So...it looks like Mamacita is going to stay...
SEVEN DOGS???? Am I nuts? Perhaps...but I see so much potential in MC and so much that could go wrong! I may not be the BEST dog trainer, but I'm good at reducing reactivity, having lived with a very reactive dog for almost 15 years now and having 90% of my private training business centered around different variations of reactivity. I know I can help her.
MC's training challenges are as follows:
1. reactivity toward strange dogs and strange people.
3. Jumping, pulling on leash, lack of basic manners; intolerance of handling
4. scratching at people and dogs when excited and playful; scratching on doors to get out/ in
5. chewing/ destructive behavior
1. Introduce the clicker (conditioned reinforcer) - DONE
2. Create "Look at that/ Look at me" behavior chain- STARTED
3. Use counter conditioning / desensitization to decrease reactivity toward people/ dogs - STARTED
4. Get her into a basic manners class with a like minded trainer for different exposure.
5. Introduce her to agility basics. (train GO, HERE, OUT)
6. Use harness or head halter to help with pulling!
7. Train SIT, DOWN, WAIT (she has SIT and WAIT under her belt)
8. Crate her when not supervised - duh! The chewed glasses, drawer pull, pen and long line...were
a broad hint that she needed less freedom!
9. I immediately stop her from the scratching stuf, but I fear it is self rewarding and has a history of
reinforcement (it works!) so I will need to be creative on that front...
10. Create and reward calm behavior in the house using crates and tethers during 'down time'.
Train ENOUGH to shut down her craziness and give the other dogs a break from her pestering.
11. Use Counter Conditioning / Desensitization to increase tolerance of handling/ restraint. (STARTED)
If this sounds like alot of work...it is! Particularly when you add in the training and exercise and TLC the other 6 dogs also need. I am thankful for a flexible work schedule, the ability to take dogs to work with me, a VERY helpful husband, a big fenced yard, lots of "dog friends" and access to plenty of off leash hiking areas. I am lucky and so are my dogs. I would never attempt to have multiple dogs if I didn't have the lifestyle I do (and a husband who often works from home too!).
Maybe I need to quit my job and become a full time "dog-Mom"!
Of course then I couldn't afford the vet bills...
- my dogs, my world
- My name is Lesli Hyland. In my forty seven years on this earth, my home and my heart have been graced with the company of twenty dogs. Many came to me as seniors. All of them taught me something and helped determine the course of my life. I am a dog trainer because of them. I met my friends because of them. My husband and I are are forever bonded by our mutual connection to them. As a dog trainer I have access to other people's dogs and I am allowed to share in their unique relationships. The dogs make me a better person by forcing me to closely examine my motivation, my actions and my choices. Everything I do affects their behavior, safety and happiness. It is an awesome responsibility. The dogs keep me honest.