Nate is a 2 year old male Aussie/Hound mix. If you would be interested in adopting Nate after he has completed his training, please contact his Rescue, Montgomery County Animal Care Adoption Center, either Kelly Stanley at email@example.com or Eileen Mahan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Week 1. Nate has settled in extremely well. He's not timid or shy and seems very comfortable with his new environment. His handler's initial assessment of the Nate gives him a 4 or 5 in the basic categories (1 being very poor, 5 being excellent). According to his paperwork, Nate has some kind of reactivity when people approached his kennel. He does bark sometimes when people know on the cell door, but he hasn't shown any reactivity to people approaching his crate. His socialization skills are pretty good. He hasn't shown any reactivity towards people but he is a little reserved. His house manners are very good. Nate is extremely intelligent and requires a lot of challenges and stimulation, which is no surprise given his breed. His handler is going to challenge him with more difficult cues and commands as his training progresses. Nate shows no signs of resource guarding or reactivity towards people or dogs. He also hasn't displayed any anxiety issues. His leash walking is PERFECTION!! His handler is now working on his basic cues/commands (sit, stay, recall leave it, etc.)
Week 2. Nate is showing he's becoming more and more comfortable with his surroundings. High levels of activity in the housing unit still cause him to be a little timid, but his handler says he is seeing improvement every day. His handler does say he does show some anxiety, and that is being addressed. His barrier aggression is minimal compared to his anxiety. The barrier aggression has not manifested itself when he was put in a simulated situation. It did show while in the exercise yard when strangers approached the fence. He doesn't react while in his crate or within the cell. He hasn't shown any signs of people or dog reactivity, and zero resource guarding with humans. He does have a minor guarding issue towards other dogs. Another dog can approach him while eating or drinking or playing with toys, but Nate will only react if they try to take the food from him. A toy depends on who the other dog is. His basic obedience is progressing very nicely. He knows all of his basic cues/commands except stay. A point noted in his handler's journal--Nate did not react towards another dog who became aggressive. This is a noteworthy observation.
Week 3. The handler is focusing on Nate's response to cues and commands. Nate has adjusted to the program very well and showing progress every day, He has on occasion marked inside the housing unit. His handler has addressed this behavior by more frequent bathroom breaks. Nate hasn't had any accidents during the night or in the cell. He has great response to cues/commands and his leash walking is excellent. When we are there, Nate is never on the leash. He stays right beside his handler (like velcro) and if he starts to walk away, he responds to the recall immediately! Nate enjoys human interaction and is incredibly smart. He would be the perfect companion to someone who can spend a lot of time with and challenge him regularly.
Week 4. This is Nate's 4 week evaluation. He was graded on scale of 1 to 5 with 1 being poor and 5 being excellent. He was graded in the following categories: Basic Obedience: How well does he perform basic commands and progress on Behavior Modification = 4.5; Socialization: How well he interacts with other dogs and humans = 3.0; House Training: His overall behavior in a "house-type" environment (i.e., is the dog destructive when left alone) = 4.0. Overall, Nate is greatly benefiting from his training. The only area of weakenss is his socializaion with humans. The handler is addressing this issue by allowing strangers to give him treats without asking him to perform a command. Results of this training will be reported later. Nate tends to be skittish around new people. He will approach them willingly but will not allow them to touch him. He will gladly take treats from them. He does not show any signs of aggression or reactivity towards people he doesn't know. He also hasn't shown any signs of guarding issues nor is he dog reactive. He obeys all cues/commands given by his handler but is hesitent with other people. Nate does bond very quickly with his human.
Week 5. Nate's socializaion training is progressing slowly. The primary focus of his training is with human interaction. His handler has been using food to introduce him to new people. He is receptive to this, but may not allow the person to pet him, instead moving away from the new person. The initial meeting doesn't seem to be enough for Nate to feel comfortable with new people. After multiple meetings and food treats, he will begin to feel comfortable and will initiate contact with the new person. His socialization with other dogs is good. He willingly will approach other dogs for play. Nate hasn't shown any signs of people or dog reactivity or resource guarding. He also hasn't shown any aggression issues. Nate seems to have settled in very well in the proram. He is still very cautious and a little skittish, which his handler believes is normal behavior for him. Nate doesn't have any separation or anxiety issues. Nate is EXCELLENT with respect with obedience. He knows all his basic cues/commands, walks great on a leash AND LIVES TO LEARN!! Right now he is 90% relliable while off-leash. Nate is an extremely intelligent dog and needs to be active or challenged.
Week 6/7/8. The socialization training Nate's handler designed for him is working well. It consists of handing Nate off to another handler for a few hours while he (the primary handler) stays out of sight. Nate is introduced to different handlers by using treats. The handler provides specific instructions on how to interact with Nate (treat offered, then a simple/gentle scratch under the chin). It appears that Nate isn't the type of dog which is very people motivted. It takes time for him to warm up to new people (play helps a lot) and he doesn't show any interest in multiple groups of people. He bonds very quickly with a handful of people and appears to be content with them. Nate does not show any aggression towards new people, just indifference. I would say that Nate is a velcro dog. Seeing him with his primary handler, you would think they had been a team forever.. Nate's barrier aggression (his primary reason for being in the program) has only manifested itself 1 time with a specific person. His handler has been addressing the issue by having random people approach his crate and offer treats through the crate. It appears to be a successful training approach because Nate has not been reacting when a stranger approaches while he is in the crate. He will still growl if a complete stranger knocks on the cell door. Nate is an extremely smart dog nd needs to be constantly challenged. He has already mastered the learning toys provided to him. He enjoys "his" people and loves playing with the other dogs.