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July 5, 2010

It’s been a few weeks and there is a lot that has happened.  I met with Shadow and his other dogs friends in San Jose 3 saturday’s ago, it was not as hot and it was a successful day, Bronco came along too. Two Saturdays ago we did not meet in San Jose due to scheduling conflicts, but this 4th of July weekend Shadow came  back up to stay with me in my apartment in San Francisco.  He came a bit stressed out form the ride and he seemed to remember my home, in a postive way, but he was and still is very excited.

I have been limiting his excitement and just about everything else because I do not him to get overwhelmed.  So right now he is on astrick schedule and is only allowed inside my house while attached to me by leash.  That means i have him at my heel when doing the laundry, washing dishes brushing my teeth etc, he is very good about this.  I am trying to establish boundaries and that this is my home and I tell him where he is allowed to go and what he can do.  He has a good look in his eye and he is very responsive and looks to me for apporval so I’m hoping that i am on the way to gaining his respect.

We started off with long walks to make training afterwards easier but we cut back until he get used to our route and routine for the day, i want to do everything gradual and  in a very controlled way but also having it all be sucessful.  After we were chased for about a block and a half by a corgi on our heels yesterday morning which tunred into anxiety I decided we would stick to shorter walks more freqesntly until he is comfortable. Though we both stayed calm and justed pushed through our walks until the corgi realized we were not going to acknowledge him, not sure where his owner was at but there seem to be a lot of arrogant dog owners in my neighborhood that like to show off how “off leash” there dogs can be in the city, which I see as irresponsible and a way too show off and let alone it could be dangerous: cars and other dogs that aren’t friendly, luckily Shadow is well accustomed and has no dog-dog issues but it could have been a bad situation for everyone if it was a dog reactive dog that was being heel chased.

He seems to be very happy but is he still in his “awe” phase so being constistant for close to 4 weeks until he is comfortable is key, I have to be very strict with him but I know it’s for his own good.  Lola is great around him they both really just want to play with eachother but they know that I will not allow that just yet so he sits at my feet and she will lie across the room and they will just stare at eachother while they rest, it’s nice she stays back when i work with him on his commands and he is very comfortable with her around and still follows through with each task.

My one concern now is that he continues to keep me as the leader in his eye and that he eats and stays calm, I have broken up his food routine to twice a day, he eats a cup in the morning after our walk and then a cup after our early evening walk.  He is too excited to eat it all at once- it’s just too many new things around him that his attention drifts halfway through his bowl of food.  We have changed the located of food time too, he seems to be more comfortable eating in the kitchen then he is eating in the great room where his crate is, which seems to cause a bit of stress for him. He is very good at leaving the food and stepping back half way too and then resuming when i say he can, which is very important on keeping me in control and desensitizing him to food behaviors.

I have included some pictures of our last San Jose meet up and a few of him at my house sitting and waiting patiently with the crate door open while I put on his leash, he is doing this really well and I hope to keep my home environment as peaceful and well structured where I am still the leader in his eyes, and hopefully if I stay disciplined with him throughout the next few weeks the big transition from this being a vacation to this being his new home will be as smooth and less stressful for Shadow as possible.

I have a few great pieces of literature and handouts that have really been eye opening to me, that I am now working on with Shadow: Nothing in life is free, look and touch commands, desensitizing the next update I will be more indpeth about what Mark has been working on with him and what I am and what Davis suggest once we get a routine in place and figure out what works for us i will make sure to share.  Right now it is half way in between our walks that I start asking for commands and then throughout the remainder of the walk.  When we get back in side we then use treats and do some more commands.

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