'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

Saturday, 10 September 2011

The Ongoing Saga of a Puppy and a Girl.

I've mentioned before about the relationship between Lola and my friend Kelly, and it's getting better all the time.

K came around yesterday and slept over. Lola growled a little when she first came in--but that was just one growl, and I think it was before she realised who it was (she's growled softly at my mum and similar before, when she's uncertain about who has come through the door), but she even wagged her tail a little as she moved to investigate.

L still doesn't want Kelly to touch her really (though she did allow K to pet her once, briefly, before she moved away), but with her meal last night I used shaping, luring and just verbal cues to get her repeatedly to jump up onto K's lap. She wasn't 100% relaxed about it, but she laid down on K's lap for a few seconds between kibble deliveries, and only jumped off when Kelly moved to touch her. Things that happen very much have to be On Lola's Terms.

Aside from growling at Kelly's arrival, Lola only grumbled twice more: once briefly when Kelly first appeared this morning (as we'd gotten up an hour or so beforehand - I think Lola forgot she was there) and once for a more extended period of time after K had showered. I guess her smell had changed, and it unnerved Lola for a couple of minutes before she dared to approach her.

Lola repeatedly offered some very nice behaviours: sniffing Kelly, wagging her tail at her, calmly meeting her gaze, not skittering away if K moved toward her, not growling if she stood up, etc. Their relationship still isn't perfect, but it's definitely coming on in leaps and bounds.

And I think all the work is helping Lola even more in daily, outdoors situations, too. An hour or so ago, when me and Lola accompanied K to the train station, there was a large black labrador on the other side of the road. Lola was very much aroused by its presence--tail right up and curved, hackles raised--but she didn't bounce too much (just once), and didn't vocalise at all. Good girl.

1 comment:

Sara said...

Yes, good girl Lola! You are becoming braver everyday!