Posted 15 August 2017 - 09:57 AM
Posted 15 August 2017 - 03:20 PM
Today we took Lily and Zorro to see their "cousins," two happy labradoodles of a family member. Lily hasn't met them, but today was a warm day, they have a pool, and Lily has become very social at the dog park, so we went for it. I walked her around the block and my wife walked the younger, more mobile doodle and we met on leash. I remember thinking to myself, "wow, her loose-leash skills are really improving after just a few days of training with treats." When they met, there was a short uneventful hello and we all happily returned to the house with the pool.
Lily couldn't care less about the pool, but demonstrated her remarkable tunnel vision when it comes to squirrels when she tried to jump OVER the pool (rather than around it) when she saw a squirrel on the other side of the yard! To her credit, she made it about half way, and she seemed embarrassed but exhilarated by it once she got out. Soon after, she found crevice under the fence, crawled under, and went for a solo run around the neighborhood looking for squirrels. She ran partway through a pond after one, on the other side, and then eventually I caught up with her when she saw something through a chainlink fence that she couldn't scale. She never did come to me, perhaps sensing the anger I was trying to hide under my sweet pleas to come. My wife finally caught her and we went back. It's been several hours now, and she keeps wanting reassurance from me, but I find it hard to want to provide that, and afraid to be close enough to her that she senses my irritation.
I think we've been taking too much comfort in her other progress, so that we've put off "leave it" and other impulse control training in the hopes that some of that will be easier to manage as she acclimates and matures in this new life. I think we need to put more focus onto that sort of training. What a bummer, it could have been a pretty fun day.
Posted 17 August 2017 - 08:12 AM
Ouch! I bet that running off felt like a major betrayal!
I don't know if you have noticed, but squirrels like to tease dogs and I am not joking here. I have seen them doing that to Zag. They sit up in a tree and get as close as they can and sit there and chuckle at the dog. I am positive it is a two-way relationship involving antagonization from the tree climbing side. Zag likes to chase them away from the bird feeder. He goes out the door at full speed to run at them and this has become such a habit that he won't notice if there is one off to the side of his path. It is a game to him.
One day my husband found a dead squirrel in the yard. I could remember from that time that Zag had been acting "odd."
I think he got hold of one and killed it. (It didn't really look malled, but what else could have happened?) I don't think he liked this at all. I don't think he tries too hard to get them anymore.
Posted 17 August 2017 - 08:22 AM
When I tell Zag "Its the TV" I do it with the tone of "Its nothing, relax." What I was suggesting when I mentioned my "Boom" thing was that with your male voice you want to pull back a bit when you say "Boom" so you don't scare your dog with your voice.
I have found it handy with the reacting to loud noises that since I identify most of them with "Boom" my dog seems to take comfort and reassurance quite reliably.
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