Thursday, March 5, 2009

Update on Tara

A great update from Tara's (renamed Queen) new owners:

I just wanted to send a quick email and let you know how Queen is doing... we couldn't be happier with her! She's absolutely wonderful on the walk and jog. She pulled at first but with a couple of corrections she now just walks beside with a loose leash! She's met a few of the neighbourhood doggies and just has her tail a wagging when she sees them :) Our goal is to have her pretty much ignore any dogs she sees, unless we bring her over for an introduction since we'll be taking her out and about in this big bad world quite a bit as her training progresses. So far it's working great, we switch it up between just a leash correction and keep walking/jogging by and asking her to sit/lay with a treat when a dog is in the vicinity. She's quite the quick learner, and of course, food motivated! Kira and Queen get to run together in the backyard and spend some time playing chase, and Queen loves to play fetch! She brings it back and drops it right away :) (Unlike our lovely Beagle X who could care less about a game of fetch!) She's definitely had some training put into her at some point... she knows sit, down, come, she can stay for short periods of time, she's house trained, crate trained, and has excellent 'table manners'. She's even careful around our old Golden Retriever, gives her kisses when she sees her and takes careful steps when she's near her!

She has a bit of separation anxiety, but having the other two dogs with her helps. We're still keeping her crated when we're not around, and likely will for some time, but when we're around she'll curl up with her head on Kira's bum! To help with the separation anxiety we've been crating her for an hour or two in the morning and again in the afternoon while we take off and do some errands, and these past two days have been much better. Initially she whined quite a bit at first, and now just a couple whimpers and we don't hear anything again.

She's been really good with the cats, she's definitely interested in them, but they're still pretty wary of her, and since we have a big house they can hide for hours if they please. We've been keeping her on a leash in the house until the cats and her are comfortable together, just so we're right there to correct if need be. I'd say it's definitely the cats that are making things more difficult in that department though, Queen went very slow and cautiously up to our black cat and ended up getting a couple swats on the nose from it (mind you my cat didn't give much warning for that!) and her reaction was to start to lurch forward and get stiff but that's as far as she got before we gave a strong leash correction and turned her around to sit and lay down - she's really great with corrections, very respectful of even a slight snap and 'No', and definitely loves praise! It didn't take her long to realize that if she's being calm and not paying attention to the kitties when they come near, she gets lots of love and "good girl"s! And since being swat on the head by a kitty she's been turning her head away when Calypso (black kitty) comes near. Our other cat is just a pansy so she's sniffed noses a couple of times but once Queen starts wagging her tail and getting excited she runs for the hills, not a very tough cat :)

We've been able to find an obedience trainer that has lots of experience with bully breeds and mastiff breeds, and she even does dog sitting for pit bulls in the area. So we have her enrolled in an obedience class starting in a week with a max. of 5 dogs. We've actually had really great responses from people in the area about having a APBT. Our pet store that we use told us to bring her right in without a muzzle on so we could have her fitted properly, and our vets were the same way.

3 comments:

Ian said...

Great update.
Glad she`s fitting in so well.
Pictures?
Don`t make us beg.

Fred said...

Sorry, I got nuthin wrt pictures. I'm waiting too. Hopefully, we'll get a family photo soon.

Lynda said...

What an awesome update! Thanks Fred!