River

River is an 8 mo. old male Husky X.  He arrived in the program on 9-10-19.  If you would be interested in adopting River when he completes the program, please contact his Rescue, Friends Fur Life Rescue, at info@friendsfurliferescue.com

Week 1.  Handler's initial assessment of River:  He is very energetic and playful.  He doesn't exhibit any resource guarding issues (tested with food bowl and toys with no reaction).  He doesn't appear to have any anxiety or aggression issues.  He appears to be very well socialized with humans and other dogs.  His only problem seems to be basic manners.  He is the perfect candidate for this program and should excel.  His training will focus on basic obedience and manners.  His Handler has been working on basic obedience and manners.  River's focus is on playing with the others dogs.  River is a young dog (still basically a puppy).  Getting his attention and teaching him to focus on his Handler is still in the early stages.

Week 2.  River's issues coming into the program were mainly basic obedience.  In the 2 weeks since he arrived, he has shown significant improvement.  He has graduated to leash walking without a harness (just using the collar) and unlimited access to the cell and housing unit.  His accuracy with commands has improved to about 60% with sit, down and leave it.  His recall (without any distractions) is about 70% and his stay is about 50%.  His crate training is almost complete.  His main issue is distractions with other dogs (he just wants to play with all of them).  River has not shown any signs of resource/food/treat guarding, dog or people reactivity.  He has bad manner with other dogs (plays too hard) but when checked by another dog, he shows absolutely no aggressiveness.  He's also learning to be more calm when meeting people.  His excitement and exuberance tends to overwhelm him when meeting and greeting people.  He's really such a happy boy and loves attention.

Week 3.  River's training is progressing nicely.  He is beginning to calm down and now learning to control his energy.  He is responding to the obedience training very well.  He still has some issues with focusing and concentration which his Handler believes will disappear as he gets a lilttle older.  His interactions with people are showing very good improvement (excitability, jumping, etc.).  His interactions with the other dogs is still his main issue.  He does not fully understand dog language, continuing to jump and play even when the other dog checks him/gives him a warning.  River assumes everything is play.  His handler will be focusing on this behavior with positive reinforcement.  He just needs to learn dog manners.  Other than that, he has no issues with people, resource or food guarding.

Week 4.  30 Day Handler Assessment.  River's basic obedience training is going well.  He is grasping the concept of all the cues/commands.  His socializing with other dogs is getting better.  He is starting to understand "dog language".  His human interaction is still very good.  His housebreaking is almost complete.  His only issues is his energy level.  He lacks control and can be impulsive.  Otherwise, he is progressing nicely.  River has not displayed any reactivity towards people or dogs.  Nor has he displayed any signs of resource guarding.  His only issuer is his manners and they have significantly improved.  He is retaining the commands well and has begun to associate them with other people.  All-in-all, he is progressing well.

Week 5.  Handler has been focusing River's training on obedience.  He has begun teaching him how to calm down after arousal.   He purposely get him excited by playing with him then asks him to calm down.   He has been responding very well to this method.  His Handler has also been focusing on getting River to focus better.  His focus is ok but needs to be improved, mainly around distractions.  His response to commands when distracted also needs improvement.  Overall, his handler rates his improvement a 6 out of 10 (compared to a 3 out of 10).  He is showing continued progress.  River doesn't have any reactivity issues nor does he have any guarding issues.  His training continues to be on basic manners.  He is a very energetic young dog.

Week 6.  River's training is now focused on polite greeting with humans.  His Handler has begun to teach him to sit before greeting a person.  This also helps with his excitement and urinating when meeting people.  At this point he has stopped the urinating.  His Handler is also teaching River to associate the obedience with other people.  This is still a work in progress but is going well.  River's basic obedience training is progressing well.  He now understands all basic cues/commands.

Week 7.  This is River's 2 month assessment.  He was graded on a sliding scale of 1-5 (1 being poor, 5 being excellent).  He was graded accordingly to his socialization skills (with dogs and people), housetraining (unsupervised in house setting and behavior indoors) and basic obedience.  He scored as follows:

          Socialization - 4; very sociable with humans and dogs but needs to learn how to calm down before greeting.

          Housetraining - 3; does not have accidents indoors.  Can be destructive without enough exercise.

          Basic Obedience - 3.5; knows and responds to all basic commands; gets distracted very easily when dogs or new things are around him.

Week 8.  River's training has been focused on him obeying cues/commands from other people, not just his Handler.  He is doing very well.  Commands do not have to be repeated more than 2 times.  When used with the hand signal, River performed every cue correctly the first time (with exceptional speed).  His training with distractions is improving.  His Handler believes is progress is slow due to his age and curious, friendly personality.  He is also showing improvement when meeting new people.  He still gets excited but doesn't pee like he did.  River does not display any signs of dog or people reactivity.  This has been tested numerous times with dogs and people of different temperments.  He also does not show any signs of resource guarding or separation anxiety.  His basic obedience training is almost complete.  His energy level is holding him back a little, but overall his manners are good.  He will walk on leash and knows all his cues/commands.

Week 9.  River continues to show progress responding to cues and commands from people other than his Handler.  If the person giving the command does so incorrectly, for the most part River will not respond.  His "distraction training" is also improving, along with his impulse control.  River is a young and very active, playful and energetic dog, and wherever he finds his furever home, they will need to continue with the structured training he is receiving, along with providing him sufficient exercise.

Week 10.  River continues to show improvement.  His Handler continues to work on his focus and distraction issues.  He is improving but still needs work.

Week 11.  River is starting to learn to calm himself.  With direction from his Handler, he is showing noticeable improvement.  One can see his internal struggle to do what he is being asked and letting impulse control fall to the wayside.  But he is learning!!!

Week 12.  This is River's 12 week assessment.  He was graded on a scale of 1-5 (1 being poor, 5 being excellent).  He was graded on the following criteria:

          House Training:  How well he behaves indoors both supervised and unsupervised - 4

          Basic Obedience:  Basic commands and behavior - 4

          Socialization:  Interaction with people and dogs - 3.5

River is benefiting from the training he is receiving in the program.  His age, breed and pas experiences (as well as the environment he is living) have slightly slowed his progress.  A few more weeks in the program will greatly increase his chances of a successful adoption.  He is still very hyper and needs a lot of exercise.  He can also be stubborn and this may appear as him not being trained.  His potential adopters must be assertive and consistent when managing his behavior.  But he can also bring a smile to your face with his general sweetness and happiness!!

Week 13.  Handlers were given a "pass" for journals this week due to Thanksgiving.