Teaching An Old Dog New Tricks (Part 2)

These are some photos I took of Shelagh’s ongoing training in walking and socialisation skills. She’s a “mature student” at 3 years of age, having missed out on puppy classes…but I’m proud of the progress she’s made in such a short space of time. She really has come forward in leaps and bounds. I feel like such an idiot for neglecting Shelagh’s puppy education, but at least we’re making up for lost time now. Better late than never!

image
Shelagh’s 1st outing to a Frozen Yogurt outlet, Tutti Frutti, on the Rockingham foreshore. She’s wearing a step-in harness from City Farmers; we tried out at least a dozen different types and this was the easiest to put on. Here the lead attached to the harness is secured around the legs of the table we’re sitting at. I’ve also got a chain lead attached to Shelagh’s collar. I found that with 2 leads, a shorter one attached to her collar, a longer one attached to her harness, I can effectively “steer” Shelagh and also discourage pulling. In the left corner of the photo you can just about see Scruffy wearing his red harness. It’s more of an affair getting that harness on, as it’s one where there are 2 loops – 1 for the head, 1 for the chest, connected by a strap with a metal ring the lead clips on to.

image
Shelagh’s set-up: short chain lead for her collar, step-through harness, purple long lead for harness.

image
Scruffy’s set-up: slightly more complicated harness, and lead.

image
Boo the cat decided he wanted in on the action too!

image
Poor Shelagh looking bewildered on her 1st proper outing to a public place – Tutti Frutti Frozen Yogurt on the Rockingham foreshore.

image
Look at Shelagh’s tail, it’s nearly tucked under her body. She also was too stressed to be tempted by any treats.

image
This was taken on our 2nd public outing to the foreshore. Shelagh was much more relaxed, and greeted passersby with tail wags. Scruffy was his usual friendly self.

image
3rd outing in the park. No other dogs were around. I unclipped the chain lead from Shelagh’s collar but left the purple lead on, to trail behind her as she moved about, to remind her she was still on a lead. (And to allow for easy capture, if she decided to run off). So far, so good. Note her tail is still tucked under, as she is still unsure of herself.

image
Scruffy makes an excellent Control dog. Here he has his lead off. Jack and I were just standing still, and both dogs also decided to stop and just stand. Note Shelagh’s nose-lick.

image
Another walk, another day. This was the 1st time I had Shelagh completely off both her leads. She was a very good girl and didn’t wander off too far by herself. Recall was also good.

image
This photo was taken a week after the previous one. Note how Shelagh is much more confident now, off lead, and the almost jaunty position of her tail. Recall is much better too.

image
Both Scruffy and Shelagh are off lead and enjoying a good old sniff. Both are relaxed.

image
And….they’re off to explore another scent trail! Happy dogs ❤❤.

I still can’t believe how far Shelagh has come in just a few short weeks, from lunging on the lead, to enjoying off-lead walks in the park.

Next stop: meeting other dogs. A truly scary prospect. So far, the only other dog Shelagh has “met” was a puppy.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s