When we first got her, she had basically just seen a few people in her life, no stairs, elevator, car, toys, other pets etc. She exhibited such fear the first few days and weeks. It has gradually diminished. Our first big outing was a walk to the mail box a block away. It was one of those collective type so it was a big object by the side of the road and I spent quite a bit of time letting her explore the area and sniff boxes. Come to think of it, she probably got to know all of our neighbor’s scents in one shot.
Taking time to Observe-
I have a long leash that attaches to my waist. When I am needing to concentrate on a specific behavior I just let that dog become my shadow and they follow me around. It gives me a lot of opportunity to observe and plenty of opportunities to use positive reinforcement. Like I mentioned before, sometimes a dog isn’t treat motivated but it’s the enthusiastic praise that is the key. Normally I am a quiet person so everyone gets a kick out of me being all loud and excitedly praising her. Observation is such a key as each dog is so different and as you spend extended periods with them and get to know their personality and what works- you can speed up the process.
She loves to carry things in her mouth and having something, seems to calm her down. We will take her to the pet store to let her choose her own favorite toys. Hopefully she won’t be overwhelmed. She does seem to enjoy deer antler pieces as chews.
She has a beautiful coat and seems to always look nice. I have taken lots of time to groom her just to have the bonding experience. She just seems to love to be groomed and fussed over. She loves the bathing mitt. My 2 poodles endure the grooming but Lizzy seems to crave it. She has such a love of water that I cannot be watering the flowers or filling my water pots, without putting her up first. She just has to have her nose in the flow.
All in all, she has changed tremendously in her short time here.
Next we will discuss her interaction with the kids…..