Thursday, July 12, 2012

Looking Back / Looking Forward

February 2012 - Mushroom's wide-eyed look of terror after being bathed

Mushroom has come quite a long way since we adopted her in February. She's been with us for less than half a year, and already we cannot imagine our family without her. (Except maybe quieter, with more shoes and fewer scratches.)

When we first met her, she was outgoing and friendly but had little self-control. She jumped all over us, pulled on her leash, and was extremely protective of her food and toys. In her first two days with us, she had more accidents than Badger has had in his entire life. Llamaentity and I found ourselves saying, "We love her, but we don't like her right now."

In the short time she's been with us, she's learned to walk on a leash, sit, lie down, wait for her food / toys, greet people without jumping, potty outside, wait at doors and on the elevator, and return to her crate. She's figured out how to chew on antlers and clear out a Kong. She trusts us now and will let us give her belly rubs and squish her jowls (surprisingly fun). While she and Badger aren't the best of friends, we're able to walk them side-by-side, have training sessions with both dogs, and leave both of them uncrated with supervision. Best of all, she's smiling a lot more.

July 2012 - Try as I might, she wouldn't smile for the camera, but you can see it in her eyes

Unfortunately, we've spent so much time and effort in changing Mushroom from an unruly dog to a manageable one that Badger has mostly been stuck practicing things he already knows. Looking forward, we plan on taking Badger to as many places as possible, even if Mushroom cannot come along due to her leash reactivity.

Badger practices giving a haughty look

Do your dogs have different skill levels? How do you make sure they are all progressing?


  1. I completely understand this! When we have a foster, we focus so much on teaching them manners that we kind of let Turk and Rufus' training fall by the wayside. Luckily they don't seem to get too mad at us, but I always feel guilty.

  2. This is exactly what happened with Tess when we adopted Schultz. We put a lot of focus and energy into working with him that Tess got left out. I've been trying to spend more time just with her, like going for separate walks and taking her to the dog park.