The larger kennel made a positive difference. Initially, Peach refused to go into it. But after a few minutes of protesting, she surrendered. She’s slowly learning that the kennel is a bedtime ritual, and that it’s not up for any kind of negotiation. She did get a bit vocal for a few minutes after the door was closed, but once I came to bed not long afterwards, she settled down – and, she slept almost all night.
Since her arrival three days ago, Peach has been on a leash at all times. Everywhere I go, Peach goes. This is an important part of helping her learn that she no longer gets to make decisions. It’s also the first step in teaching her how to walk nicely on the leash. She’s actually been doing really well with this exercise; in the hallway – which is quite narrow – Peach stays very close to my side and she doesn’t pull even a tiny bit. She looks to me for guidance and direction, and she doesn’t move unless I move.
Day 3 was spent working on leash manners both inside and outside. As mentioned, Peach is really good in the house, but outside is a totally different story. Outside, she completely ignores her handler and does her own thing. This is one of the issues her owners have had with her that they’ve asked me to fix. I have also introduced Peach to the hands-free leash system, a 3-foot leash with clasps at both ends. One end clips to the dog’s collar, the other hooks to a ring on a waist belt. This system is designed to help the dog learn how to walk nicely on leash – it can’t pull ahead or weave from left to right. It’s also used when the handler’s energy is unstable [maybe the human is having a rough day and gets frustrated quickly], so the dog doesn’t receive that energy through the leash.
We also started working on basic obedience, starting with the “sit”, “stay”, and “wait” commands. I started with these, because these are the commands I’ve been using with Peach at mealtimes, and at the door. She does really good with the food, but she definitely needs a lot of work on her door manners. I’m also working on getting her to stop butt and crotch sniffing – an almost compulsive tendency she has with both humans and with Glimmer. She is constantly shoving her nose into sensitive places…
All in all, Day 3 was a good day with Miss Peach. She loves being outdoors, and the weaving and pulling on the leash is slowly starting to ease up. She’s also learning to share affection with Glimmer. Initially, Peach tended to use her body to move Glimmer out of the way so she could get all the attention. But, she’s slowly learning that sharing earns her the affection she wants, so it’s all good.
Peach does have some tendencies that may have been cute when she was small, but they’re rapidly turning into annoyances as she grows bigger and heavier. The biggest challenge is her excitement. She can handle a very small amount of affection and stay calm about it, but then she becomes very excited and shoves her body and her face against us to lick. Giving gentle kisses is one thing, but being prevented from moving by a 65-pound dog who wants to clean every inch of your face is quite another, and it’s not appropriate. So, I’m working on teaching Peach how to give affection much more appropriately. She’s a puppy, though, and she has no body awareness at all. But, she’ll learn…. 🙂