Small steps build to big success! And all the small steps in training I've been working on with Luna are adding up to huge accomplishments. Over the last four months I've been working on getting her comfortable in our home and finally our work is paying off with noticeable success. Over the weekend she displayed no overt uneasiness with Wyatt's demand barking. Not one time did she growl or charge him. Of course she's learned that only good things happen for her when he barks. She's learned that she gets rewarded with food, praise or petting or all of the above if she ignores Wyatt's barking. I've also noticed that she'll sometimes choose to leave the room, check in with a human or completely ignore. Of course it also helps that Wyatt's demand barking is way down. Ignoring him has really worked and praising and rewarding his quiet behavior has worked to our advantage. If he's quiet and not barking at anyone in the family he's rewarded with praise, pets, food or his favorite activity a game of fetch.
Luna and Wyatt have made great strides and have gone from being able to lay in the same room together to laying with in a foot or less of each other. They now approach each other with relaxed bodies and sniff without excited body posture and as if that weren't enough they are starting to engage in play behavior with play bows!
I've accomplished all this success with positive training techniques. Not one yank or snap of a leash, no yelling but with patience and advice from books by Patricia McConnell, Pat Miller, Terry Ryan, Jean Donaldson as well as Pat Miller's Peaceable Paws e-mail list. Luna and Wyatt still have much work ahead of them, but our small successes make it easier for us to continue down our path of positive training and a happy dog/owner life.
Until next time Woof, Woof, Woof and a Roo!