For the last few Tuesday’s I have been accompanying my mentor, Neil, to the local no-kill shelter. He has been evaluating dogs and doing Shelter Specific Training. This training mostly consists of teaching the dogs settle down a bit when folks come to see them. We’ve also been working on Pippi, an enthusiastic dog that is working on her leash manners.
Then there are the three amigos, three pitt mix dogs that are scared to death of strangers. They hide in their dog houses when new folks come around, where they hide until the coast is clear. We have been treating and clicking but for the most part they stay hidden until we are no longer near their cages. This past Tuesday Neil had an appointment elsewhere so I went alone. My plan was mainly to click and treat. As I was tossing treats into the Amigo on the end, Mika, the Amigo in the center, Peanut, started showing more curiosity about the treats left in his cage, not waiting for me to disappear first. Taking this as a good sign I opened the gate but stayed outside the enclosure with the gate tucked behind me. I faced sideways, tossing treats, and chatting in a neutral voice about nothing in particular.
It took awhile, but he came closer and closer until yes, he was taking treats from my hand. He even allowed me a few chin scratches. This was a huge deal for me. These dogs, the ones that need extra help, are the ones I want to eventually work with. So this breakthrough, small as it is, was a nice signal that yes, I am on the right path. It’s all about the dogs, the second chance dogs.
So please meet Peanut. And applaud his bravery. <3 [gallery itemtag="div" icontag="span" captiontag="p" ids="687,689,690,691,692,693,694,695,696,697,698,699,700"]