• My name’s Zoey and I’m brilliant!

  • I’m a little shy but I’m working on acting politely around other people.

  • I love learning tricks, the harder the better.

  • I get so excited when I see my trainer! I jump around and scream for her attention, saying “pick me, pick me!”

  • I know how to shake, roll over, spin, high five, hug, bow, and play peek-a-boo!

Zoey

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Session 1

  • Zoey did great today! She was a little nervous going into a new area to train.

  • We just focused on her leash manners today to get a good idea of where she needed to start.

    • Since she was a bit nervous, she stayed very docile. She walked directly behind me which was great leash manners.

      • Is this a normal walking behavior for her?

      • Since she was doing so well, I did not think a gentle leader was necessary.

    • If she continues this behavior next time we will try with other dog distractions.

Session 2

  • Zoey did even better today! We worked with the high distraction of the lobby.

  • I have decided that Zoey’s reactivity is just overstimulation.

  • I would like you to practice going to a small park or somewhere with a medium amount of distraction.

    • While there, practice the proper leash manners.

    • Whenever Zoey’s attention strays, try to regain it with treats (move away from the stimulus).

      • The second her attention is back on you, reward her!

      • If she becomes extremely reactive, stay calm. Do not reward the bad behavior. Eventually, the stimulus will move on or she will get used to it and calm down. Reward when her whining stops. Next, reward when her attention is on you.

Session 3

  • We practiced in the Lobby again today.

  • I’d like to do one session one on one and one when you pick up, that way we are able to replicate the situation.

    • Is this possible?

  • In the lobby we used a stuffed Husky to replicate another dog’s presence. She reacted to it as if it were another dog. She showed many signs of fear reactivity. I slowly desensitized her to the Husky and we were able to walk smoothly past without any worry.

  • This is a good example for Zoey’s fear. She reacting out of fear to people and dogs. We are working on systematically desensitizing her to her fears.

  • Continue to practice the park scenario from before.

Session 4

  • We worked on desensitizing near the treat container and reception office today and she did really well.

  • She decided the rug was her safe place and the office was our goal. She did really well, very cautious but constantly looking to me for reassurance, which is exactly what we want.

Session 5

  • Amazing!

  • Zoey was absolutely fabulous today. We walked all throughout the lobby and offices.

  • She did great with a woman coming in and a dog leaving.

  • And to top it all off she gave me a big slobbery kiss!

  • She’s really coming out of her shell and starting to relax!

Session 6

  • She has progressed so well!!!

  • We had a couple customers come in and she was able to keep eye contact throughout!

  • We worked on “come” in the lobby and she did great!

    • She already has made a great association with that kissy noise so keep using it!

  • I know you mentioned last time you wanted to start working on tricks. Any ideas on which ones?

Session 7

  • We worked further on her leash reactivity and started the groundwork for “spin”.

  • We had a mini rush of people and dogs. She did really well with everything. When the owner brought his dogs in she reacted because the other dog barked. I was able to quickly redirect her and gain her focus.

    • Prior to their entry, we had been working on spin.

    • While the customer and dogs were still up front, I had her spin and that told me she was back to comfortable with the situation.

  • We then walked around by the entry door until she was comfortable and worked our way near a woman checking out. She looked at the woman then was able to focus back on me.

  • We took another lap and walked through the mass of people through the double doors to daycare.

  • She was uncomfortable but did really well. She was scared of a man, that I would also deem scary haha, but she kept walking and didn’t bark.

Session 8

  • We of course worked in the lobby again today.

  • She did really well with a man watching her train.

  • She also did well with the man’s dog walking around off leash in the lobby.

    • I think a strategy we could try is working on her tricks when people come in and out. This will keep both you and her distracted, so you’re both calm.

  • We also laid the foundation for “bow” and she picked it up so quick!

    • For practice at home, take a treat and push it towards Zoey’s chest. She may put her mouth on the treat, that’s okay.

      • Timing is very important in this trick! Make sure you say “yes” right as she leans down, but before she lays down. It’s a crucial moment!

      • After she gets the move down consistently, you can begin to add the word “bow”.

      • Next time we will complete the trick.

  • We also worked on spinning in the opposite direction, a little confusing for Zoey but she got it.

    • Just start back at the basics for the spin in the opposite direction.

    • She has got spin down to the right with minimal movement of the hand!

Session 9

  • We practiced in the lobby again today, with a chaotic couple dogs come in.

  • She barked a couple times, but I was able to get her attention very quickly and continue working on tricks.

  • We were even able to walk around the backside of them and look at them without reacting!

  • We also practiced her new command, “high five”. She got it down like a pro, so I through in “wave” as well.

  • To practice “high five” at home, go into the shake position with your hand. When she hits your hand, reward.

    • Gradually work your hand into an upright position. Every time she hits the hand, say “high five”.

  • To practice “wave”, put your hand (far enough away that zoey can’t reach) in the high five position.

    • When Zoey goes to high five it, bend your wrist.

    • Every time she does not make contact, but waves her arm, say (wave).

    • If she waves multiple times in a row you can say the command with each movement, so we can really work on the association between the word and action.

Session 10

  • Another great day! She was so excited to get back to training; she showed off everything we’ve worked on all at once! Hahaha

  • We practiced in our usual spot. We had quite a few people come in with dogs and she stayed totally calm. It was a little more difficult to get her attention at first, since she was out of the swing of things, but she remembered very quickly what to do.

    • No barking or whining at all today. She did stare at several dogs and not bark! She’s really getting it!

  • We started “peek-a-boo” today. This one, like I said, is a little harder. She almost made the connection but not quite. We’ll continue to work on it next time.

  • For now at home, put a piece of tape on Zoey’s muzzle in between her eyes. You may have to add more tape to get a reaction out of her.

  • Everytime she puts her paw to her face or ducks her head below her arm, say “peek-a-boo” and “yes” to make the behavior.

Session 11

  • Always a great day! She didn’t react to anyone today again. Quite a few people were around during our session and she was totally calm.

  • We continued working on peek-a-boo. She is still right at the edge of the association. Keep working with the tape on her forehead and marking the action. She’s doing great!

Session 12

  • We continued working in the lobby, as always.

  • She had no reaction to crazy dogs coming in the lobby and walked well past them.

  • We focused on “peek-a-boo” again. She really remembered from last time. I didn’t even have to put tape on her forehead. Good job practicing. She still hasn’t quite made the association between the work and the action. Keep practicing it and make sure you are saying “peek-a-boo” as the action is happening.

  • I took the liberty of starting on the trick “hug”. I will show you how to practice this one in our session.

    • Remember that your hand will be going gently on the side of the neck. And saying hug as she is doing the action of wrapping her hand around your arm.

Session 13

  • Zoey was amazing today!

  • We continued working on “peek-a-boo” and “hug”, as well as her reactivity.

  • She had 0 reactivity today. Several people came in. She watched a projector be set up in our office and looked to me for reassurance! Awesome!

  • She’s almost got the association down for “peek-a-boo”. I think she may be thinking “pee-a-boo” is her new reward word though (like good job).

    • Try saying the word before the action a couple times. If she gets it, continue. If not, say the word as the action is happening again.

  • We only touched on hug again today. But she was doing great.