’re at after one week:

Excessive barking, reactivity to people hugging, unexpected sounds and/or movement:  vastly improved across the board. No longer auto-reacts to these stimuli. Waits for direction, then follows instructions.

Reactivity to loud noises:  excellent progress with stimuli employed [dropped cans, etc.] so far. No longer barks, no longer gets fearful or overly excited.

Eating:  vastly improved – calmer, gentler when taking food from my hand; calm and quiet when waiting for food to be offered to her.

Kennel: no resistance, associates it with calmness and relaxation.

Treadmill: asks for time on it by going to it and nosing the lead associated with it; no expectations of food rewards.

Overall manners:  vastly improved. Skylar still tries to horn in when food treats are being offered, but no longer barks or practices the intensity she had at the start of the program.

Observation Notes

Since starting her on the treadmill, as well as engaging her in play, the issues Skylar came into the program with have either resolved, or dramatically decreased. Providing her with sufficient physical and mental exercise has helped her become more confident, less stressed, and significantly less reactive to sound and movement. She is thinking things through more often and making much wiser choices, and she is looking for direction more often when she is feeling uncertain about a situation.

Skylar has also been showing a high level of compassion and caring. I have been very ill with bronchitis and a chest infection for the past few days, and not only has she been taking turns with Glimmer to watch over me while I’ve slept, but, according to my husband, she’s been alerting him when she’s detected negative changes in my breathing. This, from a dog who, just seven days ago, was highly reactive to everything and extremely wary of human touch… It is nothing short of amazing.

All across the board, Skylar has been making tremendous progress. She is playful, loving, caring, compassionate, and she is becoming a happier, much more relaxed dog. As my recovery continues, I will be working with her on more of her triggers [e.g. the vacuum], teaching her to control her alerts, increasing her time on the treadmill, and more. For now, I’m just taking each situation as it occurs.


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