Friday, December 26, 2008

The good, the bad, and the yummy.

The Good.

Xena is doing very well. The first day she was here she whined so much I thought even I would go crazy! She is just so insecure and any time you paid her the tiniest bit of attention she would just get so worked up. It broke my heart, but I had to ignore her any time she started. You can't reinforce that kind of insecurity with touching or talking of any kind, you need to just go about your business and demonstrate there is nothing to get worked up about. She has gotten immensely better and now only rarely gets into whining which only lasts a few seconds before she realizes it isn't getting her attention. I tell you though, that first day it was SO hard to find moments to reward the behaviour I wanted (i.e., quiet, calm).

Fortunately, I caught a couple excellent opportunities to give her lots of affection while she was relaxed. She soon realized that she got all kinds of lovin' except when she was stressing out about nothing. I really, really hope whoever adopts her will realize that coddling her is the worst thing you can do for her. She is still super submissive but is less nervous, more confident and much more playful. She really had no idea how to play with a toy. How sad is that?? Sasha told me how Hazel (our dog) showed Xena how to play by repeatedly throwing the ball at her. Too cute! Now it is her favorite thing to do.

I also did two 5-minute training sessions with her today, once in the morning and once in the afternoon. She knows nothing basically. She is like a 3 month old, not a 10 month old AND she is not highly food motivated. She will ignore a Kong full of peanut butter if she's the least bit stressed. I honestly didn't think it was physically possible for a dog to ignore peanut butter, lol. Fortunately, she is also smart and learns fast. She also likes my Zukes treats. I think roll-over or something would be even better for her.

Yikes, I gotta go right now. The bad and yummy to come...

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