Millie Part 2

Millie is now 10 months old. A lot has changed since the last I wrote about her;

We purchased our first home at the end of December and Lucy moved in with my dad for a multitude of reasons (trouble with my hardwood floors, issues with the stairs at our new place, my dad feeling in need of a companion). It was supposed to be temporary but Lucy has made her choice very clear when we visit that she wants to stay with my dad! We are fine with that and Millie and Lex have become much closer without Lucy in the mix.

Millie hasn't had a single potty accident in our new house. We have no gates, no pens or need to close doors. She is entirley crate trained and can be sent to her crate on cue from any part of our 3 level home. This was a dog that hated crates! She sleeps all night and can be a perfectly chill dog if nothing is going on. No more high needs puppy! She knows how to play with her toys alone, play with Lex and enjoy the outdoors with no demand barking or clawing of the back door.

She did go through a fear period and we are still in it a bit, where people had her barking at them. We got through it in public by using our "look at that" game from Control Unleashed and treating her for looking at triggers. Once we were over the public side, she began having an issue with guests in our home. It was quite awful, with 20 minutes plus barking in fear no matter if she was confined or not or if there were treats being given or not or what the distance. With some solid mat work and practicing door greetings, it is very tolerable now and within normal range of intial barking, a few sniffs, a bark and then it is over. It is getting better each time, but I really don't have a ton of visitors that she isn't already familar with to practice with.

She is still good friends with the kids but had a bout of resource guarding. My husband or myself can issue a drop cue and she follows it well or a "can I have that?" with no issue. But most dogs don't comply to the kid's commands because kids don't have the same timing or hand gestures etc. So when she began growling at them while chewing a bone if they sat next to her on the bean bag or if they tried to take something from her, we immediatley took action. We didn't scold the dog, we told the kids their behavior was not acceptable! We reminded them to walk away when dogs chew or eat or sleep and to give Millie space just as they do Lex or Lucy. They had gotten a lot more comfortable with her than the border collies. Once they gave her space, it became a non-issue. Even if they forget and sit near her, she is no longer threatened because I was able to stop their threatening actions toward her and build up her confidence again.

Last month we started off leash hikes and she is doing fabulous with her recall. Her heel is still great most of the time and her wait and all her manners are excellent. We even taught her not to ever take food from the kid table even if we aren't in the room (that took a few weeks!).

She gets her dinner in a brain toy each night, goes to work with Lex and I and goes on countless car rides per week to the kid's school and other destinations. We are working on some new fun tricks and hope to get her Canine Good Citizen award when I can find an evaluator that isn't myself!