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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Delilah doesn't know ANYTHING! So this is a journal about training her!

Things we're going to work on/goals:
-Clicker training
-Basic Obedience
-CGC
-Rally Obedience
-Agility (if structurally sound- might have luxating patella in one of her legs :( )
-Resource guarding people she likes
-Walking on leash (she won't atm)
-Building confidence outdoors, around strange dogs, around strange people (freezes and tries to pull away when outside or when she sees strangers)
-Ultimately able to go to work with me


7/23/15 "Sit and Down"
Yesterday I started clicker training and taught her to "sit!" She learned it pretty quickly but it took a couple of sessions to remind her because she forgot after the first one. But now she's doing it without a treat! So smart! And today she learned "down" which she got really quickly- it only took about five minutes for her to get the idea, although at first I was struggling with luring her. First I tried from a sit and then I tried luring her under my legs. She wouldn't do either. So I captured it instead and after the first time I captured it I think she got the idea of what I wanted because then I was able to lure her from a sit. She will only lie down on the couch though. I don't know if it's because she hasn't generalized to other surfaces or because our tile floor is too hard on her bony little body.

I've never really clicker trained before so I'm happy it's working so well for me and Delilah! I think we're going to be working on walking on leash, "quiet," "stay," and "come" next!
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
7/27/15 Progress and Behavior

We've made some progress the past few days! A couple days ago she decided she's no longer afraid of dogs and now tries to play with any dog that comes near, including the mastiff mix next door that charged her and scared her previously. She also tries to go up to some people for attention, but she's still scared of other people, particularly bigger men.

Her obedience is going well too- she does "sit" and "down" very well now. Last night I brought her to my parents house and they have a yard so it was the first time she was able to go off leash. She was so happy and sprinted around. We did some training with Mia too. Delilah hasn't learned "stay" and "come" yet but I took some treats and had Mia out and put them both into sit-stays. Even though Delilah hadn't learned it she saw my body language and she saw Mia not moving so she didn't move either! And then I walked away and called them to come and Delilah followed Mia and they both came and then sat back down for treats! So that was really good- I'm proud of them :)

But something really bad happened too. She was scared of my dad at first so I had him ignore her and give her some treats and she quickly got over it and started following him around and letting him pet her. But then after dinner I had brought a bully stick for Delilah to have in her pen. Mia wanted it too so I tried to break it in half. I couldn't so I gave it to my dad to try and when he took it Delilah FREAKED out and started snarling and barking at him and trying to dart in to bite him! :( I don't know what happened and I don't know why she started doing that. She hadn't had the bully stick previously so it's not like he took it from her and she was guarding it. I was so surprised and upset I yelled at her to stop and she did and she peed :( :( :( :( :( This was really upsetting for me because everything had been going really well and I never saw her act like that before- when she resource guards she mostly just growls- she never starts attacking :( I'm gonna maybe post this in the resource guarding thread I made for her but I'm not sure if it was resource guarding or fear aggression or what. But I really need advice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
We went for a two hour walk this morning. I live in a "city" (you all from real cities would laugh at what we in VT call a city) and in the sketchy part of town so she's always scared when we go outside because of all of the vehicles, and creepy people (they scare me too!), and strange dogs. So I had to carry her the first 15 minutes but then we got to the waterfront/bike path which is a much nicer area and more natural- woods and lake and beaches and she seemed much more comfortable. I clicker trained her to make eye contact with me and keep on walking when people came close to us on the path. She was freezing and trying to pull away from them at first but by the end of the walk she was comfortable walking past them and focusing on me! We went to an empty dog park and played with her cat toy and practiced recall. She did really well with recall. She also loves her cat toy- she's small enough to use that instead of a flirt pole and it really brings out the terrier in her. She's so determined and persistent and once she catches it there's no way she's gonna let go xD

We also met a dachshund that she really liked and she went swimming in the lake.

Now she's curled up next to me on the couch completely exhausted. We had a good morning. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
As Delilah is becoming more confident some of her initial problems are going away. When we're walking and she's a dog she's much more likely to start wiggling and try to play than to freeze in fear.

I took her to a leash work seminar that I can attend for free since it's through work. She was the best behaved dog there. It was at the daycare I work at and I thought a small class at night would be a good way to introduce her to the environment rather than a busy daycare setting. She "sat" for me whenever I asked whether or not I had a treat for her and gave me fairly consistent eye contact when we were doing the leash drills. The one thing we did discover is that her reactivity towards people (which I thought was towards strange men) is actually only when they make sudden movements. When they do she starts yapping and lunging. When they're moving carefully and slowly she's friendly or neutral but the trainer was on the ground greeting her and she was fine but then he had to get up suddenly because another dog started having issues across the room and that freaked her out. So we explored that and found out whenever he made sudden or even abnormal movements (lifting his arm above his head for example) she reacted. So we did some work on that but she has a long way to go.

I will say, about the books "Mine" and "Fight," "Fight" was MUCH more helpful in my situation. I received "Mine" first and it had a lot of info on resource guarding inanimate objects and resource guarding against humans, but not much on owner guarding, or guarding against dogs. Mentioned those things but didn't really go into them. "Fight" was much better for figuring out how to help Delilah and Mia get along and also went into resource guarding against other dogs.

I'm signing her up for a basic obedience class today that will start next month and is at the positive reinforcement dog sports facility.

Burlington Vermont Dog Agility & Obedience Training

It's the good manners class that we'll be taking this session, then next session we'll do prep school, and then after that hopefully we can get started with agility- Delilah's super smart, speedy, and agile so I think she'll really like it!



One thing that's setting back training: My boyfriend!
Delilah never has accidents in the house when I'm with her but whenever he's with her for the day I come home and there's almost always been an accident. I think he's taking her out but he's not taking her out long enough and giving up too soon. I also think he isn't supervising her in the house very well. I found out he's been yelling at her when she's had an accident, even HOURS after the fact! When I specifically told him not to and he had agreed not to. I told him if he did she would learn not to go in front of him rather than not to go in the house and guess what, now she hides behind the couch and under chairs to poop, which makes it even harder to clean up! And he still won't listen to me, he even told me his boss thinks 'I'm wrong and that if you don't yell at a dog they'll never learn.' His boss at Williams Sonoma... :eyeroll: And how long have I been working with dogs professionally?! Who's the one who went to college to learn about animal behavior and training? And he still won't listen to me. :(

Also, last night I was on the couch and he was making food and I saw him giving cheese to Delilah. The problem is he was telling her "down" which was really confusing even for me to understand what he wanted because he wasn't using the hand gesture or anything. Just saying "down" over and over again. And so she didn't do it because she was confused, and he was STILL GIVING HER CHEESE even though she wasn't doing what he wanted. All she's learning is to not listen and he's ruining the cue for "down"- soon it won't mean anything to her :( So I went over and asked her for down once and with the hand gesture and she did it perfectly. And it didn't do anything but make him jealous. He got all sulky and said she likes me more than him even though I was trying to explain to him why she wasn't listening.

I can't wait until the class starts- if he won't listen to me maybe he will listen to a professional trainer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Delilah passed her interview for daycare! They said she was polite and playful with the dogs she was introduced to and that she wasn't fearful or yappy towards any of the handlers, even the men!
 
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