morgan settles in

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Morgan 4

After a few days of mild chaos, Morgan is definitely settling into the household. We had a couple of scares with her slipping her collars...the first time she got loose in the neighborhood, and it took 15 minutes to chase her down and lure her back to the car with treats. The third collar we tried was a Gentle Leader head collar, and that seems to be the winner. She hasn't figured out a way to get it off, but it works wonderfully at controlling pulling, lunging, and jumping.

She's sleeping beautifully through the night in the crate in our room, has had no problems with accidents in the house, and does really well when we let her just run in our fenced backyard. She's still got some separation anxiety...she really really doesn't like being left alone, even for a few minutes. But I no longer need to have her on a leash in the house, since she stays close to where we are.

We've arranged for the trainer I found online to come to the house tomorrow for one training session, and we'll see how that goes. It's starting to look as though she's not so much aggressive with other dogs as she is excited about them, and it's possible we may be able to try a group class.

All in all, it feels like she was really a good choice, and I'm already growing quite fond of her.

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update, 2/3: A number of people have expressed concern about us "muzzling" her, or "strapping her mouth shut," so I thought I'd clarify. The nose strap on the Gentle Leader does not keep her muzzle closed. She can eat, bark, yawn, and fetch a ball with it on. It acts a bit like a halter on a horse, not like a muzzle. The gentle pressure it exerts on her muzzle when she lunges or jumps, however, is a lot like the pressure that a dog pack leader would use when grasping her muzzle in his in order to exert authority.

Also, we don't leave the nose strap on her all day. We put it on when she's going for a walk, when someone new is coming over to the house, and when we need to work with her on training. The rest of the time we take the strap off.

2 Comments

Sounds like you are doing everything right, Liz! And I know Morgan is awfully happy to have a great new home. Now all it takes is some time to settle in and figure out everything. The training approaches also sound good. A well-behaved dog is a happy dog. :-)

She looks lovely! Congratulations on the addition to your family and good luck with the trainer. I'm sure things will settle in soon.

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This page contains a single entry published on February 1, 2008 3:29 PM.

update on dog/family integration was the previous entry in this blog.

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