Abby: Three Weeks

What a turn-around Abby has made in just three weeks. She is learning to check in with Cindy, to wait for direction from her when they’re around other people, and best of all, she’s finally able to relax around her triggers. It’s only for a few moments, but three weeks ago, even one moment of relaxation was impossible for her. Cindy has definitely been putting in the time and effort with Abby, and it shows:

Abby’s progress has been nothing short of amazing over these past three weeks. While she is still pulling and weaving on walks, the intensity and frequency of that behavior has significantly decreased. Instead, she is following more, walking nicely on a loose leash, and she’s checking in with Cindy more often. She’s learning to engage with Cindy, tuning in to her energy and body language, and taking direction much better.

Cindy has made progress, too. Three weeks ago, she was greatly lacking in confidence. She was hesitant and uncertain, and she tended to allow Abby to make all the decisions. Three weeks later, Cindy is much more assertive, her follow-through on rewards and consequences has improved, and she is much calmer when Abby becomes anxious or overly excited.

Abby indicates her anxiety and frustration through jumping on Cindy and biting at the leash. However, over the past three weeks, these behaviors have decreased in frequency and duration. Abby has made great progress learning to focus – and stay focused – on Cindy, and she’s made huge progress with controlling her impulses.

Abby is still overly excited and demanding around food. She completely disengages and puts all her focus on it. She is so determined to get the food that she does whatever she thinks is necessary to get it. Some of her tactics include trying to counter-surf, harrying Cindy to make her drop the food, and crowding Cindy to the point where Cindy lifts the food above her head – which gives Abby an opening to jump at her in an effort to make Cindy drop it. As we move into Week Four, we’ll be addressing this issue.

Overall, Cindy and Abby have made tremendous progress over these past three weeks. They are learning to trust each other and work together, and I couldn’t be happier or more proud of them.

Stay tuned for more updates, have a great day, and remember to stay calm and lead on. 🙂


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