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Burrito Wrangling #11

Burrito Wrangling Update # 11: Sorry for not updating you guys in a while but I've been extra busy with grant writing. Overall things are progressing nicely. I'm now comfortable having both Burritos out free together in the house when I'm home and they have started playing together again but I don't let it go one for more than a few minutes. Mila seems to be adjusting how close she gets to Murph based upon his moods (she's learning) and Murph puts himself to bed when things become too much to handle. Both dogs are sleeping on the bed with me at night (usually on either side of me haha). Tonight, Murph and I had a great walk: I brought some high value treats and at first, whenever a dog barked at Murph I just gave him one. He didn't have to do anything for it (the treats were the sojos and bistro stix from our September Paw Pack). I did this each time he started making monster noises so he would associate positive things (e.g., treats) with whatever was bothering him. Towards the end of his walk, when we approached a red zone (=one of the dogs he's really reactive towards), he was getting rammy at about 50 meters out, and instead of exploding into the full monster-pig of chaos, he actually turned at looked at me!! I gave him the treats continuously as we passed the red zone yard, and he turned and looked at me multiple times and his reacting was a level 5 instead of a 9. MAJOR PROGRESS!!! The interesting thing is that rewarding him at the beginning seems counterintuitive ("balanced" trainers would punish at those moments with a "collar-correcting" yank). But as any of you with a reactive dog, or a dog that pulls on a leash knows, yanking does nothing. +R > punishment #burritowrangling

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