Remember little Ellie? My super-shy, freaked out, don’t-move-too-fast-don’t-laugh-don’t-look-at-me canine client? What progress we’ve made over the past few weeks! Lesson number two was much like the first (“I don’t like you! Go away!”), but then something magical happened between weeks two and three, and Ellie decided that the lady with the bag chock-full o’ hot dogs was ok in her book. Not that you’d know it from the photos I took today … the girl just hates my camera. Ellie now allows me to walk around her house without ferociously barking at me (that’s major), and she performs simple obedience exercises, including a basic sit-stay, a beginner “down”, “go to your crate” (she rocks at that one), and a surprisingly cheerful recall. Her person told me that Ellie has been gracefully accepting visitors to her home over the past week … I’d say that things are lookin’ up. So is Ellie “done”? Is she cured? Pat yourself on the back, Victoria, mission accomplished? Hardly. We’ve made lovely progress thus far, but training and behavior modification are lifetime careers (particularly with shy dogs). Ellie has a long road ahead of her, and setbacks will be inevitable. The good news is that Ellie loves learning, and is willing to try new tricks. I just wish she’d learn to love my camera so I could get a decent shot of her!
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