Sunday, November 27, 2011

Random Musings on Dog Training

These thoughts don't reach the status of rules but they are ideas I have that influence how I train. I'm sharing them in no particular order.

If you wouldn't treat your best human friend that way why are your treating your dog like that? I always wonder this when I see people out walking their dog wearing their headphones or earbuds. I can't imagine going for a walk with a human friend and not paying attention to them so I don't walk the dogs without paying attention to them. I'm always interested to see what new things Ranger and to a lesser extent Finna have to show me. Dogs are expert observers. Humans tend to ignore a lot of things in their environment. Dogs don't ignore anything. Ranger shows me where another dog has scuffed up the ground, which neighbors have interesting recycling and/or garbage, who planted a new plant, who is remodeling their house, etc., etc., etc. I used to walk with my next door neighbor regularly before Ranger came to live with us. Despite the fact that we walked the same routes I walk with Ranger and Finna I learned a lot less about my neighborhood. One aspect of our walks is for them to show me my world as they see it. I'd miss out on that if I was tuned into my audiobook or my podcast or my music instead of being tuned into my dogs.

Things are more valuable when you work for them. Maybe the dog is only paying for his/her treats with a sit or a watch but when a dog has to earn the treats they value them more. And I think for the difficult to motivate dogs, like Ranger, making the connection that they need to work for what they get helps to motivate them. Some people call this "TANSTAAFL" There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch and others describe it as "NILIF" Nothing In Life Is Free" but however you describe it it's a useful concept. How would you feel if everything you ever wanted was just given to you? Would you value it as much as when you know that you earned it by dint of your own hard work?

We underestimate our dogs. I'm as guilty of this as anyone. I began trying to teach Ranger K-9 Sign more to have a training goal than because I thought he could ever develop language that resembles mine. Since I can't read his mind I don't know for sure that he has but the behaviors I've observed certainly look like language use. He has identified his treat dispensing puzzles as food/toy and identified Catsby as toy. Not only has he used toy as a noun when referring to Catsby he has used the toy sign to Catsby as an invitation to play. In other words, he's taken the small number of signs he has learned to form and used them in other ways.

Privileges are earned. This is one of those ideas that I've adopted from parenting. Ranger can approach any person her wants or any dog he chooses because he has proven time and time again that he is trustworthy and well mannered. Finna doesn't get those same privileges. Ranger can be unleashed outside the fence, Finna can't. As Finna becomes more reliable she'll get more privileges.

Anthropomorphizing isn't always bad. You do need to keep in mind that dogs and humans process information differently and that there are different social and cultural referents but I often find it helpful to try to put myself in the dog's mind and try to figure out where Ranger or Finna is coming from. When Ranger smacks Finna down for shoving herself into his petting session I don't correct Ranger, I support him after all, what he's saying is that rudeness should not be rewarded and that she was just very rude. Of course if Ranger was not controlled in his efforts to discipline his sister he wouldn't be supported but since he is very much in control I support him. With Finna I don't interrupt her games of fetch to give her a bunch of petting after all what she's doing right then is playing her sport, it isn't appropriate to interrupt the game for something else.

Raising a dog and raising a child have a lot in common. In both cases you're putting the needs of another creature above your own. It has been interesting to note how much differently my son views me now that he has Finna to raise. He has a lot more sympathy and patience for his mother than he used to because suddenly he's begun to realize just what it takes. It's a bit strange to talk parenting strategy with my 12 year old but by the same token it's kind of nice.

You dog is dependent on you for everything. We've evolved into a culture where dogs seldom have the freedom to roam or the freedom to choose. We decide when they get exercise; we decide when they eat and what they eat; we decide where they can be; we decide whether or not they can come with us. The more I thought about this the more I started trying to give Ranger opportunities to make choices. We used to play ball for a few minutes every morning before his walk and after a few minutes I'd offer him the ball in one hand and the leash in the other and the one he touched is what we'd do. If he touched the leash we'd go for our walk, if he touched the ball we'd play ball for a little longer. Anymore when I take him to the dog park I let him choose when we leave (unless I have other pressing obligations); I'll ask him if he's ready to go and if he heads toward the gate we'll leave, if he heads further into the park we stay longer. Finna doesn't get much chance to make choices yet because I consider choice a privilege not a right.

Just as with parenting there are a lot of different routes to the goal of raising a well-adjusted individual. And just like kids dogs are individuals. Things that worked with my daughter are useless with my son and things that worked with Ranger are not helpful with Finna. You need to know the individual you're raising and deal with them accordingly. One size doesn't fit all although it's often true that one size will fit most. I often see people who are looking for the quick fix. Two popular quick fixes I see and hear recommended often are the no-pull head halters and no pull harnesses and the e-collar or to be blunt the shock collar. If these are used as an adjunct to training they can be useful but I see a lot of people who are using them instead of training. That makes me sad.

And finally, the most useful thing I've ever learned about how to raise a good dog; find someone whose dog(s) you really like and watch what they do with their dogs. Steal everything that you think would work with your dog(s). I've been blessed to meet a lot of dogs I really like and I've never hesitated to copy what their humans do. When Ranger likes a dog I'm almost certain to like that dog's person/people. This is something I found true with my children as well. When I like the kid I'll like the parents and my children were mostly pretty good at selecting playmates and friends that I would like.

There are no hard and fast rules in raising a dog or raising a kid except to love them with all your heart and to do your very best to do right by them. I kind of figure if you're doing that the rest will fall into place.

Monday, November 21, 2011

My Ten Rules When Training a Dog

My own challenges with Finna and a friend's problems with her dog have had me thinking about my rules for  training a dog. These are rules that I've collected from all over the place and made my own. They didn't come as a packaged set, they are rules that capture what I think is important.

Rule ONE. If your dog does something naughty it's your fault. I learned this one from the wonderful trainer we worked with when we first adopted Ranger. Dianne Canafax is a gifted trainer who taught me a lot. She was using a foster dog from her pack as a demo dog and after repeated efforts by the dog to say she needed to go out that Dianne failed to correctly interpret the dog peed on the floor. Dianne used the opportunity this presented to illustrate rule one. She explained that it was her fault for not listening to the dog and cleaned up the mess calmly and without fuss. She also pointed out the cues that she'd misinterpreted and how now she would be able to do better by this foster next time. So I try to remember that if Finna gets into the cat food, if she pees on the carpet, if she jerks my arm half out it's socket it's not her fault it's mine for not paying better attention.

Rule TWO. A tired dog is a good dog. This is one thing that Ceasar Milan gets exactly right; most dogs don't get the exercise they need. And when a dog does get the exercise he need he is a better behaved dog. After all how would you feel if you were a marathon runner confined to a twenty foot square room 23 hours a day--you'd be bouncing off the walls. Wolves travel large distances as a matter of course. Dogs are a domesticated version of wolves but the physiology that allows wolves to maintain that tireless travelling trot for hours at a time is still present. Different breeds of dogs have different exercise needs and in my insanity both of the dogs I've adopted are herders--breeds that are bred to work all day and to be able to run large distances flat out multiple times a day. When we first adopted Ranger we were walking him 5-7 miles a day and giving him 60-90 minutes a day at the dog park. With Finna's fear issues we can't walk her as much and dog parks are right out but we're still managing 2-3 miles a day, a couple 30 minute sessions of race and wrestle with Ranger in the yard, and multiple sessions of indoor fetch of five minutes or so. A restless bored dog getting into mischief is a dog that needs a walk. That's how I view it.

Rule THREE. All walks are training walks. It isn't enough to tire a dog out physically. Their active little minds need to be tired out too. I recently ran across this blog http://dogblog.dogster.com/2011/11/15/the-three-stages-of-healthy-dog-walking/  that does a great job of summarizing what a good walk should look like. With Ranger any time we were doing a short walk we were doing extra training. Because Finna is still learning leash manners and how not to bark and growl at everyone she sees a lot of her walks are taken up with training. Any slack in the leash is praised, any check in is praised, any walking at heel is praised to the skies. Any straining at the leash results in a full stop and no advancing, a taut leash receives a long drawn out whoa. With Ranger I remember two weeks of hell teaching him to walk nicely on a leash; every time he pulled we stopped. Both of us hated walks like that. Now he's a dream on leash and he knows exactly how fast and for how long I can jog. Walking Ranger and Finna together I often find myself looking around to make sure Ranger is still with us because he doesn't pull.

Rule FOUR. Every dog needs a job. This is especially true of breeds that are not very far removed from their working roots. I remember reading somewhere that a working Border Collie can do the work of nine men and that a bored and unemployed Border Collie can do enough mischief to keep nine men busy. Living with Ranger and Finna I can well believe it. Ranger's job is meeting people and making them feel good. His second job is learning things. In an earlier blog I wrote about why I decided to teach Ranger K-9 sign. He needed something to learn and I'm a more effective trainer when I have a goal. Finna had never been given a job before she came here. She'd decided that her job was to be ultra vigilant and protective. I have no interest in living with a dog that wants to protect me from the other creatures in the house and from my husband and children. Finna is learning that her new job is to learn patience and manners. Now that she's mastered sit I often ask her to sit and wait for her treat. Every time she is asked to wait she is learning self-control and she is learning polite behavior. In time we'll figure out what her great love in life is and we'll find a job that fits with that love. For now learning is a good job for her. And since she does have a real job now her protectiveness is diminishing.

Rule FIVE. Not every dog wants to please. Finna does want to please her people and she'll work for praise alone. Ranger has never been interested in pleasing his people and for him praise is just a marker that a tangible reward is to come. Ranger wants to know what's in it for him. He has no interest in giving up that book he's decided to chew on just because I want the book however he is willing to trade for it. Ranger is my dog. We are partners with mutual respect and affection and I understand that Ranger works for reward not just because it makes me happy. Training a dog like Ranger is harder because he has his own agenda and it requires putting yourself in his mind and figuring out what his motivations are but training a dog like him is also incredibly rewarding because you are successfully teaching a member of another species how to navigate your world. Finna will always look to her people for clues on how to behave and she will always want to do what makes her handler happy. Ranger is confident of his own ability to navigate human society and to make everyone he meets understand what he wants and needs.

Rule SIX. You have to be smarter than your dog. I never cease to be amazed at how difficult this is for some people. I have watched so many people fruitlessly chasing their dog around the park trying to capture her to take her home. I figured out very early in my relationship with Ranger that he is scary smart and that if I wanted any sort of control I would have to be smarter. Rather than hang his leash on the fence so that he'd have an obvious clue that I was planning to take him home I decided to wear his leash like a sash from shoulder to hip. Rather than teaching Ranger that if I called him in the park it meant we were going home I practiced calling him over, fastening his leash giving him a treat and releasing him. Ranger never knew when we were going home and after the first few weeks I never had to have someone else capture him for me. Any more it's second nature to me to look for things that could cause problems and figure out ways to avoid them. At the moment while we are gone Finna and Ranger are confined to the enclosure with its six foot high fences. I've notice though that the gate to the driveway can be warped out at the bottom by a determined dog. I also know that Finna has separation anxiety issues and might be tempted to try to escape while we are gone. The gate swings both ways so I've piled the old tires I use for my potato plants against the outside edge of the gate. The tires weigh a lot more than Finna does so even if she tries to push the gate out it won't work, yet I can still open the gate and walk through.

Rule SEVEN. You use the rewards available. Ranger is not crazy about being brushed. I generally trade him high value treats for cooperation but when I don't have treats available I'll brush him for a bit and then throw the brush for him to chase and worry. It means the handle of the brush is less comfortable in my hand but he'll cooperate just as well for the thrown brush. I sometimes reward Finna by letting her lick my hands. If the dog likes it it can be used as a reward.

Rule EIGHT. You need to know what you want from your dog. The dogs I really like and respect are attached to people who know what they want from their dog. The dogs I don't like are attached to people who have no idea what they want. Figure out what you want from your dog and work toward that. Since I realized early on that Ranger was destined to be a Therapy Dog I knew what I wanted was for him to have impeccable manners. Since I believe that Therapy Dogs are often the best judge of what the person needs I didn't want him to be constantly looking to me for direction but I also wanted to be able to trust that he'd behave appropriately. Ranger is pretty lousy at obedience but his manners are beautiful. With her fear issues and lack of early socialization Finna is a different kettle of fish. She needs to learn to look to her people for direction and for safety.

Rule NINE. You are the human and your dog is the dog. There are a whole lot of people that don't seem to understand that humans and dogs are different species. Canine social rituals are not the same as human social rituals and it's OK to expect your dog to follow human social rituals with humans (no crotch sniffing) but it is not OK to forbid your dog from following canine social rituals with other dogs. How would you feel if you were expected to meet new people blindfolded and gagged? When you don't let your dog act like a dog and sniff other dogs in areas you personally find offensive that's what you're expecting of your dog.

Rule TEN. Every day you do the best you can but some days the dragon wins. This one is actually my parenting mantra but it applies just as well to dog training. Some days nothing you try is going to work. Some days despite all your best efforts you'll be a horrible trainer. Some days the dragon is going to win. Don't dwell on it. Some days are like that and tomorrow will be better.

Others will have different rules but these are the ones that work for me.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Most Useful Things I Taught My Dog

Now that Finna has come to live with us and we're back to square one with an untrained dog I've been thinking a lot about the things I've taught Ranger that make him easy to live with. Sure the basics, sit, stay, come, etc., have been very important don't get me wrong. Every dog needs to learn the basics. They are the foundation of good manners and a canine citizen of whom you can be proud. But the basics are just the starting point. As you develop your relationship with your dog you encourage him to learn the things that are useful to you. These won't necessarily be the same for every dog. What works for me and mine won't always be the most useful for you and yours.

In thinking about it there are Four things that I'm very glad I have taught Ranger. I've taught him "Wait," "Finished," "Beep," and "Stop." I use three of these directives all the time. "Stop" is in a category all it's own. I don't use it all the time but I constantly train it. "Stop" is the command that can save a dog's life. "Stop" is the command that shows your dog is under your voice control. "Stop" is the command that seldom gets used but always gets practiced. "Stop" means cease all motion and freeze in place. I almost never use "Stop" but we work on it several times a week. As a result when Ranger was off leash playing with pals and abandoned his play to run toward a family with young children (Ranger adores children) I could yell "Stop" from halfway across the park and have him freeze until I could get to him and reattach his leash. The family who would have been justifiably concerned to see 90 lbs of unleashed canine heading toward them at full speed was reassured by seeing him stop on command and wait for me. Everyone had a great time together. I haven't had to use "Stop" to save him from injury or death but if the circumstances every arise the behavior is there.

"Wait" means exactly that, wait. It means don't get out of the back of the car until I have your leash on. It means don't go out the door until we're both ready. It means be patient for a minute and then we can go. Behaviorally it means stay in this place until released. In practice it means I can open the back of the car, realize it is cold enough that I want my coat zipped, zip my coat, then leash Ranger and release him to come with me wherever we're going. I use wait all the time.

"Finished" is another one I use a lot. The idea of having a directive for we're done now, that's enough, stop being a pest came from Patricia McConnell's book The Other End of the Leash. She describes teaching her dogs that being patted on the head twice and told "enough" meant they should stop soliciting petting and retire quietly. I started out using "enough" but when I started reading Sean  Senechal's book on teaching K-9 sign I found her sign for "Finished." This is formed by raising both hands together from waist to shoulder as if you are putting up your hands in a hold up. It's a great sign and easily recognized. My father, who spoils Ranger outrageously, had been feeding Ranger graham crackers. When he finished giving Ranger the last one in the package he tried to tell Ranger there were no more but Ranger continued to sit politely looking soulfully at my dad waiting for more good things. I explained to Dad how to sign "Finished." Dad looked at me like I was nuts but tried it. He was surprised and impressed when Ranger got up and walked away to settle on the floor elsewhere. "Finished" is I'm done handing out treats, no more petting, this training exercise is over and I'm done brushing you for now.

And finally, "Beep." This is not something I decided to teach it's the directive that just arose from living together. "Beep" means move out of my way. Ranger is a big guy and if he's laying in the middle of the hall he's blocking the way. Often I'll just step over him but if I've got my hands full of something it's easier if he moves. "Beep" just evolved. I don't know why I say "Beep" to tell him to move but I know in the beginning I'd nudge him with a knee or toe and say "Beep." Now I can have him move aside with just the word "Beep."  It's so helpful to have this directive and it's nice because it lets him choose how to move out of the way. I just ask and he moves.

We're already exposing Finna to these concepts. At the gate before a walk I hold her collar as I open the gate and say "Wait" when she stops straining at the collar I release my hold and she darts out (and yes, I also have hold of the leash). when we get home and she charges into the yard I say "Stop" and use the leash to prevent forward motion. If she's in the way she's told "Beep" and nudged gently aside. When we're done with something we sign "Finished" and don't do anymore. These are the most useful things I've taught Ranger and I expect they'll be equally useful with Finna.

What useful things have you taught your dog?

Monday, November 14, 2011

Fun with Finna

Finna has lived with us for 10 days now and I'm beginning to know some things about her. She's very bright and eager to learn. She's already grasped the concept of sit and will sit on command except when the distractions are very high. She suffers from separation anxiety which was a very useful thing this evening when she slipped her leash and ran; as soon as she realized she was getting further and further away from her people she turned and ran back. It also makes teaching come a breeze since there is nothing she wants more than to be with us. Her cries when we leave her are heart breaking. Fortunately, at the moment she's alone (well except for Ranger) for maybe six hours a week. And, thankfully, the family is all very matter of fact about departures and returns. I expect she'll get used to how it works fairly soon.

Finna's surrender paperwork said she was crate trained and that she slept in a crate in the house every night. If her behavior here is any indication she was never crate trained instead she was forced into a crate and abandoned at night. We're trying to retrain her to a crate by making it a happy place. At the moment it's where she gets fed with the door always open. She's reluctant to go in when people are nearby. As she gets used to the idea that she won't be locked up and abandoned if she sets foot in the crate we'll gradually teach her that this is a safe, happy place.

Her paperwork described her energy level as hyperactive. I only observe hyperactive behavior when she's over excited or very stressed. During a typical day she spends much of her time sleeping at someone's feet. She doesn't require attention just nearness. As I write she's sleeping between my feet.

My observations lead me to conclude that her previous environment was inconsistent and lacking in enrichment. I also think that she was frequently punished for being a dog and was subjected to dominance based interaction. Living where positive reinforcement happens for desired behavior and undesired behavior is redirected or ignored has been a revelation to her. Here no one alpha rolls her if she does something undesired. She tired to pull the blanket off my son's bed today. He told her to leave it and tucked the blanket out of her reach. He praised her when she didn't continue to try to get the blanket. That's the norm.

Finna is very protective. Of course what do you expect if you cross a GSD and Corgi and don't give the result a job. She's decided her job is to be hyper-vigilant and protect her people from everything. We're working on finding her a different job. She's learning to fetch, something that she's grasping fairly quickly. Apparently no one ever played with her before. Initially, she was happy to chase after the ball but was afraid to pick it up. Now she picks it up and usually brings it back at least to the vicinity of her playmate.

She's willing to let her people take anything but is very possessive of things if she think Ranger might get them. He is getting heartily sick of her growling and barking at him just because she has a chew and he wants to walk past. Actually, we're all getting heartily sick of that. We're also getting very tired of her being startled and frightened every time my husband comes into the room. Tomorrow he and my daughter will be alone with her and he'll be shoveling treats and leaving and returning steadily.

Despite what it said on her paperwork about her liking soft squeaky toys Finna is actually a killer of soft toys. She will happily spend hours removing every bit of stuffing. Thankfully, she's not interested in eating the stuffing just in removing it. She plays nicely with hard rubber squeaky toys. Interestingly, Ranger prefers the soft squeaky toys and doesn't much care for the rubber ones.

Assorted other observations. Her long back makes her much taller on her back legs than you expect and she can easily get her front paws onto the kitchen counter. She likes cats. The Great Catsby considers her his personal plaything. Her short little stub of a tail is very expressive. She's learning that there are interesting smells to smell on walks. She was mesmerized by the deer we saw on our walk tonight. She hates crows. New things terrify her. She's very muscular and much stronger than you'd expect. She knows where home is now and can't wait to get back when she's been on a walk. She's seldom been in a car before and is very stressed out. She wants to please. She loves music and was fascinated when she heard her boy practicing his guitar.

Finna, you've got a long long way to go but we'll get there. Everyday I see you learning and growing and gaining confidence. I'm so glad you have my son. He has clear goals for you. This month you'll be perfecting your sit, come and fetch. You'll also be learning that it is not desirable to bark and growl at anyone in the house and that outside a soft bark indicating something or someone is all that's necessary. I promise the more you learn the better things will be.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Oh How I Wish I Could Read Ranger's Mind--two interesting stories

Ranger's new little sister, Finna, is largely untrained. We've started working on some basic politeness such as sitting. Ranger has been a big help in showing Finna what is  wanted. We ask Ranger for a sit and reward him for sitting. We ask Finna for a sit and reward her for sitting and reward Ranger for remaining in a sit. We'd been working this behavior throughout the walk and she was definitely grasping the idea. We stopped to visit two of Ranger's favorite people and while we visited continued to work the behavior. Finna was less willing to sit with people she doesn't live with watching. At one point she hesitated for a long time and Ranger who was continuing to sit politely lifted his paw and brought it down on her rear end. She sat and they both got their treats. That's what I observed but I don't know if this was Ranger intentionally making Finna sit in order to get his treat or Ranger signing Cheese (string cheese being a high motivator for Finna) and accidentally smacking her. Oh how I wish I could read his mind.

Here they are out for a walk together.

The second time I wished I could read Ranger's mind was last night at bedtime. I took his food out to his enclosure (he sleeps outside by his choice) and noticed that his water bowl was fairly empty. Being rather sleep deprived since the arrival of our new addition I wasn't thinking and set Ranger's dinner down on the big deck storage box rather than on the ground for him. I mumbled something about "in a minute" and proceeded to fill the water bowl. Ranger, as I turned away to fill the water bowl, was sitting looking at the bowl of dinner. As I was filling the water bowl I heard him jump on the storage box and thought, oops, I should have put that down for him. When I turned back from filling the water bowl Ranger was back sitting and looking at the dinner bowl which was now empty except for a little bit of juices. I set the bowl on the ground so Ranger could lick the last juices out (one comprehensive lick would have done it) and Ranger licked and licked at the bowl as if he was eating dinner. Did he think I didn't notice he'd already eaten it? Is he so accustomed to licking the bowl as I leave his enclosure that he just engaged in habitual behavior? I really wish I could read his mind. 

Sunday, November 6, 2011

In Which Ranger Gets a Little Sister

We've added a new dog to our family. She's a German Shepherd/Corgi or as one of my friends put it a "Gorgiherd." For sometime my 12 year old son has wanted a dog of his own and we've been visiting the Kitsap Humane Society on Thursdays and looking at their available dogs for just the right one. On November 3 my son found her. He fell in love with a shy year old female who had been surrendered by her previous family. We couldn't take her home immediately as it was near the end of the day and there wasn't time for vet services to sign off on her. We returned the next day and after a ridiculous series of absurdities we finally manged to bring home our new addition.

When we got to KHS to pick her up the front desk couldn't find any of the paperwork so asked us to go snag her kennel card; that's when we discovered that she was at an adoption outreach event looking for a new home. It seems that someone dropped the ball and while all the adoption approvals were in the computer no one had put a note on her kennel that she was adopted. Frantic phone calls from KHS onsite staff to the adoption outreach staff, fortunately no one else had decided to adopt her. They were ready to pack up anyway so packed up and hurried back but as the event was at a fair distance and they would need to pack up all the animals could we come back in an hour. We killed time for an hour and went back. Finna (as she's now known) was back and we could have her just as soon as we finished all the paperwork. That's when we hit the next snag. Our adoption application that had been sitting in the middle of the desk when we left was no where to be found. Then another staff member asked what was missing, "Oh, is that the one I put in the recycling bin?" A search of the recycling bin ultimately yielded our application. Signing all the papers, reviewing the vet staff report (healthy in all regards) and then waiting and waiting and waiting for staff to be available to bring her to us. The 12 year old was getting mighty impatient to finally have his dog--small staff and lots to do doesn't mean much when you're 12 and want your dog. Finally, they brought her out and we replaced their slip lead with her new collar and leash and headed home.

We'd planned to transport her in the back of the Rav4 and had reinstalled the dog barrier that we used to use with Ranger. Finna had other plans. It didn't take her long to figure out how to wiggle the expanders smaller and crawl through. She spent most of the trip riding my my son's shoulders. She did finally relax enough to ride on the seat next to him.

At home Ranger was very surprised to see us with a dog in the car. He was rather excited about it. Finna seemed to recognize him as the dog she'd met the night before. We leashed Ranger and went for a walk. Finna was a bit overwhelmed with her adventures of the day and stayed pretty close to Ranger. It went pretty well. Ranger was tolerant of her and she seemed to take her cues from him.

Later Finna's stressful day paid off for us since my son had a Boy Scout Merit Badge clinic that evening. Finna was reluctant to go into her crate but once inside she settled quickly and the time we were at the Merit Badge Clinic (he's learning Archery) was a great chance for her to decompress. My daughter (18) was home with her and kept an eye on her.

The first night was difficult. We took two more walks, one immediately upon arrival at home and one before bedtime. Ranger accompanied her on both walks. She was put to bed in her crate with a marrow bone. My son elected to sleep on the floor in front of her crate so as to be close. He reports that she startled and whined every time he moved. I don't think either of them got much sleep.