Within the last couple of weeks, Shelby and I made progress, a day at a time. She gets familiar with me, when I walk in the door, she recognizes me and stands up in her crate waiting for me to open it. Shelby learned to cross the street. When I work with her I always bring plenty of treats. The Natural Balance rolls are really the best food for dog training. I bought a nylon collar with a choke chain at the end so that she cannot slip out of it when I give her a tug. She still hits her 3 breaks on me but not as often as before. It is an “old” habit that she just needs to let go. As soon as she makes progress I reward her; either with a pad, a treat or my silence acknowledgment. Just standing there and getting used to the “new” location can be a treat for her.
This weekend I went to the shelter in the morning before the volunteers load up all the animals to take them to the adoption sites. For the very first time, Shelby and I walked into the neighborhood across the street. This is (at least) a 200-yard walk. There were several times where I pulled her through the grass until she realized that she didn’t have a choice but to use her legs but at the end, I could see that she became curious. As soon as she smells an interesting smell, Shelby becomes a dog and starts sniffing and then she also has the confidence to keep walking. But if there is no interesting smell around her, fear dominates her brain and keeps her stuck. We “walked” for about 30 minutes this morning and it was much easier than yesterday. She is really a quick learner and I am so proud of her. I know that she will overcome her fears and turn out to be a happy dog. One day at a time.