Jeri Wagner, Dog Behavioral Therapist & Master Trainer with Bark Busters Home Dog Training chronicles her dog foster experience in the hopes of inspiring and helping others on their dog foster journey. Read along to follow Jamie’s progress!
At seven weeks, Jamie has now been in our home longer than any adopter or foster parent! She has continued her good progress, with an occasional obstacle or two in between.
Jamie did well with Jason last week, but she had a big setback with him on Monday evening. Jason had come back from his workout and was sitting at the kitchen table; I had Jamie in the front room while I ran down to the basement. When Jason got up, his chair made a noise against the kitchen floor and startled Jamie, who barked at him, ran towards the back part of the room, and peed. This was the first time she reacted this way while living with us, and her fear stayed with her the rest of the evening (though she was more settled if I was close by).
The rest of the week was better for Jamie. Jamie is comfortable enough around Craig that, if I’m not home, he can open her crate door to let her out without issues – a big step forward. Jamie still tends to stay inside the crate with the door open if I am not around, but if I am, she is more willing to exit the crate.
We had a lot of opportunities to work on her walking skills this week. Tuesday was a mile walk around the neighborhood with just me. She did well! We even saw some rabbits that Jamie was interested in but did not attempt to chase. Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday walks were with Jason and Zoey. We made it 1.5 miles around neighborhood, adding in a new loop to extend the distance and to give Jamie opportunities to walk in new places.
Jamie is getting better walking past people as long as they don’t look directly at her, and she nicely passed kids on bikes, joggers, and even a neighbor using a leaf blower. She is also walking with little hesitation by passing cars and walks right past cars parked in the street and the cars in our driveway without pausing. She is still startled by people getting into cars or starting the car as we approach, however, but I see improvement in how quickly she regroups to continue her walk.
Despite the setback on Monday, Jason and Jamie had some bright spots. Jason let her in the house from the deck, and though Jamie hesitated, she ultimately came in. She also rarely growled at Jason this week. She continues to occasionally put herself in her crate if feeling nervous or afraid of something, which I am more than fine with in lieu of aggression.
We also started to work on some fun things, like playing catch. She’s not great catching a ball, but she likes to play catch with a stuffed triceratops toy. She and Zoey even shared a snack of a few strawberries and carrots without issues. She does still guard her antlers from Zoey, however, and I am continuing to manage when and how she has access to them.
Jamie’s leash work is getting better all the time. With her improvements to date, I can give her more freedom in the backyard using a 15-foot lead. We also practice coming when called when she is distracted by the birds, and she is gaining familiarity with the command. I’m really pleased with our seventh week together – all in all, a good one for Jamie!
Read our entire Foster Diary here!
Jamie is available for adoption through To Love a Canine Rescue!