Thursday, January 27, 2011

Training with Juneau

Yesterday was the first day in a couple of weeks that we left Juneau and Casey alone together in the same area.  I was so nervous all day at work and constantly checked our living room camera feed to see if they were having any problems.  There were various times they were off-camera, so I could only imagine what was going on!  Meezy and I worked hard over the past few days to get them socializing again.  We had to correct Casey numerous times verbally or with bitter apple spray, so I wasn't entirely confident that they would get along unsupervised.  When I saw this setup halfway through the day, I knew things were looking up:

Casey and Juneau on the same couch

I was so thrilled to come home and find no bloodshed!  It was such a pain having to segregate those dogs all the time, and it's a big weight off my shoulders to not have to worry about them anymore.  Last night they interacted some, but more often than not just ignored each other.  That is perfectly fine with us!  They don't need to be bffs, they just need to be able to co-exist without getting into fights.

After dinner, we went over the skills Juneau had learned in her two weeks of training.  She is responding very well to our commands, and we're confident things are only going to get better.  For now we do everything on her training leash, without the other dogs around.  As time passes, we'll start working on the skills off-leash, and with distractions.  We have our first follow-up session with the trainers at K-9 University this weekend.  We'll probably go over everything she's learned, and then start working on a new command.  Here's what we worked on last night:

You can see that she handles all the commands well, but hesitates a little bit on "down."  She knows exactly what we're asking her to do when we say it, but she's not too thrilled about it.  You can see that she slowly and reluctantly lowers herself to the ground. It's actually kinda comical for Meezy and I when we observe it, because we know that it's not a matter of understanding; it's a matter of willingness!  It takes a tug of the leash and a firm "No" for her to comply sometimes, but it'll get better!

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