We worked very hard to get Tasha on a leash. That was a big moment. No biting, no snarling, no happiness, but it was on her. So we sat triumphantly leashed up for a few hours just practicing the petting and leashing and being accustomed to the leash.
Nelson advised us to be quiet while sitting in the kennel with the dog, but c’mon, after about 30 minutes, don’t you think the dog wants to know about my day? I really want to ask the dog how she managed to climb to the ceiling of the kennel and to pull her leash down and then shred it to pieces.
We compromised. We would sit quietly for a long time and then we have a little talk time. Then quiet time, then talk time. It’s how we used to do it in the front yard when she was a free feral dog. I figure she would think something was terribly wrong if I was totally quiet. But Nelson was right, she made the most progress when we were quiet, so we were mostly quiet.
Now that we could reliably leash her, it was time to walk her out of the run. We took her out for the first time on Thanksgiving day. We didn’t go far. She went straight from her run to the emergency back door of the clinic which was about 20 feet away. Smart girl. We eased her back down the row towards her run and as soon as she had opportunity, she bolted back into her run.
The next day, Nelson came to work with Tasha specifically to help to get her to walk on a leash. He made amazing progress with her in just a few short hours. She had a lot to learn to understand the expectation of walking on a leash, but with Nelson’s guidance, she soon understood. That’s not to say there wasn’t leash biting, alligator rolling, and general coming undone during the process, but with Nelson’s expertise, she quickly learned what wasn’t acceptable or what would not yield the results she wanted.
She began to trust through the experience and she took another baby step towards understanding how to relate to humans in a positive way.