Or make them get to work! Ginger has been working hard with her new trainer, Donna Elliott. Donna is a good friend and excellent trainer, who is licensed as a Victoria Stilwell Positively trainer. She has owned and operated Mutts with Manners for a number of years, to great success. I asked her to help get Ginger over her fear-aggression with other dogs, as well as help minimize her pray drive that is directed at our cats.
We’ve been doing all kinds of great work, and it has made me realize how important it is that I am always ready and prepared to reward the dogs for good behavior. How else will they know when they do something I like? One of our biggest goals is to teach Ginger that looking at me in the eye is the most rewarding thing she can do; if she is looking at me, that means she can’t be focusing on another dog. So, I’ve been wearing a treat bag on my belt and will randomly ask the dogs to “watch.” This is what that looks like:
Another exercise Ginger and I have been doing is working on desensitizing her to outdoor distractions. This is definitely my favorite part of training, because it means Ginger and I get to sit in the front yard and enjoy the sunshine. When distracting things start happening (dogs, joggers, mailman, etc.), I begin to reward her and keep her focused on me. This is a hard process but it’s vital to the operation.
At the end of the day, all of this mental working out (and eating) can wear a dog out. This becomes even more evident with Ginger, who is always the first the in house to fall asleep. See below:
Please don’t forget that Ginger is still in need of a forever home. Send anyone you know who might be looking for a dog this way; Ginger has a lot of love to share. And maybe a couple of farts every now and then, too.