This week, regression, progress

Regression and progress? You bet!

First, I observed last week, on Facebook after I posted, that the puppy class trainer is one of those “We don’t use the word ‘dominant’ in this class” people. Dominance theory/wolf pack theory has been scientifically disproved. Which just goes to show that anything can be misinterpreted, including the words “dominant”, “leadership”, “pack”, etc. etc. But enough of that. I have my own opinions on that. Anyway, we don’t use the rod “dominant” but “a bit of a bully” is OK? Seems to me that “dominant” would perhaps have been more accurate. Just sayin’.

Starting backwards and working back, I guess. Puppy class, we finally, finally, got teaching “Leave it”, which is, IMO, kind of important. I actually like the way we did that, as in, “Your dog should never get the thing which you’re telling/teaching him to leave alone”. So she doesn’t like the cookie on the nose thing, and “Wait” might be more appropriate for a “You don’t get that thing until I tell you”. Whereas, “Leave it” would be for gross, dangerous, or just off limits things that you don’t want pup getting the idea he may get eventually. I think the lightbulb is starting to go off on this for her, but we’re just starting with it. It involves two treats: one that the dog has to eventually ignore, and another to reward for ignoring. I wonder if it makes a difference if the treats are the same thing or not? I think I may experiment with that.

One thing, OK, another thing, we really need to work on is riding in the car. Hilda seems to be a bit anxious about it. She gets in OK, or doesn’t fuss about being put in. But as we start to move, she is very restless. She whines and won’t stay still, wanting to climb up into my lap, or else somewhere at any rate, which is sometimes my lap. I’m really not sure how to get her more comfortable with this, apart from just doing it…I mean…I can’t exactly just take her for a car ride, or do it the usual way with brief exposures and going up and down the driveway and all that whenever I like, can I? But this is kind of an important thing for eventually.

We’ve got a pretty reliable sit and a nearly as reliable down now, which is fantastic. She’s even coming back more often when I call her if I drop her leash. The formal “Come”, dog at my left and sitting, is coming along slowly but surely, and walking on a loose leash is coming along even more slowly. Once I get her good at walking on a loose leash, I can start to see about walking her with Leno, a thing which has, so far, been kind of a disastrophe.

The regression? That’s a thing which Melanie I think wanted to kill me over. Last week, I had to run an errand, so I put the Beast in the crate upstairs, where she sleeps. It was morning, she had chew toys but not the food ball, I don’t think, because she had eaten not very long before. (Anyway, that only seems to help for a little bit.) Long story interesting, i was gone about two hours. And apparently, Hilda made her displeasure known by barking. Loudly. Constantly. For the whole two hours. With only brief, as in a couple minutes, breaks occasionally. However, she apparently stopped when I was about five minutes from home. Some would say this is proof positive of the psychic connection between humans and their critters. I leave that bit of speculation to you. Later in the week though, I had another thing to do, and this appeared to have been less of an issue again.

BTW, for those keeping score, according to the scale at home, that is, weighing me by myself and then e carrying Hilda, she weighs about 33 pounds. Sharon’s Freida is a couple pounds heavier. But she’s growing steadily, looks like she gains five pounds every couple weeks. Fortunately, this will slow down. Some day. She’s definitely going to be bigger than Leno though, she’s catching up to him in height already.

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