This is Billie.
He lives next to a courtyard that many people pass through every day. At the same time each day, or so I've been told, he comes out to wait for his owners to come home from work. That's how I came across him one day.
And now to a certain Labrador named Katie...
Today as I was working with her I was beginning to wonder if I'd ever make any progress on this 10 year old dog that I only see for an hour twice a week ... but then I think I made a little progress on Stay! I ask her to Sit, and then hold my hand (with the treat) out in front of me and take a few steps back. She can manage to stay seated while I step back, but as soon as I step back towards her she'll get up. But she managed to stay seated through the whole routine once or twice today, and boy do I feel much better now that I think I've seen a little progress! I've always had aspirations to be a teacher, and it seems like if it is in my future, it will be a rewarding job.
I'm realising that while Katie is very much active and excitable despite her age, she's actually pretty good on walks, no pulling or lagging, she hops on and off the kerb when I need her to and waits to cross the road.
It's just other dogs on the street I need to be careful of: she is totally reactive to the other dogs on-leash on the street. I see other people walk their dogs past each other in small enclosed spaces like at the market - no way that could be done with Katie! I have to cross to the other side of the road when I see another dog. A few people have seen me hesitant to approach them and their dog and assure me that their dog is friendly - I always have to tell them that my dog is not. It's a pity.
I'm not thinking of working on that with Katie but I am curious: what makes some dogs reactive to other dogs on the street and others not? Can it be trained? Is it a matter of socialisation?
Lastly, Jackson, the sweet old Golden Retriever belonging to a friend of a friend, is likely to be out of a home by the end of the year. I have tentatively put it out there that I'd consider taking him, but I'm trying to keep a cool head and not run away with the idea, because my boyfriend and family don't think it's a wise idea. I must say I saw him the other day and he was definitely not as alert as he was last I saw him, but hopefully it was an off day.