Burrito Wrangling #4
Burrito Wrangling Update 4: Sunday was our first attempt at reintegrating the Burritos, and at the suggestion of @blackcanine, we took them on a walk together. Up until this point, they have been completely separate in the house, with Mila going to day care from 8-5 (and Murph getting the house) while I'm at work. Their dad is visiting this week, making everything much easier. First, we walked them separately to get some energy out, while doing a sit-stay-treat routine every 50 meters or so to build up confidence. Their dad had Murph, and I had Mila, and we approached one another from different ends of the block and stopped when they were on opposite sides of the street. We walked them like that for about 20 minutes - Murph was making monster-pig noises for the first 5 minutes but he eventually calmed down (I honestly think he didn't recognize Mila). Both dogs got really high value treats during the walk to help redirect their attention from one another and give them an extra reward for remaining calm. After the walk, we kept the dogs leashed and brought them into the house (separately) to sit on different couches while we watched the premiere of SOA. Murph was clearly stressed, but did a great job of trying to relax and was able to snooze on and off with Mila watching. After about an hour, we let him go back to his crate for a bit, and then he slept with his dad in the bedroom while I slept with Mila on the couch (some epic spooning occurred).
Yesterday morning, we walked them together for about 1.6 miles and both dogs were more relaxed than last night. We let them sniff each other briefly but redirected when they became too interested. Throughout the entire walk, we made them sit/stay/treat on at least ten separate occasions. After the walk, Mila went to her day care and Murph got to spend the day lounging with his dad. Last night, we did some more leashed "relaxation time with bully sticks" on separate couches. Murph passed out and made ridiculous barking noises in his sleep and only glanced at Mila sketchily a few times. Overall, they are doing very well, but we are going to take it super slow. Again, special thanks to @blackcanine Train Without Pain for the guidance and +R training support