"Sometimes when you sacrifice something precious, you're not really losing it. You're just passing it along to someone else." Mitch Albom

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Food refusal is so hard!

    Raising Churry has been a fairly easy journey as far as teaching her commands and self-control with the exception of one thing...food.  She has no control over food crumbs, other dog's/cat's food bowls, trash, bugs, or anything else she happens to see on the ground.  So I am going to make this a goal for the next month.   We started off today in our "practice room" a.k.a. our almost remodeled basement.  This is the first time I have really had to use food rewards with her, but we've been having such a hard time with it I thought I would try it.  Her first "obstacle" to pass by was a bowl with some of Bailey's food in it.  After about 25 times of going back to the beginning with me yelling "Leave it" and "no" she finally got the idea to walk past it without grabbing it.  So she got a piece of kibble.  I thought this would catch her attention, but we had to go through the same process with the second obstacle...some orange peels.  After the second successful obstacle and a reward of kibble she started to get the idea and improved very quickly on the next several things I had laid around.  I was doing this all off-leash so I also had her do some sits and downs mixed in there.  I also scooted some of the obstacles closer together and had her walk in between them to me from across the room.  Once she did that successfully she got to quit for her first day of practice.  I found it to be a successful session.  If anyone has any other ideas I would LOVE to hear suggestions!

      Churry's 2nd full day of 1st grade went as well as her first.  She was able to experience an all-school assembly.  This was no big deal to her until I had to go to the front and speak in a microphone.  I left her with my co-worker so the kids didn't get all excited and apparently she whimpered a bit, but then quieted down.  She also had just a wee bit of trouble passing by a therapy dog that was there, but certainly nothing major.  She is only 7 months old after all!  I forgot to mention that the first day she went to school with me she went through a fire drill!  Nothing like breaking her in to school life on the first day!  It didn't even seem to phase her.  She just looked around and then went right out with me calmly.  I thought that was a great sign for her!  Hopefully, she continues to be that brave as she grows into a mature adult!

      Churry also got to go to our monthly puppy class yesterday where she reunited with her brother Perdido.  They were so sweet together.  It was amazing that they really seemed to remember each other and had a connection!  It makes me feel better that she'll have her litter mates when she returns for formal training.  I'll just think about her, Perdido and the other 7 having a party!

    After puppy class she got a trip to her favorite place  Bass Pro Shop/Cabella's.  They are the same place as far as I'm concerned.  She so much loves to admire the animals and watch the fish!  She also got lots of attention and very good questions from the employees there.  I've never been in a place with unfriendly employees with her, but these two places the employees are always so genuinely interested in her and welcoming of her.

    Hope everyone enjoys their extra day off tomorrow if you're fortunate enough to get one!

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