Mahzi is working out just fabulously. She spent the first couple days here on a leash tied to my belt so that she would learn to stick around. Whenever she would sit she'd get a piece of dog cookie. She absolutely must be part lab, because she is VERY food motivated! Whether tasty soft dog treats or crumbles of milkbones, she is always ready to do a trick or perform some act of goodness to earn a delectable. She still talks to the horses trying to get them to play with her, but only Highboy will oblige. Her bark is quite deep, but if I distract her with a command she hurries over to see if she can get a treat out of it and forgets about barking. Mostly I ignore the behaviors I don't want and encourage the ones I do want with praise and treats. Miles is even warming up to her, he realizes his responsibility as the head dog is to teach her how to behave around the other animals. Now that she understands more of the commands I use she's doing well off leash, and Miles even played ball with her a little this morning. When Mahzi tries to chase the cats, Miles has started distracting her himself by herding her around before she can pick up too much speed. The cats have quit running and just stare her down. Once in a while Z the calico will box Mazhi in the face if she gets too close to Z's perch in the tack room, but mostly everyone is adjusting to each other quite well.
Mahzi had her first session as a horse-training dog with me, Miles, and the horses this morning. First I rode Taz, the 6 year old quarter horse because he's very used to riding with dogs. Mahzi would be safe to make mistakes and Taz would forgive them but also correct her. Miles helped Mahzi too by showing her how to act around the horse when I'm mounted. Then I rode Toad, a beautiful gaited horse who is here for training. He's not as used to dogs as Taz, but was very careful with them and relaxed well by the end of the ride.
|Mahzi and Toad|
|Mahzi awaiting her next instructions|