Peach’s second night sleeping in the kennel was a bit better. She did resist going in, and she did get vocal, but when she did vocalize, it was only for a minute or two and then she gave up and went to sleep. All in all, the second night was better than the first.
Peach did really good with the breakfast ritual. She’s already figured out that she must sit and wait calmly, she’s making very good eye contact without being asked, and she’s doing much better with waiting for permission to take her food. She is starting to understand that food is a high-value reward and that she has to earn it by practicing calmness, patience, and respect.
Peach had her first excursion in my car. She was a bit fidgety because she’s a large dog and she was trying to find a comfortable position. My car is smaller than what she’s used to, so I could understand that. Other than that, though, she was really good; she just calmly watched life happening through the windows. When I got her to Pisces, that was a different adventure altogether.
Peach was a bit reactive to other dogs. She was in an unfamiliar place loaded with all kinds of new smells, sounds, and sights; seeing other dogs only amped up her nervousness and excitement. However, she did an awesome job of allowing me to redirect her away from them every time I felt her body tense – which was within about 3 seconds of her seeing the other dogs. I’m going to be working her more often on this to help desensitize her and encourage a calmer state.
Fitting her for the new martingale collar wasn’t too difficult. She doesn’t like being fussed with, and to show me and the staff member who was helping me how she felt, Peach just laid down on the floor and put her head between her paws. This “passive resistance” made us laugh; she just laid there, her body language clearly saying, “Nope. Don’t want to.” LOL 😀
We spent just over an hour in the store, walking down different isles, navigating around people, giving lots of time for smelling. Peach met several people, and she did an awesome job of keeping her paws on the floor. She even met two children: One was a baby being held by her dad, the other was about 3 or 4 years old and quite interested in petting Peach. With the baby, Peach was extremely gentle; the father bent down just enough to allow Peach to smell the baby. She was very, very gentle, and she did not even try to jump up on them. With the toddler, she stayed very still so the little girl could pet her. She smelled the child calmly and quietly, she kept her feet on the floor, and then she asked to sniff the child’s visibly pregnant mother. Peach was absolutely amazing with this; even I was surprised at how careful she was maneuvering herself around the woman so she wouldn’t knock her over with her sheer size.
Peach now has a new, much larger kennel. She also has a proper travel harness so that I can secure her in the car. The supper ritual was fantastic; Peach is doing fantastic with the impulse control exercises. The rest of the evening was fairly relaxed; Peach is learning that being with Glimmer is a privilege she has to earn by being calm and not forcing herself on Glimmer. She and Violet are still working things out between them; Violet is an instigator, and Peach is learning to ignore Violet’s attempts to bait her into barking at or chasing her.
Overall, Day 2 was very productive, and I’m very pleased with Peach’s efforts to learn how to behave. She’s a good dog; she just needs more consistent structure so she can figure out her role in the family dynamic.