Daisy is settling in well. She is very much like an 8 week old puppy in some ways, rather than 8 month. There is so much she has never learnt, even very simple things like walking on a lead. She now understands that doing something cued = food, which is progress!
Her resource guarding continues, although with minor improvements. Of course, most dogs guard their resources to a certain extent, and I’m happy for my dogs to guard what belongs to them from the other dogs. For example, Kim is within her rights to growl at Dylan if he tries to eat her tea, and Dylan is allowed to guard his toy from Rio-thief. Because all the older dogs have always reacted appropriately in terms of guarding their objects, this is a bit of a new one for me … I know the theory but it’s always a bit different in practise! Daisy has a BIG personal bubble space for guarding, she doesn’t like anyone to come within 6ft of her guarded object. We are working on that! She also guards things which aren’t hers. If I am eating, she’ll guard my food from the other dogs. That is an official No in our house.
Unfortunately, because she guards and because her guard-bubble is so big, Dylan doesn’t really understand her. She tries to play with him on walks (in much the same style Ri plays with him, by launching and hanging off his ruff), and he stands looking horrified, because she also growls at him sometimes and he can’t understand why she’d do both. Dogs are either Not Scary or Scary, in Dylan’s book. Some dogs can move from one to the other (like Diesel!), but they can’t be in both at the same time, so Daisy is currently in the Scary category.
She did very well at Lune Valley at the weekend, met lots of suitably appropriate dogs (thank you Diva, Jess, and Kobi!) and wandered around in all the busy stalls and food seating. She got quite interested in watching the dogs running but it was easy to keep her under threshold and get her re-focusing on us. She also queued for Diva and tried to steal a Malinois’ toy, so we played some queue-tugging with her own toy as well. She’s got the Ready-Set-Go impulse control game down to perfection. The Malinois was very impressed.
Threshold is still low for excitement, however! If the other dogs begin getting excited (ie. before a walk), she tips over. Setting off for a walk is a nightmare, she cannot control herself! So that’s the other major thing to work on.
In every other respect she’s just a super cute puppy doing all the usual super cute puppy stuff. She tugs like a fiend!