Joel, Mom and Martha came by to visit Lady yesterday. It's been a couple of weeks since the altercation that ripped her from their home, and they were anxious to see her and make sure that she was happy in her new home. Joel brought Lucy with him and was brave enough to put her down next to Lady so they could see each other. I wouldn't have done that, but Joel had confidence that everything would be OK. And it was.
When Lady lived with Mom, she received extensive training (Boarding School, Boot Camp, weekly lessons for over a year). The only problem is that I wasn't part of any of these training sessions, so I didn't know any of the commands that Lady knows. Well, Mom and Joel taught me everything I needed to know about Lady yesterday. We had a training session in the back yard and I was amazed with how much this little dog knows. As long as I used the right commands, I could get her to walk beside me without a leash. Every time I stopped walking, she would sit down beside me. She would never walk past me, but always right at my side. When we got to the end of the yard, I told her to lay down and she did. I told her to stay and she did. I was able to walk all the way back to the house and she stayed until I turned around and said "Come"-- at which point she ran to me at lightening speed. She wasn't even distracted by King or Clara. They followed us around the entire time-- King galloping in circles around her and occasionally giving her his trademark body slam! She never lost her concentration-- just kept on eye on me for a signal of what to do next. But for the fact that she has aggression issues, she's the perfect dog. It's strange that she can learn to be so obedient, yet the one part of her psyche that needs to be altered will not be trained out of her. I think that a little socialization with larger dogs will whip her into shape eventually. Her ranking as the newest member of the pack seems to be helping.
This morning I had some alone time with Lady in the sunroom. We went through all of her lessons and she did everything perfectly again. King wandered in while we were training, and believe it or not, he joined right in and followed Lady's lead. When I told her to lay down, they both did. When I told her to stay, they both did. I don't know where this came from-- up til now he's only been able to sit and shake and that's it. Today, he was a different dog! I really believe that dogs like being trained. They are happy to follow commands- you can see it in their faces. And when Lady was getting her positive affirmations ("Good girl!"), I think King got jealous and wanted to do the same as Lady.
Shelby even joined us a little later and I had all three of them staying, laying down and coming when called. Pretty amazing. Although Shelby has always been able to do these "tricks", it was cool to see her join the kids and have a little fun!