Skip to content

Guest Blog

November 7, 2014

My guest blogger today, Michele, is from Seattle and engaged to be married to Curt, guardian of two Havenese, Javi and Julio. She came to Montana to a two-day Dialogue® training clinic as a full participant with Julio just a week before writing this progress report. Julio, 10 years old, had experienced severe abuse during his first year of life that left him afraid of everything all his life. When I first initiated Dialogue® with him, he was in a complete, irrational panic about the leash or moving with me. His progress in the two days of the clinic was phenomenal. His progress in a week–extraordinary, but expected!

Michele and Julio

Michele and Julio

I started writing this a week after we were with you for the training clinic. We are doing very well with the training. It has been raining torrentially here lately, breaking records. So training has been in the ample space in the house. Curt holds Javi while I work Juli and holds Juli while I do Javi. Neither has wanted to walk. Juli just pins his head to the floor and won’t move. Javi kind of does the same. So I circle around them (as I work with one at a time) and then have them sit, and I praise the heck out of them. Then I walk them a couple of new steps and come around again and do Sit and Sit-Stay. They are both perfect at Sit-Stay. Then I do Down, Down-Stay, Stand, Come, and they are both doing perfectly. I have figured out to just drop Javi carefully on his side (because of an injured leg) and it took at least 15 to 20 corrections before he stopped getting up but he then laid there and let me walk all the way around him and stand next to him. I said “Sit”, and he came up pretty easily. This is so much fun!

One day I took them outside one by one. I’m not sure if it was being outside or not having Curt and the other dog there watching, but they each walked with me. I did a little Heel, and after a little hesitation, they each walked a bit on Heel. It’s enough. Baby steps. With Julio I still use a little of the “catapulting” on Heel as you taught me or nothing would happen. Julio wags his tail and doesn’t run when I get the leash, so I assume it isn’t horrible for him!

The progress continues, so I’m continuing to write a week later….

The other day I worked Javi first. He seems to really like the activity. Afterward, he prances around like a proud boy. Afterward, Julio came over for his turn. I usually have to go lift him off the sofa and put the collar and leash on. This time Julio came to me. I lifted the collar to check the direction it faced, and he slid his head in! Way too cute!!!

The next day, Javi came to me and let me slip it on him.  Curt saw that one and was simply amazed. He has had to chase Javi around to get a harness on in the past. After we finished our routine, Javi ran and jumped and pranced and jumped some more. Curt saw him and was so happy to see him so proud and happy. It was adorable. Before I wasn’t fond of Javi and rather bored with Julio. Now I adore them both and can’t wait to work with them every day.

Ok, now for the great news! Curt is so impressed with all of this. We took the dogs to the vet a few days ago. (We carried them so they wouldn’t go out of Dialogue® and practice wrong behavior.) Javi usually howls all the way to the vet. This time he was quiet, and every time he started to complain, I told him he was all right, and he stopped! He usually goes in right away to the vet because he is so noisy, but yesterday he was totally quiet. We just kept telling him he was all right. Curt said to wait until he had his temperature taken with the rectal thermometer. He would buck and scream and carry on, he said. What happened this time? He was completely silent with no resistance at all. The vet couldn’t believe it! Curt couldn’t believe it! The staff was surprised at his excellent behavior. This has to be from Dialogue® as nothing else has changed.

Last things for now–Julio and Javi always barked when I arrived at Curt’s house. Curt now tells them they are all right when I come to the door, and they stop barking. The other night they got out the front door, and Curt was scared because they usually take off and run away; but he shouted “Come”, and they came back instantly! Of course I was happy, but I corrected Curt for using the formal command “Come” without doing the exercise in complete form and before they are ready to be expected to do it off-leash in “real life.” Curt promised he won’t use that word again until they are ready!

These pups are doing so well. Not long ago was the first time Julio “went for a walk” perfectly. He walked freely the entire time. And didn’t stop. I was so happy and proud of him for being so brave and trusting. Now he has started to walk with me perfectly, and he has started to Heel and Sit every time. It is so much fun watching this evolve.

We are a happy family to be!!!!!!

No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: