Tuesday, April 8, 2008

The Dog Whisperer I Am Not

When last we left my fine canine friend, she was learning a new way of interacting with the garden. Learning how to play nice with the plants. Learning about boundaries. Learning about bitter apple spray.

And now? Well. Luna is still a rambunctious teenager. But after an excellent beginner obedience class and almost the entire first season of The Dog Whisperer, we may have made some progress. There are conditions however. (My dog trainer says that the behavior is not truly learned until the dog can perform the task under any situation. Bah.)

The conditions are these: If there are no dogs or humans in the alley, if there are no trash trucks, if there are no threatening squirrels, bouncing balls, taunting cats, or cheeky robins, she does a fine job of staying out of the garden beds. She seems to respect the ugly white wire fencing most of the time. Oh yeah, I forgot chipmunks -- she'll forget every durn bit of training for a chipmunk chase.

Unfortunately, we've had to change our fence line a bit (pictures to come soon) since she jumped the fence three times to chase after dogs in the alley. I also orchestrated some "training time" by asking neighbors with dogs to walk down the alley while she is on the leash so that I can correct her (don't worry, my correction is just saying "settle" and getting her to sit or lie down). I may bump it up to the apple spray if her ugliness continues, but it's difficult since I don't want to ignore her natural protectiveness, I just want her to relax more.

Luna and I are both in process on this one, but I feel as though we're making headway since my tender spring plants are doing well.

And the grass?

I took these photos last Thursday -- a week after installation. It's getting greener! Our constant rain has helped. Now we need warmth. Thanks to Nancy's positive comment about Bermuda withstanding dogs and children, I'm feeling much more positive about how it will weather our abuse!


Bridget said...

She is so sweet looking!

I remember when I was a teenager, we got a dog and took him to obedience school. One night after class, when our dog had, um, gone off on his own somewhat, my mother asked the instructor if there was a secret to dog training. The instructor said, "Patience," and when my mother said, "Well, I'll try," the instructor said, "Oh not you - the dog!" So hopefully things will work out for the two of you ...

Suzanne said...

Sounds like Miss Lovegood has doggy ADD! not really. she sounds like normal active dog. She is interested in her surroundings....INTENSELY!

I used to dog-sit for a living (not kidding) and after all those puppies I knew I wanted only adult dogs. VERY adult dogs. Calm, mature, non-alpha dogs. I hate to have to assert myself 24/7....I am the alpha female and I should not have to repeat myself. Rotweilers are not for me.