February 25, 2016

A step back

Gossip spent more time tied today. While I still wouldn't tie her and walk away, we're definitely making progress.

I started by going over her with the shedding blade. Hair is coming out in clumps and she made it clear that she's horribly itchy, so she was more than happy to stand for that. I traded the blade for a jelly scrubber and did her face, too, which she loved. Then I left her tied and stepped away a few feet. I kept my eyes on her, and corrected her several times for various things I don't want to become habits. She tried dancing, and she tried pawing -- both corrected of course -- and when she stood she was praised. Things got a little tense when she managed to get the leadrope over her poll. That freaked her out a bit and she started to pull back. I barked at her and she came forward again, and at the same time I came back to her head and pulled the rope off. Then I stepped away again, about the same distance in a different direction. She tried dancing and pawing again, but with less vigour than before, and was corrected again. I could see that she was running out of patience, so once she stood still for a few breaths I praised her and untied her.

I gave her her food, and while she was eating I tried her new boots on her. They fit :D. She was curious about the sound of the velcro, and didn't react when I strapped them on. I didn't walk her in them, but as far as just putting them on and standing there she really couldn't have cared less. We also worked on moving her hindquarters away from pressure. Like any youngster, moving away isn't her first choice of reaction, but she's getting it.

I have also discovered that Gossip is a treat snob. Squeaker loved the Equinox flax cookies. Gossip takes them, mouths them, and spits them out. I got a Likit banana treat bar in a swag bag recently, so I gave her a small piece of that today, and she loved it. Guess I'll be investing in more of those.

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