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Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Rosie Road, part 4 Miley's Report Card

Miley's time at patti's "puppy boot-camp" was over; our training pact was two weeks.  Her little persons couldn't stand to have Miley away any longer so she was going home.

MILEY'S REPORT CARD

Crate Behavior     A+
Miley never had an accident in her crate.  She stays calm and quiet in her crate and sleeps almost through the night.

Potty Training     B
Miley is on her way to understanding that her potty-place is OUTSIDE, and NOT in the house.  She runs to the door when she has to poop, but her teeny, tiny bladder sometimes take her (and me) by surprise.

Freedom in the House     C
Miley did not graduate into full access through the house.  She is still restricted to the kitchen, with supervised forays allowed in the living room.  Upstairs and downstairs are still off-limits, until she  proves she can be trusted.

Commands     B-
Miley knows these commands:  SIT, WAIT, DOWN, and OK.  She sits and waits patiently for the "OK" release before her three daily meals.  When I say "DOWN" she drops to her belly, her eyes keen for a "treat."  (I use morsels of her food as treats.)  She almost "ROLLS OVER" on command, but she needs lots of practice to master this.

Do NOT expect Miley to "COME" when you call her--this is an advanced, off-leash command that is accomplished only after she can do every command on-leash.  For now, work on "name recognition."  When she is on-leash near you, say her name (once), and give her a treat when she looks at you.  Eventually you can extend this into a game of "hide-and-seek"--hide from her, call her name, and give her a treat when she finds you (make her sit first).  This exercise sets the stage for the COME command.

OVERALL EVALUATION     B
Miley is a sweet puppy who is eager to please and enthusiastic to learn.  She is almost "housebroken" but will need continued close supervision and strong leadership or she will regress.

Information about her breed, the Yorkshire Terrier:  the Yorkie breed is of the "terrier" group--intelligent "natural born killers" bred to hunt rats.  You must be careful to treat Miley like a DOG, not a baby, or she will become a victim of the dreaded "little dog syndrome."

Thanks for the opportunity to work with Miley; I thoroughly enjoyed her.  To insure her continued success, please follow my recommendations spelled out in my article PUPPY POTTY TRAINING step one and step two


I suspected Miley's humans would find it difficult to follow-up with consistency; this was not their first attempt to add a canine to their family.  Secretly, I hoped their frustration would lead to giving up on her, in which case I would gladly give Miley a new home.  I had become attached to the cute little terrier!

In the end, it was best that Miley stayed with her girls, or I would never have become a puppy raiser for Leader Dogs for the Blind!

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