I feel like the month of March was a huge win for Nootka, in terms of her development. We have been working so hard on getting her past some things that she’s had difficulty with for a while – overexuberantly greeting people and distractions with inanimate objects like socks, paper, toilet paper, or shoes. We have done tons of mini-training sessions on distractions and she is at the point where she has regularly been ignoring things that she wouldn’t pass by in the past. I think she is overcoming her obsession with them. We had made some progress on greeting people more appropriately by working on “Go Say Hi” with different folks until self-isolation became a thing. I’m confident she will pick up where she left off and continue to improve there.

During the latter half of March, we have adjusted to our new life and have taken up the many challenges put out there by the PADS village: one finger loose leash walking, 10kibble challenge, and the breakfast Olympics. We also worked on all of our cues to-date in new and fun ways. Nootka continues to love to work and learns things quickly, no matter what she is presented with. She has adjusted well to the new routine – no routine, depending on the day, so I see that she is really adaptable. We continue to work on “Heel”, “Side”, and “Perch” with cues now, fading lures on basic commands as directed by Tracy (going well, although she was a bit resentful at first), and duration downs as well as sits when I’m in sight and when I’m not. She has definitely found her off switch and has learned to settle nicely now, which is massive progress over where she was before, struggling to settle for any amount of time except at night. In my view she is maturing really well – just need to build her confidence when being left on her own.

Submitted By: Caroline Lewis