Peach: Day 11

It’s very difficult to get photos and videos of this girl. She’s very much a puppy who just wants to play all the time, and her ability to hold any position for longer than a couple of heartbeats is an ongoing challenge. I’m grateful for her owners’ patience; I promised them lots of pictures and videos, but I haven’t delivered on that promise very well.

Peach has recovered completely from yesterday’s bout of diarrhea. No ill after-effects, either. We just came in from a potty break, and her poop was its normal form and color.

Today, I’m working Miss Peach outside on a 12-inch training leash. Every time she goes outside, the first thing she does is drop her nose to the ground to sniff out – and try to eat – anything that smells good to her. The 12-inch training leash prevents her from doing that and forces her to start paying attention to what’s around her and to what I’m doing and where I’m going. She’s still disconnecting when she’s outside, and the short leash is helping to change that. It’s slow change, but it’s change, none the less. I’m also going to take her to the pet store to have her fitted for a cage muzzle as an extra preventative measure. She’ll be able to eat and drink what I give her, but she won’t be able to get anything from the ground. It’s a necessary safety measure until the behaviour stops.

Yesterday, Peach was introduced to the “place” cot. It’s too small for her, but she did an awesome job trying to fit her very large body onto it for a sit position. Glimmer participated in the exercise to show Peach what to do, but Peach wasn’t interested in watching her. When Glimmer was on the place cot, Peach completely ignored her and looked at other things or checked the dining room to see if Violet was around.

We had a huge achievement with the treadmill. I was so excited I could hardly contain myself. I had Peach go on and off the tread while it wasn’t moving; she did fine with that – to her, it’s just an obstacle she has to go over to get to somewhere else. But when I started it while she was on it, Peach was like, “Not a chance!” and she would jump off. The idea occurred to me to put my arms underneath her to support her belly and chest, and put my body against her side to give her a sense of stability while the tread moved. It was bang on. Peach stayed on the moving tread for about 30 seconds before she just couldn’t handle it anymore. Yay, Peach! 🙂

Using a treadmill is a great way to exercise a dog physically as well as mentally. The dog has to focus on staying upright on a moving object that isn’t actually going anywhere. The amount of energy that requires is tremendous, and after a good 15- or 20-minute “walk” or “run”, the dog has no energy left to get themselves into trouble. Treadmills are awesome for dogs that get bored easily, or they’re destructive because they’re bored, or the weather is too cold to walk them. Treadmills are also a great way to build trust bonds with the dog. It’s a narrow space that moves; the dog has to trust you to keep him or her safe. 🙂

Peach needs a lot of work with outdoor etiquette and dog to dog interaction. But, she’s doing better than she was when she arrived 11 days ago. Peach is a very independent, often stubborn girl, and she’s made it quite clear that she’s not going to just lay down and willingly accept rules, boundaries, and limitations. She still jumps at us when she doesn’t get her own way, but she’s quicker to settle when she’s corrected. She’s still trying to chase Violet to play with her, but she’s quicker to recall when she’s denied. She’s even started to tune in to the martingale collar when she pulls; she feels the pressure, and she changes her position to relax it.

While Peach does have challenges that have to be addressed, overall, she’s actually been doing pretty good. It’s been very difficult for her to adjust to the introduction – and the enforcement – of rules, boundaries, and limitations, but she’s been trying really hard to adapt, and that’s what matters.

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


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