Friday, February 10, 2012
The N girls have been here almost 2 weeks, and they are sure different puppies than the day they arrived! We had several visitors brave the cold winds to come out and sit with them today (Thank you Mark, Emily and Carol!), in addition to my sessions with them. They did very well again. All four stand at the gate to bark and greet people when they approach (we have to watch the gate very carefully now!). Natasha is accepting petting from everyone, without food, and really seems to seek it out and enjoy it. Nina and Nora will climb all over their visitor's lap for treats, and accept petting. Nevada is getting braver and braver, and will come up to strangers to take treats on a regular basis now. I went out for a short session with them this afternoon after their friends left. As soon as I stepped into the yard Natasha, Nora and Nina were all jumping on me and I was able to bend over and pet all three of them without using food. Nevada came right over to sniff me and even let me stroke her under the chin for a second or two! Natasha is the most accepting of petting without food and I can usually pet her all over her body. Nina and Nora will let me pet them on the head, under the chin and sometimes on the back without using food. As soon as the food comes out, then I can pet both of them all over their bodies. To get treats I required Nevada to come all the way to my leg, which she had no problem doing. I never throw treats on the ground for them anymore, they must interact directly with me to get the food. During my petting session with Nora, Nina and Natasha, I again practiced putting light hand pressure on their sides and under their chests which they did very well with. It is clear that their interactions with me are starting to move beyond the point of just wanting treats. They follow me around their pen everytime I'm out cleaning the yard - when I stop, they stop and sit and look at me while I talk to them and tell them what good puppies they are. Occasionally I will reach down and pet one of them or let them sniff my glove, then go back to work. The other thing I noticed a change with in the last day or so, is when I set their food bowls down, they are starting to dive right in, rather than waiting for me to back up far enough from their bowls. I can see improvements every day with them.