Bella's Loaded Up & Ready to Go!
I’ve been wanting to email you to update you on Bella’s status and to thank you for all the hard work you put in with our girl (and all the love you gave her too!).
Things are going really well. From the moment Bella came home, she seemed like a bit of a changed pup – not entirely of course….she still attempts some of her old tricks – but in general I feel like she grew up a little when she was with you. A couple of friends have described it as “she’s down a notch”. What they mean is, she seems to respond to commands better and not be so skittish, nervous and jumpy. Yay!
The day she came home, the first place she went was the couch. Surprise! We called her off, she jumped again, called her off, jumped up again, called her off a third time and she never attempted to go on the couch after that.
She now goes in her crate voluntarily (after the first two times of having to stuff her in there), she does not jump up on the bed anymore and she voluntarily sits without a command every time we approach a door.
The leash walking is coming along well….she always has her training collar on for walks…..and she just prances along and looks so cute. We are keeping her on a very short leash – pun intended!
THE BEST NEWS IS that she is actually jumping in the back of my car!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The first few days home I would practice this with her every time we went outside. The first few times I had to pick her up and put her in. Then I just had to tug on the leash and then VOILA – she started to enjoy the game and would jump in without a leash tug. Wow!! You are a miracle worker!! I can’t say she is always this compliant but I would say that 80% of the time she jumps in on command. We will continue to work on this religiously.
Finally, yesterday was a big day for us. We are up in Whistler, B.C. now and a friend invited us to go to a doggy ski area where the dogs are allowed to go on the Nordic ski tracks. I knew it was a risk as she would have to be off leash to do this. She’d been so good that I thought I’d give it a try and guess what??? We skied for an hour and then Bella trotted right to the car with me (my friend’s car) and hopped in the back = OFF LEASH! Her friend Buffalo who was along for the adventure jumped in after her but SHE was the one who took the initiative! I can’t tell you how proud I was of her. We made all the silly little praise noises. You’d think she’d won the Pulitzer!
I have attached a pic of her and her pal Buffalo after the ski adventure.
So, we will continue to train, train, train and will not let her fool us into thinking she is an “always good” girl. The long leash training is tough here due to all the snow but we plan to find a parking lot today to get back into that aspect of training. I feel like the whole new routine you have set up so great for her. She responds well to a firm voice and tough, consistent discipline – just like you said.
I hope she can spend some time with you again in the future. I so admire and appreciate what you do and what you have done for our family.
Little Bella sends a lick and a wiggle.
Hood River, OR