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Aliens Stole My Student and Returned a Different Dog



 
 
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  #1  
Old July 28th 03, 05:29 AM
Leah
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Default Aliens Stole My Student and Returned a Different Dog

6 weeks ago, a 7 month old pitbull/boxer mix had to be coerced to come into my
basic class. She was a shelter dog who had been in her new home 3 months, and
was almost autistic. At home she was fine, great with the kids, but around
strange people and other dogs she shut down. Not acting fearful, but also not
initiating any contact. No personality, no vitality, ears and posture hanging
low.

This class had young, friendly dogs in it, so I allowed play sessions. For the
first few minutes, Ali was a bit cowed and uncertain. Then she joined in, and
seemed to be having some fun.

For five weeks, she did well with the other dogs, but was still drawn into
herself. I had to use string cheese to motivate her, and she did fairly well
in class. But she still didn't seem to be really having much fun in general.

Today, a completely different dog dragged her owner into class. We were
supposed to be talking about jumping up, but I said, "Ali doesn't jump up, does
she?" Her owner said no, she doesn't.

Huh! Until today! She jumped up on me for loving, and tried it on a couple of
other people. Suddenly, she was interested in every single person and dog who
walked by. More than interested - she could care less about treats, performing
behaviors, whatever - there was a WORLD out there, and it was GREAT!!!

She even looks like a different dog. I kept forgetting how young she was,
because she acted like a senior dog. Today her eyes were bright, her ears were
up, her whole body looked different. For the first time, I realized she is
pretty.

Her owner and I gave up on trying to work with her, and instead walked her
around the store and let her socialize. What a social butterfly! Neither of
us could believe what we were seeing. And she charmed the pants off of
everybody she greeted.

Usually the most I would do is scratch her neck, because though she was
friendly to me, she didn't seem to want to get any closer. Today, while I
kneeled on the floor, she jumped up and gave me hugs and kisses, then crawled
onto my lap like a puppy. (Woof! All 58 pounds of her. :}

When her owner tried to leave with her, Ali literally dug in her heels at the
door and wouldn't budge. I don't wanna go, mommy! I love it here!

We're both thrilled. Who cares if she learned anything (though she did). She
found joie de vivre!

Has anybody ever seen such a transformation in a dog? I've seen it in young
puppies, but never an adolescent.

Her history is unknown. She was in the shelter at 4 months, and was chosen
because she looked so sad her owner's sister actually started to cry. Even as
a 4 month old puppy, she was sedate.

Our wild guess is she's going through puppyhood for the first time. Something
in her early life made her shut down emotionally. Then something about class
healed her. Confidence from learning how to perform and play, along with a
loving, kind, and patient family?

Sometimes this job is a lot of fun. :}

PetsMart Pet Trainer
My Kids, My Students, My Life:
http://hometown.aol.com/dfrntdrums/m...age/index.html
Last updated June 27 at 10:00 a.m.


  #2  
Old July 28th 03, 07:05 AM
Deb
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(Leah) wrote:

Has anybody ever seen such a transformation in a dog?


To a certain extent, this is happening with Georgie. He was extremely shy for
about a week or so and then started to get friendly. He is to the point now
where he will roll over and bare teeth to initiate play. This from a dog who
could care less about toys of ANY kind, and who's idea of play is just running
with another dog. He supposedly came from an elderly couple, so I'm not
surprised.


Deb
Shi the Survivor
Georgie the Kid-Snarker
  #4  
Old July 28th 03, 03:14 PM
Tracy
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"Leah" -OFF wrote in message
...
snip not that I wanted too! What a beautiful story )


Her history is unknown. She was in the shelter at 4 months, and was

chosen
because she looked so sad her owner's sister actually started to cry.

Even as
a 4 month old puppy, she was sedate.


Judging by her breed, mistreated by some "macho" type person maybe, before
coming to the shelter?

Our wild guess is she's going through puppyhood for the first time.

Something
in her early life made her shut down emotionally. Then something about

class
healed her. Confidence from learning how to perform and play, along with

a
loving, kind, and patient family?


She just learnt to keep her head down and be as inconspicuous as possible,
until she could learn to trust again - this story made me cry, just reading
it!

Sometimes this job is a lot of fun. :}


What a reward for the work you do, eh??

Tracy ))


  #5  
Old July 28th 03, 03:28 PM
shelly
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Default

On Mon, 28 Jul 2003, Tracy wrote:

Judging by her breed, mistreated by some "macho" type person
maybe, before coming to the shelter?


there's really no way to tell, without direct evidence,
whether the dog was abused, poorly socialized, or poorly bred.
any one of those things, or a combination, can lead to the
sort of behavior Leah described. assuming that a dog must've
been abused because it is skittish, aloof, non-responsive, or
whatever doesn't do the dog any favors.

--
shelly (foul wench) and elliott and harriet
http://home.bluemarble.net/~scouvrette
  #6  
Old July 28th 03, 06:04 PM
Marcel Beaudoin
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Default

Handsome Jack Morrison wrote
in :


Yup, all because of clicker ABUSE.


Heh-heh-heh.

--
*******************************************
Marcel Beaudoin & Moogli

*******************************************
'Real women don't deflate when you
bite them.'
*******************************************

  #7  
Old July 28th 03, 06:14 PM
Marcel Beaudoin
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Default

Handsome Jack Morrison wrote
in news
Clicker abuse is no laughing matter, Marcel.

Shame on you.


I know. I see the same thing at home as a result of channel surfing.
However, Genevieve usually resorts to threats and violence to stop me.

--
*******************************************
Marcel Beaudoin & Moogli

*******************************************
'The best kind of dog toy has a person
on one end.'
*******************************************

  #8  
Old July 28th 03, 06:58 PM
Suja
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Leah wrote:

Has anybody ever seen such a transformation in a dog? I've seen it in young
puppies, but never an adolescent.


Not that dramatic, but of course! You haven't been reading my Khan
stories, have you? pout

Suja

  #9  
Old July 28th 03, 07:49 PM
Lynn K.
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Default

shelly wrote in message arble.net...
On Mon, 28 Jul 2003, Tracy wrote:

Judging by her breed, mistreated by some "macho" type person
maybe, before coming to the shelter?


there's really no way to tell, without direct evidence,
whether the dog was abused, poorly socialized, or poorly bred.
any one of those things, or a combination, can lead to the
sort of behavior Leah described. assuming that a dog must've
been abused because it is skittish, aloof, non-responsive, or
whatever doesn't do the dog any favors.


Absolutely. I was just thinking how often people who do rescue get to
see the kind of transformation Leah described. A dog can be
traumatized and/or depressed by any experience or combination of
experiences and it is useless for us to play guessing games about it.
What's important is that we see that point where the dog lets go of
his/her anxiety.

Lynn K.
  #10  
Old July 29th 03, 12:05 AM
Leah
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sighthounds etc. :
I'm not sure whether you're asking whether people have seen it happen,
period, or whether people have seen it happen during obedience
courses. I've seen it happen - - and it should happen, with love and
patience from the owner - - in virtually every abused/undersocialized
dog I've met (usually adult dogs).


I've seen dogs blossom with the right care, but that's not what I'm asking.

This happened in, literally, one day. Ali couldn't wait to get into the store,
which was unusual. My first impression was that she had lost weight - she
looked more streamlined. (We weighed her - she didn't.) I did notice that she
seemed happier and more lively than usual. Then, in the middle of class, she
realized that there were people and dogs all over the place, and that this was
something wonderful. Her owner and I were chorusing, "Look at her! Can you
believe this?"

Even though we corrected her for trying to jump on people (she only attempted a
couple of times, and responded right away to sitting instead), we were secretly
thrilled that she was that excited about meeting strangers.

She has an awesome family. They don't work with her as much as they know they
should, but they give her a lot of attention and love. They're kind, gentle,
and patient with her.

Honestly, I just thought she was a quiet, shy dog. I didn't know she had been
shutting down until I saw the transformation. I hadn't a clue that this
delightful youngster was hiding inside of her. Her family thought the same
thing.

Sometimes it takes longer than
others, depending on the dog's issues and individual temperament, and
on the humans involved.


Yes. Solo's come along much more quickly than I'd expect for a dog with his
issues, but it's due to Melanie's diligence.

But this was like a veil fell away from Ali's eyes, all at once. Has anybody
ever seen *that* kind of break-through?

PetsMart Pet Trainer
My Kids, My Students, My Life:
http://hometown.aol.com/dfrntdrums/m...age/index.html
Last updated June 27 at 10:00 a.m.


 




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