Burrito Wrangling #10
Burrito Wrangling Update # 10: So I am in the process of muzzle training Murphy, but for reasons largely unrelated to our walks (he is fearful of and reactive towards my dad and grandmothers). A lot of people commented that they tried to use a muzzle on their dogs and the dog hated it. Unless a dog is slowly desensitized and trained to love the muzzle with treats and positive reinforcement, this will almost always be the case. So I'm doing a slow, multi-week introduction to the muzzle which I'll use for when my parents visit. As to our current walking situation, I have purchased both citronella spray and a gel pepper spray (which avoids blow back) to deal with any future off leash ownerless dogs. I also got Murph this great collar/leash combo to have as a warning to any overly friendly leashed dogs and/or humans (he gets walked wearing a front-clip Freedom Harness, while also wearing this collar - the leash is not connected to a neck-collar). Murph and Mila get each get walked separately anywhere from 1-3 miles every day depending upon my schedule and the weather (Murph refuses to go out in bad weather), and during the walks we do sit/stay/treat exercises. With Murph, I avoid the houses where there are really rude dogs, but with Mila, I walk past them on purpose and have been working with her to to sit, be calm and come when called while in the presence of dog-rudeness. She's been doing amazingly well and will now sit mid while I continue walking, as long as there are no major distractions! Today we walked near one of the "red zones" (=a really bad dog that charges his fence endlessly) and she was able to sit multiple times and make eye contact! All positive behaviors are rewarded by low level treats (her food), and when she sits in a red zone, she gets some of the extra special salmon treats from our September Paw Pack box... +R all the way!