Sitting With Success!

While walking down our gravel road today, a car approached from behind and started to slow down. This usually indicates to me that someone knows me (or thinks they do lol) and would like to chat.

When I turn to see who it is, I notice a big black pit bull staring at Lu. I know this guy and his dog, so does Lu. When Lu came to live with me and we started walking down this road, this man stopped to tell me how beautiful Luna was and ask if I wanted to breed her with his Pit Bull. (Ugh!) I’ll spare you the rest of the conversation as I am sure you know how that went. Anyways…the next time I saw him, he stopped and let his dog out to visit with Lu. This was before the incident so no problem with the meet and greet for Lu.

This is the first time in probably two years Lu has seen this dog. Lu sat when I asked her to, minimal whining, and she took a treat from me while I stood talking to him and she sat looking at the dog. That’s is a first! (As you know from previous posts, Lu will sit and look at a dog but she never takes a treat till after we are in our way again)

Now there are a lot if factors in our success today. 1) Lu knows that car means sit. 2) Lu knows when I’m talking to someone that means sit 3) Lu knows (now) when we see a dog that means sit. So what to do when there is a dog in a car and I’m talking….well sit of course. Lol

I think some of the success also has to do with the fact that Lu has met this dog before and she never seems to forget a dog she has already met no matter how much time passes. If they got along when they met the first time …there is never an issue meeting again. He is also a very calm dog.

So I’m going to say, even though she met this dog before, Lu succeeded in seeing another dog and acting appropriately. I mean WOW she took a treat while looking at a dog!

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Luna Unleashed

I have decided to let Lu tell you all about our visit to my parents house this weekend…..

I had an awesome time visiting my grandparents this weekend! They have a really big yard with a fence and grandpa loves me soooo much that when I come he puts up a fence and gate at the front so I can run around and chase squirrels as much as I want without a leash on! I know cool eh? And grandpa helps me hunt for mice. If one runs under a piece of wood, grandpa lifts the wood up so I can take a good sniff around to make sure the mouse is gone. Oh and when we got there Saturday morning, grandma was cooking something and bacon! I know bacon smell! But then grandma said she had a treat for me and you know what it was? My own bacon! Grandma cooked some just for me and cut it up into pieces and put it into a baggy so mum could give me some when we went outside! But first grandma gave me some. And I sat really nice for her cause I know she likes that and she gave me bacon! Then she said that was enough for now.

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I like grandma and grandpa cause they go outside in the yard a lot. We stay out there all day. And I get to run around as much as I want. Then we all go for walks and I get to sniff and pee on new things. I have to have my leash on but my mum uses the one that is super long so I get to scout ahead to make sure all is good. And when mum stopped and said “here”, I ran back right away! And grandpa said “wow that was really good”. I like showing grandpa how good I am so he will still help me hunt mice in the yard.

When I chase squirrels in the yard mum usually follows me cause she thinks I’m going to climb the fence. I only did that once! And grandpa always tells her that I’ll be ok just let me chase the squirrels. So this time mum didn’t follow me all around the yard. But I kinda slipped when I climbed up on a tall stack of wood and made lots of noise. I thought “uh oh mum is gonna be following me around now” but it was grandpa that came to get me down and when I saw it was him I went to him right away and followed him back to where mum was sitting. Grandpa said I was fine so mum didn’t follow me around. I love my grandpa!

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At supper time, I know I am suppose to go lie on my bed while people are eating but I figured if I lay under the table this time and not bother people while they eat that would be ok. I made sure to put my head on grandmas foot just so she remembered I was here. And then you know what grandma did? She gave me some ham! But then mum said to grandma ” don’t feed her from the table” and grandma said” oh well she was laying so nice and leaning on my foot that I forgot”. Then I heard mum and grandma laugh so I knew grandma didn’t get in trouble. So I just kept laying there and when everyone got up to put their dishes away. Grandma gave me more ham! I love grandma!

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I like visiting my grandparents. I know they love me lots! I can’t wait to go again!

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I Am Thankful For The Challenges…

I am always in awe of Luna’s ability to know when her and I are going to take a trip somewhere. I try to pack her bag without her watching the night before because once she sees her bag she get so excited. I usually get caught once I start measuring dog food into zip lock bags.
When I first got Lu she was an excellent traveller. She would lay down and sleep or sit and watch the world go by. And then one day she changed. She was still excited to get in the truck but she decided that instead of watching vehicles go by she would try to catch them. She would sit at one side of the back seat and when the vehicle went by she would launch herself onto the other side of the seat while growling and barking. (She would actually slam her paws into the window on the far side of where she was sitting). So I decided to restrain her with a car harness. This lead to her screaming and crying very loudly for almost the entire trip. Then I tried to crate her and cover the crate so she couldn’t see. I had the same result. The screaming and crying got so loud with no breaks that I would have to pull over and get out to get a break from her before I duct taped her muzzle shut several times!
Finally I put her in the front seat beside me and began treating her for every car she looked at and didn’t try to “catch”. I also restrained her because she would still try to “catch” the cars and obviously that would of been extremely dangerous.
She no longer tries to catch vehicles but she still tends to cry while we drive I think because she is trying to control her car chasing craziness.
This weekend we went to my parents and I have to say this had to be one of the best trips we have had. Minimal crying and she kept her butt on the seat for the majority of the trip. When she would start to cry I would say, very calmly, “shhhhh no crying” and she would relax into the seat. (I only reward if she is sitting quietly for longer periods of time now.)
Although not taking her with me was never an option, I sure am glad she is better at riding in the truck. She still has issues if she sees a dog while I’m driving but I figure one thing at a time. For now having a fairly quiet two hour drive is enough reward for me.

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Help Me, Help My Dog…

I’ve taken a new approach with Luna lately when it comes to dogs. It’s a way that has helped with her reaction to vehicles passing us on the gravel road we walk down everyday. I guess I will start there….

Lu has had this issue since day one when I adopted her. When a vehicle is about to pass us while we are walking, she is already head low, lip licking, ready to pounce. When the vehicle goes by she does indeed lunge at the vehicle, which leaves me gripping the leash and holding her back. There is also a growl/bark in this motion. Oddly enough though, when I go to the city where cars are constantly going by us, she has no reaction. So finally after trying a few things, I found something that worked….as soon as she sees the vehicle we stop and she sits. At first I would be facing her so I could block the lunge and basically back her up (by walking towards her) into her sit again. (I’ll start backing her up if she is too focused on the vehicle as it approaches)This has been very, very successful. When she sees a vehicle now, she comes to my side, walks with me until I stop and she automatically sits, car goes by, and we continue walking. She hasn’t been able to carry this over into a continuous walk while the car goes by but we are still working on this by shortening the distance between car approaching and her having to sit.

So for dogs. When we see the dog, she sits and we go through the “don’t attack the cars” routine. Amazingly it has been working quite well! Unfortunately I require the understanding and help of strangers whose dogs are on leash and more importantly the dogs that we come upon off leash.

As I said before, Luna is doing really well with this routine so by the time I am speaking to the owner of the dog approaching, Lu is in her sit position and is just watching the other dog approach. I usually ask them to leash their dog or at least keep it close to them while they walk by and the reason I give is that my dog is afraid of dogs. Most people are like oh sure no problem and are happy for Lu after they pass and she has no reaction to their dog. I also thank these people for helping us.

And then there are other people….yesterday on our walk in the city, two men walking their unleashed bouncy little dogs…came up behind Lu and I. When she saw them I had her sit and wait while I asked them to call their dogs. For some reason I didn’t say Lu was afraid of dogs, I said my dog is not good with other dogs especially when they’re running up on her. And they said ” well she looks alright, they’ll just walk up to her”. Since they obviously didn’t understand what I was trying to do, I just stood watching Lu’s reaction to the dog now trying to sniff her butt. Lu’s now standing and lunges at the dog and has a complete screaming high pitch freak out melt down when the leash pulls her back. Thanks a lot stranger!

Even though I will occasionally run into people who are not willing to help I have had more success with Luna doing this than I have ever had before. And all this success has come with minimal use of the gentle lead. This makes me happy.

Speaking of gentle lead….

20131006-174507.jpg“If you want to continue to walk without my head between your legs, take this thing off me. Please?”

Luna And The Treadmill

Today was rainy, windy and chilly.
Luna is not a fan of rain, snow or cold. This is why I got her a treadmill.

20130930-195906.jpg“Is it treadmill time”?

All I have to do is say “Go to your treadmill” and she does.

20130930-200107.jpg“Are you gonna get this thing moving cause I’m ready”.

Usually when I get home from work, Luna goes outside, does her business and comes back in. Then depending on weather, we go for a walk or she goes on the treadmill. Today when she came inside she went straight to her treadmill.

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I have to say I’m very impressed that Luna chose to go on the treadmill. I knew she liked it but I never thought she would go on it without me asking.

20130930-201521.jpg“Of course I want to go on the treadmill today. It’s raining. I don’t like the rain”.