'Not only is punishment risky, but it also fails to teach the dog an acceptable alternate behaviour. The dog does not learn what to do the next time he is in the same situation. He only learns to fear the situation.' Emma Parsons, Click to Calm p73

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Big Day, Small Dog.

The foot and leg in this picture don't belong to me!

Today started out very well! I got ready and out with Lola nice and early (about 9am-9:50am) for her socialisation walk, and although she huffed once, she didn't bark, lunge, snarl, growl, raise her hackles, or anything throughout the walk. She broke a down-stay once when a pram went past about a foot away, and although she shied away, she didn't lunge at the pram or anything. She also dealt with the usual kids, loud people, etc, and also stayed quiet when a man stopped me to inform me that I was 'spoiling my dog.' I sort of smiled all non-committal and left.

Shortly after we got back from that walk, we went out for an hour or so walk at the park, to thoroughly exhaust her. Nothing of major note happened--other than having to stop every seven or eight minutes to force Lola to have a break and drink in the shade, as it was so lovely and hot!--except for when we were leaving. An elderly woman was sat on a nearby bench with a shitzhu and two little kids, and when the kids saw Lola they made a beeline for her. I called her quickly to me, and walked away without looking back, ball in hand, and Lola followed happily. They didn't stop following us until I actually left the park, which was infuriating - if you're looking after children, WHY would you let them walk after someone who is obviously trying to get away? Some people!

When Kelly arrived, Lola was in her crate with a kong, as I wanted to keep her awake and working at something for as long as possible. She barked a lot, and even continued barking when I put her in the kitchen to calm down. When she finally shut up, I let her out, she barked, she went back in, and then when she came out again she was quiet. We left to go to the shops shortly after that, and upon our return Lola barked once at her (after barking and yapping and squeaking at me), but was silent as soon as I told her, 'that's enough.'

After we'd sat down, Lola leapt up onto my lap and fell asleep, pretty much immediately. She was really good after that, until me and Kelly took her out to the park for a walk at around 2:30pm-4pm. Kelly had thrown the ball for her a couple of times, but Lola once dropped it about three metres away. Kelly told her to bring it closer, and Lola growled very softly and moved away from her. But other than that, during the walk she was fine - running past my friend, moving near her, letting her take and throw the ball (with the chuck-it ball launcher) and even occasionally fetching it back to her, rather than default fetching to me.

We went home, and Lola slept on my chair whilst I made food. Kelly was sat about a foot away, with her legs dangling near Lola, and yet Lola made the decision to get up on that chair and settle down there. That was nice. She did growl at her once more, just before she left, as we'd both gotten up suddenly, and Kelly was moving pretty fast; Lola gave a quick growl and fled upstairs when K moved toward her. Not so great--but it was a growl and retreat, thankfully not a growl and lunge, so I'll accept that for now.


Sara said...

What a busy day! Having your friend "play" with Lola was a great idea. She will learn that other people can be fun too.

An English Shepherd said...

Sounds like a good day out :-)