'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

Monday, 18 July 2011

Continuation: Second Week.

Despite not going out yesterday with Lola, and the day before being not so great because of the weather, the pup was great today! We did both the waiting on the yard at school let-out time and a trip to town (later, from about 6:15-6:45pm, due to the weather), and she was so good.

At the school time, rather than have her side-on and on my lap, I was crouched beside her on the floor as she laid with her back to the school. And it worked pretty well. She startled up about six times - one for a motorbike literally three metres away (the guy was stood there for about a minute, and then revved it crazily) and one for a car door slamming loudly. The other four times were for kids yelling, running past, etc. I hadn't checked before, but I think her average for startling up from the kong when side-on on my lap is about the same amount of times a session. So she didn't seem bothered by my experiment, but nor did it seem to help or hinder. I'm not sure what I'll be doing on Wednesday.

When we went out to town, there were some young girls close to us quite quickly. She dealt well with it, consistently looking back to me after glancing at them, and I got us away as soon as possible, only to walk into two cats chasing each other. One sat at the entrance to a garden, crying after the other, and Lola was intensely honed in on it; ears fully pricked, body leaning forward (on a loose leash though), perfectly still. I snapped her focus by moving into her line of sight, and she immediately relaxed. I marked and rewarded a couple times for eye contact, and was then pleased when, when I cued her to down, she instantly obeyed. Good girl.

Apparently our impromptu BAT sessions with any dog I see are helping--it's definitely better right now than just clicking her for watching me/them. She noticed and didn't aggressively react to: a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, a Staffordshire Bull Terrier (connected to his owner's bike), a Retriever cross, an English Bull Terrier and another Staffordshire Bull Terrier, which was walking off lead on the main (busy!) road. For the final one, I immediately walked the other way when I got Lola's attention, because I didn't want to entice it to run over to see us. The owner shouted across that 'ASBO' wouldn't cross... and then immediately after, his dog ran into the road. Thankfully, it listened after he screeched after it, and returned to him just before a car went wizzing past.

On the way home, two of the three earlier young girls were present, and both of them honed in on Lola and started staring at her, squealing and cooing at her. She was obviously alarmed, and when I heard one of them say, "Shall we go see the puppy?" I quickly had to move even moreso between her and them. I clicked a couple times for watching me, interrupted a potential reactive outburst (she bounced forward, which is something she often does right before barking) by stepping in front of her, and then clicked for disengagement from the kids and we ran away, as if we ourselves were little girls.

1 comment:

Sara said...

Great job! Lola is learning that you will handle all situations, so she is free to remain calm.