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March 2, 2022

Sunday Training Post!

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Written by: Lisa Porter
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Training post guys!! I wanted to talk a bit about our boy Buford. I mentioned yesterday that he treated Jaycee, the 3 year old in his new foster home, like a toy. What I meant was, he got super excited upon seeing her, knocked her down and began to try and push her around. Her parents were right there and stopped this immediately but it scared everyone pretty badly. They tried on their own to socialize him with her, mostly by walking together, but it was only getting worse. Right around that time I got a very panicky call from his foster mom Tamara.

Luckily for Buford, she was scared but NOT ready to give up on this dog that had literally no where else to go. I advised her to start immediately teaching him self control. Starting with basic boundaries, and implementing a daily 20 min time out where he must stay on his dog bed, amidst certain low-level distractions. I told her start desensitizing him to excitement triggers like balls, and other inanimate objects, and once he was able to control the urge to go after it, and eventually be calm around it, then start with her daughter.

The first step is always to teach avoidance. I told her to have Jaycee (her daughter) in the same room, several feet away with Buford on his bed. For the first few times, he had to ignore her completely. That meant no looking at her, nothing. But no running and trying to hide from her either. Eventually, her presence became a non-event, a non-issue, he was comfortable whether she was around or not. At that point, he was given more freedom and allowed to watch her calmly for short times, and be closer to her, but always laying down, or a safe distance away. Finally, the time came a few days later, he came over and sat in front of Tamara who had Jaycee on her lap. After a minute of calmness, he gently put his head on her daughters lap and licked her. Tamara said that at that moment, she felt completely calm about it, and her daughter responded very well to it. Long story short, a week later they are the best of friends. He follows her around, she reads to him, they sleep together, etc. Love at it’s best. However I did mention to his family that balance is best, and to make sure they enforce at least an hour of separation where he can see her, but is not allowed to interact with her. We don’t want him getting too excited around her or protective in a negative way. Especially while he is just still learning. Huge progress, I know the foster family is falling in love with him.  I can’t wait to see what happens next for this handsome stud!!





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