Friday, March 29, 2013

Gettin' in the Groove

It's been almost a month since Danee's arrival and we're all starting to get in the groove with each other. Danee is finally starting to relax in the house...finding it easy to pick a place to take a nap instead of wandering around in circles waiting to be told where to lay down.

She's gotten the hang of mealtimes and going outside without me in the fenced yard to potty at night. She's also getting used to not being allowed to lie on the back of the couch (I do not care to have my own personal gargoyle) nor lay across my lap every time I sit down. I love having her snuggle next to me, but my lap is reserved for the cats.

Holly and Danee continue to get along famously. Frankly, I'm a bit shocked at this. Never have I seen Holly take so well to another dog before. Holly is a very non-social girl...loving to play with a select friend or two, but never wanting to share her space with them for any length of time. She wasn't this relaxed around Casey, whom she lived with for 3 years. But she remains relaxed and shockingly tolerant of Danee.

I'm sure Danee's small size has something to do with Holly's level of comfort. Not to mention Danee's hardly a credit to Jack Russells everywhere...she's far too mellow :)

Danee is an excellent traveler, crates comfortably and without complaint, and is happy to take a nap when there is nothing to do. She's also learning to play with toys. I'm not sure she'd ever seen a squeaky toy before, but she sure has discovered that they need to be killed. In fact, I now have to keep toys locked up when we are not playing because she's also discovered that she is a 'real' terrier and she must take their hearts out.

As far as formal training goes, it will be a bit before she learns what it means to offer a behavior. She's gone through life waiting to be told what to do, so it'll be a bit before she learns to use her brain for herself. Meanwhile, I'm working on her accepting me touching her with the clicker...which in a way is shaping the behavior I want. Her former owner picked her up all the time, despite the fact that she hates it...really hates it. When she first arrived, every time you'd reach for her she'd expect you to grab her collar or grab her either she'd run backwards or go completely rigid. So far retraining that is going really well and she's learning fast that I do not want to pick her up. And unless it's an emergency, I won't. Treating her like she's an 80lb dog, instead of a 12lb dog, is working well.

Walks are a challenge for all of us though. She is learning how to walk on a leash next to a much larger dog who has a much larger stride. Holly's learning that walking all over Danee and 'accidentally' peeing on her is NOT cool. And I'm learning how to keep everyone moving in the right direction...together.

It'll be much more fun when Holly can be off leash for a hike again. I'll have a post on her progress soon.

And although I don't have any pictures or videos of it, Danee's turning out to be quite the natural at agility. Who knew? Last weekend I took her to my agility clubs regular practice. I wanted mostly to just socialize her with being around strange people and strange dogs. Much to my surprise, she took it all in stride. She was so comfortable that in between other peoples practice runs, I took her out for 2 minutes of play around some of the jumps and a tunnel. Before I knew it, she practically did 1/2 a jumpers course without batting an eye. Sequencing 3-4 jumps in a problem. Run with you...yup, got it. Slow down, speed up, take the tunnel...all done with her tail wagging like a nutter and clearly wanting more. I think she's going to be fun :)


Muttsandaklutz said...

Awww, that post and those photos just made me smile!

Funny, we've had some similar experiences and surprises at how tolerant our older dogs have been of the new arrivals. Can't count the number of times I told myself how shocked I was at how well Gilligan fit in with my two "dogs with issues".

Love love love that last photo of Danee!

Kim said...

It definitely gave me a new perspective on Holly...maybe at 7yrs old the girl is finally maturing?! Happy to hear Gilligan 'fit like a glove' with Walter and Lucy too :)