Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Big adventure!

We headed out and Viva did great in the car. She doesn't make a peep while crated, she's a nice traveling companion.

We arrive at the lure event and it's time for me (leaving the dogs in the car) to go check out the environment. With Viva, my observation and management of the environment is going to be critical in her rehabilitation and integration once we are home.  So, what do I mean by management?  This means setting up the environment (everything outside of Viva) so that the opportunity for her to become anxious or fearful is taken away or at the very least, greatly reduced.  When a dog is anxious or fearful they struggle to think and revert to old behavior that likely hasn't worked all the well.  I don't want Viva to think she has to manage the environment with growls, barking and lunging.  We are working on new behaviors that give her better coping skills.  Again remember - she will have choice in her behavior and no aversives will be used. 

   This event was on a very large farm with lots of land.  Lucky for us as gives lots of opportunity for Viva to be out of the car since the environment was calm and we could get far away from any dogs that I might see.

Viva hangs out in the car while D'light is out and we check out the surroundings.  With D'light it's always important to give him time and space to observe the environment.  This has helped him immensely in feeling secure in new surroundings.

So many smells

There were probably some field mice here as he was really into this tall grass.  Time to get him back to the car and get Viva out for a walk.

Given Viva's leash reactivity, when we are out in the environment - it's just going to be the two of us for a while. I don't know how long this will need to happen but, she needs my complete attention as we get to know each other while walking.  I also need to be able to focus all that is going on around us and do the best I can to manage the environment before she spins up and over threshold.  A dog that is over threshold cannot think - they just react. 

Here's an great article  Understanding Thresholds

This was a nice lure location. Only about 25 dogs at the event and I could park really far away so that Viva didn't have to see any dogs. 

I put the 25ft long line on her and we began exploring the fields.

She truly is a very beautiful Rat Terrier!

Yes I have my food bag on me - I'll be wearing this bag anytime Viva is with me. This includes in or out of the house.

We do some work around having her come to me when I call her. If she comes to me I reiforce the behavior with food.   The food is used as tool to reinforce the behavior I'm looking for from Viva.

Pretty girl on the move

Her Balance Harness fits nicely!

So much to smell

Back in the car went Viva and D'light is back out getting ready to warm up his legs for his first lure run.

"I don't need to warm up!"

"I know it's over there..."

Ready to chase that lure!

After his first run, it was time for D'light to cool down 

Back to the car for a rest

Time for Viva to come back out.  
The sun is starting to come out!

She's sure there are critters to get after

"This long grass is getting in my way!"

"Hi foster mom!"

Viva having a good time

Viva has a high prey drive so no cats in her forever home!

Viva doesn't let things get in her way if she wants to get at something.  This large hole with 
rocks and grass didn't slow her down bit.

Life is pretty good!

Here's D'light doing his thing!

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