Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Truffle makes "Sit Happen" - Part 2 of 2

We had Dave's (of Sit Happens) card on our refrigerator for almost a year before we called him. I had even friended him on Facebook. Deep down, we knew we would get to this place of desperation before calling him.

J contacted him and scheduled our free consultation. That meeting had to take place on our front porch as Truffle went nuts when Dave arrived. It didn't take long for Dave to see that we really needed his help. He quickly saw that Truffle felt he was the protector of the house. Bottom line, Truffle did not see J as the alpha dog.

In advance of their first lesson, J bought Truffle a leather collar and new leash. He also ordered a muzzle (did I mention Truffle had nipped people before?). Dave would bring us an additional collar to help Truffle focus on listening to us.

The first lesson: Jack and I were not present. Dave wanted to lessen the number of people Truffle felt he needed to protect. Dave and J worked on basic commands such as "come"and "place". "Place" is a command where Truffle was not to move until J called him. Truffle did not eat Dave, so that was a success.

J would continue his homework with Truffle twice a day, completing numerous repetitions.

The second lesson:  Dave taught J how to walk Truffle on the leash. Truffle would need to stay by J's side and not go in front of him. By the end of the lesson, Truffle had the muzzle off and Dave was able to walk him. In fact, Dave was able to come in our house and sit on the couch, while Truffle chilled on the floor.

Homework included more regular walks and practice. Lots of practice. We also blocked off the front window so Truffle could not stand and bark his head off at the neighbors. We also moved his bed away from the front window and moved to the back of the house.

We really started to notice progress. Truffle looked relaxed. He would usually be "on alert", ready to attack at any time. His jumping on us behavior had subsided as well.

The third lesson: Dave brought his dogs over. The whole group went for a walk. We also worked on a routine for when the doorbell would ring. That routine included telling Truffle to go to his house (crate) and showing him we had the situation under control. We also learned how to break that line of sight if Truffle looked like he felt threatened.

We started taking walks as a family. Truffle would also just relax while in the backyard. Wheras before, he would be barking at everything and patrolling the perimeter.

Truffle in the place position.

The last lesson: J and Dave met at the beach, with lots of people around. It was a success!

Learning how to be good owners to Truffle really changed our entire family dynamic. The stress and anxiety we would feel when he wouldn't listen to us was gone. I can now call for him to "come" from the yard and he is immediately responsive. When we tell him to go to his house, he just goes in. I used to have to corner him and force him inside.

Thanks to Dave for helping our family!!

1 comment:

  1. I had no doubts that Truffles would come through! Glad to know y'all got it resolved!!! :)