The days are packed absolutely FULL! Today was 9:30 – 4:30, and I’m about toasted. I managed to “cue” her properly on Sit, but Come is a problem. I have to remember to touch her collar when she gets to me BEFORE I praise much less treat! There is a reason, but I have forgotten in the morass of other commands I’m trying to remember. Heel. Side. Watch me. Closer. Back. My Lap. Off. Leave it. Have it. Wait. OK. Let’s go. Place. Leash, Free time. Through. I THINK that’s all the commands we have as yet.
Emmy is a VERY intelligent dog, and she knows I’m not one of her “regular” people, so she is “testing” me and trying to get away with murder – especially with food on the floor. She is NOT supposed to eat anything off the floor without direct and positive permission. Emmy is a “chowhound,” as in a food-a-holic and is really motivated for food. This is very good for training purposes – she will do ANYTHING for food. BUT, she will also nose around and lick the floor where food has been and when treats are spread on the floor trying to get her attention away from them and walking her through them without her breaking attention and grabbing one or two is veeeerrrrryy interesting. I was a “bad mama” today, and didn’t notice her grabbing a couple of treats from the floor on more than one occasion! This is NOT good for my passing the ADI test next week! We’ll have to work on this a LOT in the next 7 days.
Emmy is absolutely beautiful, and is very fastidious. She likes clean feet, and when we’ve been outside, she wants to clean them to a “T.” I was worried at first, thinking she was “allergic licking” like Zoar used to. Zoar actually wore an ulcer on her paw from excessive licking. But Emmy is simply cleaning between her pads and between her toes and under her nails. The difference became obvious after I watched her for a while.
We are also learning to distinguish between the expressions on dogs’ faces and their body language in terms of discerning their mood and intent. Aggressive, Submissive, Dominant, Stressed, Relaxed. Each has it’s facial expression and body language. It’s important that we learn all these because we will have to be ready to anticipate these and react to other dogs as well as our own in order to prevent problems rather than try to solve them after they happen.
The Ol’ Curmudgeon and I have been talking about what we are going to do to prevent lunging leading to my loss of control. We’ve discussed many situations. He’s going to attach a hook somewhere in the car for me to attach the leash to while I unhook the travel harness. That way, if Emmy should lunge (as she shouldn’t as she is well trained), she won’t get away from me.
I’m looking forward to working with Emmy a lot when we get home and it’s “just us.” She is a total sweetheart. Already she has retrieved my cane several times, and a couple other things I’ve dropped. This is utterly amazing to watch, and to be on the receiving end of it! Just WOW!
Got to go do my homework. More tomorrow if I have time. Emmy is supposed to come home with me tomorrow (to the motel), and I may be too discombobulated to get a post in.
Please keep us in your prayers!