Canela has made a lot of progress in the past few months! I have seen this first hand as I’m her foster mom. She plays with toys, sticks and balls, and wrestles with her foster dog brother, Tyson. She’s also getting along much better with the cat, though she still gets slapped in the face pretty regularly for personal space violations!
Canela is learning every day how to live in a house and how to interact with people. Canela is about 99 percent housebroken; she’s never pooped in the house, and the last in-house pee episode was well over a month ago. She can hold it all night, until about 5 a.m.— wake up time!
Canela has graduated from a six-week training course where she learned a handful of commands like sit and stay. We’ve also continued to work on her training education. She responds to “down” in exchange for a treat. Continued, focused training is highly recommended; in fact, taking one series of positive reinforcement training classes will be a condition of her adoption. She’s very food motivated, which is helpful for training.
Having a mentor dog has been wonderful for Canela. She has learned things from Tyson that cannot possibly be learned from a human — and certainly not as quickly! Through Tyson she’s become aware of the small joys in life like rolling on her back in the grass and chewing on a stick. Having a mentor dog in her forever home is necessary her well-being and emotional growth.
We’ve seen a huge improvement with leashing walking as well! She does leash pull for plastic bottles, cans and litter on the street. We joke that she will have the cleanest, litter-free block in town! Treats are helpful on walks to divert attention from unwelcome behaviors.
- In the house, she is good at settling and loves having a dog bed. We have one in our bedroom for nighttime and one in the living room for during the day.
- Canela is not destructive with furniture or household items as long as she has toys and balls. She plays with plushies and rope toys, but her all-time favorite is a ball.
- She is an opportunist and will counter surf if you leave something on the counter. She abides by the baby gates used in the kitchen.
- Demand barking occurs in certain situations: slowness with dinner preparation; asking for a “sit-stay” longer than she prefers; a ball not being thrown fast enough. We’re working on these situations too!
- Any mouthiness can be easily modified with a ball! And 70 percent of the time she has a ball in her mouth!
- She was previously quite “sharky” when taking treats but has improved significantly. We’re working to help her learn to take a treat more “delicately.”
- Canela likes to follow her foster family around the house like a little shadow and always wants to be where the people are. She’s now more comfortable being touched and has learned to calmly accept being petted.
- Because she lived on the streets for a while in Puerto Rico, where she came from, Canela does have some food aggression. We currently feed her and Tyson in separate areas. They are great at sharing water bowls though.
Canela enjoys the kiddie pool, sprinkler and swimming in a lake at the dog park. We’ve taken her off leash at the dog park and she does a good job of coming back to us (treats, of course). She is an expert retriever and will bring her ball back until she can’t stand anymore.
A clever girl, full of energy and interest in the things you do, Canela is truly adorable and has a very cheeky personality.