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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Bella's boot camp

I am going to blog daily ( or as close to daily as I can) this week.  After listening to Dr. Sophia Yin's talks at the Illinois State Veterinary Medical convention in Peoria this weekend, I decided to give her version of the learn to earn program a try to decrease Bella's innate impulse drive.  Our little black beast Bella - who is loved very dearly- has been increasingly naughty in the mornings pulling things off the counter, grabbing the tv remote if it is not up, etc.  Tethering as needed has helped,yet I felt that she did not see me or my family as her leader

Bella Boot camp day 1.

Bella is looking at me for what she needs - the first steps to improving leadership
Now Bella brings the ball and waits for me - nice!
Say please by sitting is the core of this program.  Meals come as the rewards for polite behavior.  So starting yesterday morning at 6:30 am Bella went out on her harness to relieve herself and a little bit of ball play time.  When we came in, I put her measured meal in my pocket for individual rewards rather than the usual food puzzle.  Bella already knows her sit, come, down but is not always obedient.  I did not tether her to me, as I wanted to see how fast she would catch on to me ( plus I was a bit coffee deficient to have the energy to do all parts of the program).  She quickly caught on that when she sat nice a kibble came right to her.  She did very well for the majority of the am alternately sitting and laying on her bed figuring out what made the kibble come.  She was much less reactive the whole day to things outside, and even came to me on her own when she was barking noisily at another dog . I could clearly see progress in just 1 1/2 hours!   My staff commented how much more settled she was. She had walks and her active ball time during the day so there was not any denial of her favorite play or activity time.  Lets see what happens tomorrow.


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