Open! Open! Open the door, Mom!!
One example of this was working with Blaze's strong prey drive with the cats whom she is separated from. The cats' room is inbetween the Front Dogs and the Back Dogs. Boxer and Leia have their own cat door into the Back Dogs section of the house, where they mingle with Brut, Silver, Fiona and Zappa. The regular entrance door is on Chance and Blaze's side of the house.
I've tried a few different methods that involved tying Blaze up and opening the door for Boxer to come out. When I've scheduled an actual training session these methods worked. But like many things when you have 6 dogs and a household to run, they can get pushed to the back burner. Where they simmer until the time is right to work on them again.
How long do I have to wait for the kitty?
Now I've done some on the spot training, with no treats and no real control of Blaze, that as you may have guessed didn't work out quite so well. What I'm finding that all this time of back and forth, I believe I've found a way to try again with Blaze and the cats and most importantly, Blaze seems ready as well.
I sit at the doorway on the floor, have Blaze lay down behind me, and after some cheese pieces and staying in a down position, open the door to the cats' room. She must stay in a down-stay while I treat her. The first time there were no cats around, which was good. Just practicing down-stay and not going into high alert with the door open is half the battle. Today we opened the door and Boxer was in front of us eating. Blaze's eyes stayed soft, her body was relaxed and we just sat there getting a belly full of cheese. Then I shut the door.
Now that is fantastic.
As for the cats, I've broken some trust with Boxer and Leia with my on the spot training and must rebuild, but Boxer being most curious and laid back of the two will come around with Leia in the background. Which is fine.
Too many times Blaze has been too excited and Boxer too curious, which has lead to Blaze grabbing Boxer with her mouth and nosing him with too much euthusiasm. So taking it slow will be a good thing for all parties involved.
It's a beginning with some foundation. Not totally new. But both at a time when we are willing and able. And that's what makes it the best training. May have taken several years, but well worth the wait.
I'll keep you updated! ☺