Katy is a 3-5 year old cattle dog mix. She was confiscated from her owner who had her chained outside at all times and rarely fed her. Katy now loves living inside and is very treat motivated. She's a quick learner and loves to be petted.
"The biggest obstacle for Katy to overcome is her ability to control herself around strangers and in chaotic situations. Her emotions, when put in these situations, range from timid and apprehensive, to literally jumping for joy when some of her favorite people come around. The difficult part about this is that these situations are fairly limited in this environment. In an attempt to work on these traits, I have been bringing Katy with me while making my nightly phone calls. I have her sit or lay at my feet and for the next 15 minutes, she is surrounded by noise and movement, but the fact that I am on the phone keeps people from coming up and addressing her directly. She is literally on a "short leash" learning to sit and be at peace with herself, even when there are so many exciting things to go and investigate. Slowly but surely, Katy continues to progress."
"Initially, Katy had a habit of barking continuously when she wanted something. Sometimes it was an attempt to get a toy or a treat. The majority of the time she would bark when left home alone in her crate. We worked on it consistently, waiting outside the door until she stopped and then marking her good/quiet behavior with a treat and some belly rubs. Recently, we have had a couple of new dogs join the program and they are showing some very similar behaviors to Katy when she first arrived. However, now when the chorus of barking begins, Katy behaves in a much different manner. She gives them a sort of quizzical look, comes right to her handler, and sits for a treat. She knows that barking will get her nowhere and she has so much more control over herself in a chaotic situation. This is just another example of how much she has progressed and is ready for a forever home."
"Like everywhere else, it has been extremely hot this week. One of the staff members brought Katy a handful of ice to try and cool her down. I don't know that she had ever seen an ice cube before. She was utterly perplexed by them. First, she would lick the ice cubes. Then, when she couldn't pick them up with her mouth, she would smack them with her paw causing the ice cubes to go flying across the concrete floor. A chase would ensue and the process would start over. When they finally melted, Katy was so confused and it was so darn cute. As other dogs come and go, it's becoming more and more apparent just how much progress Katy has made since she arrived. She is kind, loving, and smart. Katy would make a great addition to any home."
"Katy went on a field trip to a local park this week and much to my surprise, she had a blast running and jumping in the creek. I have still not been able to coax her into the baby pool but will continue to try. Since she arrived, Katy has always loved apples and oranges. But when given a piece of banana, she was never quite sure what to do with it. This week, I gave her a piece with peanut butter on it and she went bonkers. It was as if the lightbulb went on and she realized what she had been missing out on. Now as soon as she sees a banana, she sits right next to me and flashes those big brown eyes. It's impossible to tell her no."
"This week a number of our dogs discovered a new hole dug by the local groundhog. Katy was the only one whose head was small enough to fit in the hole and she made every attempt possible to climb down there after her furry, little friend. Now, every time we approach that area, all she wants to do is hunker down low and make another attempt at catching him. After all of this digging in the dirt, she was quite dirty and much to my pleasure she continued her new habit of not resisting her bath at all. She is still not a fan of being dried off with a towel, but the fact that Katy doesn't make a break for it at the sight of the hose is a big step for her."
"For the first time since she arrived here, Katy did not resist at all during her bath this week. Normally, she will try to make a break for it as soon as we head towards the hose. This time, she took the whole process in stride, not shying away from the water at all. I'm hopeful that this may lead to her taking a dip in the baby pool in the near future. Katy has made vast improvement on her stay command. I was able to make it 25 paces away and back without her moving. Hopefully, this will help her to complete the upcoming good citizenship test. Fingers crossed."
"Normally we start every morning out with Katy chasing tennis balls around the yard. It gives her a good energy burning run and keeps her from getting restless during the hot afternoons. This week, to mix things up, I brought out a soccer ball for her to chase around. It made for quite the sight. She chases it down with her normal enthusiasm, but then tries to grab it with her front paws and fit the entire ball in her mouth. Obviously, this is never going to happen, but she is bound and determined to wrestle that ball into submission. Eventually, she tires herself out and just lays down next to it. Ready to try again tomorrow."
"Ever since Katy arrived, she's exhibited a strong prey drive. She is always on alert any time a mouse, rabbit, or groundhog is in the area. If allowed, she would spend all day with her nose in a mole hole, waiting for any sign of movement. This week she added a new creature to her "most wanted" list---fireflies. She is absolutely amazed by them and utterly confused when they stop glowing. Her night time walks have turned into a hunting excursion and she is determined to capture one. It makes for a good laugh as Katy spins in circles, trying to figure out where they disappeared to."
"Katy has been thriving in the recent mild weather. We have started playing a new game where I throw multiple balls against the wall continuously, and she chases them in every direction. Katy absolutely loves it and it makes for a great energy burn before we work on training. She continues to respond well to wearing the easy leader and every day her manners on the leash are improving even more. We have also continued to work on her enthusiasm when greeting strangers. Katy still gets excited, but she jumps up to hug now less and less."
"Katy has continued to respond well to using the gentle leader. With the recent heat wave, we have been keeping her training sessions on the short side. She likes nothing better than finding a nice shady spot and staying out of the sun. While indoors, Katy has taken to completely hogging our fan. No matter what direction it is pointed in, she will position herself to block all of the cool air. I'm willing to bet that she would love sticking her head out the window on a nice car ride. We're still working on getting Katy into the baby pool. No luck yet, but as things get hotter, her attitude towards it may change."
"Katy has begun using a gentle leader harness while on her daily walks. It is amazing how quickly it has brought about a change in her on leash manners. The pulling is almost non-existent now and she keeps right in step with her handlers. With the recent heat wave, we have been doing all we can to keep the dogs cool. Katy has not found the courage to try out the baby pool yet, but she enjoys a good spray with the hose or dousing with a bucket of water. I'm hoping that as she sees the other dogs swimming that she'll have the urge to dip her paws in the water."
"With all the rain these past few days, Katy has been out of her element. Normally, her morning starts with a run out back, but lately, it's been a bathroom break as quickly as possible and then right back inside. Trying to release some of that built up energy, she has been working on some new tricks. Her favorite one is giving me "high five" which she does with much enthusiasm. We have also been working on walking on her hind legs. Katy makes it about 3-4 steps but no further than that so far. In a week or two, she should have it down pat."
"Katy has been working diligently to prepare for her canine good citizenship test. We have been practicing ignoring distractions when walking through a crowd and she has made great improvements. She still gets excited to see her friends but is doing much better at keeping herself under control. We have also been practicing ignoring her favorite objects while walking outside, keeping Katy focused on her handler."
"Katy continues to be a joy to be around. Not being a fan of rain, she was visibly much happier when the storms moved on and sun finally broke. As she rolled around in the warm grass, you could almost see her smiling. She is making slow progress on rolling over, but she has made great strides on sitting on a milk carton for a treat. Katy has begun returning the ball during fetch without being bribed with a treat. However, having two tennis balls does help a great deal."
"Katy reached a huge personal milestone this week. She began climbing up and down the main staircase entirely on her own. Her former anxiety towards the stairs has dramatically lessened and now she seems to enjoy the task. Katy has also started responding to the command "crate" and will enter and lay down as soon as she is told. Of course, she expects a treat for doing so."
"This week Katy has been attempting to learn to roll over on command. She is not quite there yet but continues to make progress. One of her favorite things is rolling over in the sunny grass so she definitely has the ability. Katy continues to love her morning walks and has become fairly proficient walking with her handler when off the lead. She also began returning the ball during fetch without needing a treat to coax it out of her."
"Katy's natural instincts have been on display this past week as she tried to chase every bird, rabbit, mouse, and groundhog in sight. Watching her run around in the open grass, you can almost see her smiling. Every day she is more comfortable with her handler and has been showing progress when walking without a lead. Fetch continues to be her favorite game, but she has a new found passion for tug of war."
"Katy continues to make steady progress. This week we worked on down and crawling forward on her belly. She loves to play fetch as always and has grasped the idea of returning the ball for a treat."
"Katy made a huge breakthrough this week---she climbed up four stairs all by herself. She had her first bath outside this week and really enjoyed it. She attempted to drink every bit of water that came out of the hose. Katy continues to make great strides with her leash manners and has become very comfortable going for her morning stroll."
"Katy has been a real joy these past few weeks. With the improved weather, she has been spending more and more time outdoors and enjoys every minute of it. Katy continues to love playing fetch and gets better and better at returning the ball to her handler. We have been working steadily on her focus skills, keeping her from getting distracted by various people and noises around her. Indoors, she still excels at her cuddling skills. Katy likes nothing better than to curl up and watch a movie at night."
"Katy has been making great progress on her manners when meeting people. We have been working on having her sit & stay and waiting for the unsocial to approach her. She still wants to jump up and give them a hug, but she is getting much better. We have also been working on down & stay and continuing to practice loose leash walking. Katy has made vast improvements on the latter."
"Katy continues to improve every day. We have been working steadily on her leash manners with keeping her focused on the handler and ignoring distractions around her. Katy loves playing fetch in the mornings and has a much better grasp of returning the ball to her handler. She loves spending time outdoors. Reggie and Katy are new friends."
"Katy has been making great strides on her leash manners. She is much more obedient and focused now. We have been enjoying the recent warm weather, playing in the yard with her buddies, Ayla & Denver. Katy is starting to understand how to play ball. She's barking much less for attention now too."
"This week Katy has been working hard on her leash etiquette. We have spent a lot of time going for walks and getting her comfortable on the lead. She has mastered spinning in a circle for a treat and really enjoys playing "pick a hand." Katy continues to love attention from her neighbors but has improved greatly at not barking for attention."
"Katy is improving her behavior in social situations. She is becoming much more comfortable around strangers and is working on not jumping up to meet new people. We have been working on "leave it" and moving backwards on command. Every day, Katy shows improvement in her general manners. She is slowly getting better at not pulling on the leash."
"Katy had a great time with the recent snowfall. The cold did not affect her in the least. If anything, it exposed her playful nature even more than usual. She has become very friendly with people around the block and has a true social nature. Katy is improving at staying at distances now and her auto sits."
"Katy is a very smart and curious puppy. She figures things out very quickly when we start to work on something new. I am a taller person and because she is curious of things she started standing on her hind legs and placing her front paws on things to try and get a better look at what I am doing at times. It took Katy all but minutes to make the connection between "off" and the reward, a treat. As soon as she made the connection, her thoughts had to have been, "If I jump up, he says off and then I get a treat." She had fun with this one. Katy is also very affectionate so once I figured out that she had this figured out so quickly, it was easy to transition her reward to praise instead of the treat."
"Katy hasn't been here a full week yet, but she's already learned sit and is very treat motivated which makes training easier. She is a smart dog who loves to play and be petted. Katy likes to run and play outside. She's a curious dog who likes to watch and investigate things."