20 August 2008

Public Access and Refusing to Eat

Molly got more public access practice yesterday and it went really well. DH had a dentist appointment, so Molly and I went and sat on a bench in a very busy pedestrian area. There were tons of people and several dogs walking past us. She did whine a little, which is really bad, but overall it went well. She responded to commands well despite the distractions. We did some stay practice but with me still right there. She gave me a number of good paws ups both onto the bench and onto my lap. She retrieved my hat a few times. She also touched my hand with her nose on command several times. All this was with praise as the only reward.

I know she wouldn't have been whining at all if we'd been moving, but my goal was to work on her behavior while we are sitting still. She's going to need to be able to handle being still with people around when we are in the airport. I didn't think to take her mat with me. I think it would have helped.

Then we also went into the pet store for more dog food. She was a little overeager to talk to people there but also didn't have her vest on, so talking was allowed. I was able to get her to sit instead of jumping on people she wanted to talk to. She also did great with "leave it" for the baskets and tubs of dog treats at floor level!

The nice woman in the shop let us have two sample packages of dog food of a kind that Molly is used to (Acana), so that gives us some treats for the flight that shouldn't have problems with customs.

Another good thing on the trip front is that my parents' have received the crate, Orijen, and dog chews that I ordered for her for the trip. Also Frontline to keep her flea-free on the road. Now I just need her heartworm meds and we'll be set.

As for eating, she refused last night. She'd refused for DH in the morning, but ate when I came out and told her to. But last night she totally refused for me.

So this morning she didn't get anything and tonight she starts over at one piece of kibble. We're really frustrated but we so want it to work out. I also miss training her, but I'm working on practice with toys.


Lexi, Qwill, Shiner and Trophy said...

i've just started remembering to read your blog. When teaching Molly to eat you give her one kibble, if she eats that nothing else and the next day she gets two kibble, next 4, do you keep doubling as she continues to eat?

then any day she refuses you go back to one the next day? Do you feed her once a day then or morning and night.

I'm interested and my sister's dog Koda is a picky eater too.

Rebecca and Molly the Border Collie said...

Hi Lexi!

It is easier than it sounds and I strongly recommend the program.

I feed twice a day.

If the dog doesn't eat, skip a meal and start at one piece of kibble.

Any time the dog eats everything in its bowl, double the portion for the next meal.

If the dog eats only part of the meal, give half the amount eaten at the next meal.

At some point you will be able to work out the size of the meal the dog needs.

It is essential that the dog not be given ANY treats, hand feeding, or anything else until it has learned to eat properly!

Molly hasn't yet learned to eat only part of a meal, but maybe she will eventually.

Check out the link in an earlier entry to read the original description of the eating program!

Good luck with Koda.