Shalimar has been with us for 3 weeks & is adjusting beautifully! It's so nice to have a dog back in the family again. (Our last dog, Bailey, was a150lb Lab/Irish Wolfhound Mix that lived to about age 14.) Shalimar or "Shallie" is a quick learner & very good natured. We've been to 2 training classes with Peggy Moran. Boy! Did I forget a lot! It's really training people to read dog behavior & learning how to respond. We've had to stop ourselves from saying "no" or "off" & looking for ways to positively reinforce good behavior. Naming the behaviors (i.e.: "jump!") is so much easier than yelling OFF at a sweet puppy. If it continues we're getting better at just crowding her out, so she has to get off of us. We're looking for ways to remove possibilities for negative behavior. Shalimar has caught & killed 2 young birds & almost got another one this morning. (Flight school for these young birds has GOT to move along faster!) To keep her from the birds, she's had to be leashed even though we have a large fenced back yard & for now we stay away from the nests. It defeats all training to be running behind her yelling "NO, NO, NO! while she's happily racing & jumping in the air to catch a bird & completely ignoring me. (Yes, this is what I did.) I need to ask Peggy what else we can do. This is her natural response to wild life with a natural chase instinct, but we need to have live baby birds.
We've been working with her on green light with giving her small treats & she's catching on that she needs to make eye contact before receiving the treat. We're also taking her to places to expose her to people, cars, & different sights and sounds with a controlled environment. Dairy Hut (Oswego's hometown version of Dairy Queen) is busy with loads of people & sometimes another dog to practice some training. She's very popular, so it works great to tell people that she has to sit to be petted. She gets special doggy ice cream with a bone in it, so cars driving on the nearby street aren't a reason to freak out & run crazily, but to settle and get some doggy ice cream. We don't use food much in training & most of the time she's not big on food as a motivation factor. (except Dairy Hut's special doggie ice cream. It's the best treat around.) The biggest difference has been to give her the long stroke kind of petting~like mom did instead of scratching behind the ears~like a canine sibling did to get play started. That has settled her more than anything.