Meet Stella and her mom, Brittany! Brittany is a traveling nurse who is currently stationed in the ICU and ER in our Milwaukee territory. Stella is a 5-year-old chihuahua who has made it her sole purpose to protect her home and her humans from other dogs. She’s quite unsure of other dogs’ intentions so she tries to keep them away by barking and lunging towards them. She’s even bossing her older fur brother, Braun, around and making sure he stayed away from things she perceived as hers. Make sure to follow Stella’s journey: #StellasStrides
By the end of Stella’s first lesson, Stella was already walking a lot better on her leash AND was able to sit on the couch and relax as Braun walked by. Stella is such a smart cookie, so we cannot wait to see her improvements over the next few months. #StellasStrides
Stella is making STRIDES! When Stella’s trainer first arrived, her owners were embarrassed to take her outside because she’d get so worked up when she saw another dog. By the end of the second lesson, Stella has not only improved while seeing other dogs but could sit within a few feet of another dog and not act out! Great job Stella!
Before her training started Stella had a lot of issues with sitting on hard or wet surfaces, let alone sitting at all. She has not only learned how to sit on command, but it’s been raining A LOT here in Wisconsin so she is learning how to overcome her fears with wet surfaces. It was a hard process for her since at first as she likes to do things on her own time but she eventually learned it and will continue practicing it!
Brittany said Stella isn’t perfect but has made a great amount of progress with being kind towards her brother, Braun. She said that she’s seeing improvements with everything and is learning so much herself! #StellasStrides
During lesson 3, we worked on her sit-stays and downs. Due to the weather, we stayed inside as Stella is not a big fan of the rain or puddles. We accomplished a lot! We were able to get her to stay with her toys being thrown, which was a major accomplishment for this fetch loving pup. We were also able to use treats for her sit-stays as distractions. We also started the command of off for when she needs to not be on the couch snuggling. #StellasStrides
During lesson four, Stella learned the command off. We are using this command with Stella to let her know when she needs to get down off of the couch. When Stella is all cuddled up on the couch with her owners, she tends to get sassy with her brother. So, this command is critical!!
It seems like Stella makes a HUGE stride during every lesson! During her fourth lesson, she allowed a brand new dog to enter her home. It was hard for her at first, and she pulled out all the tricks she had in her book. But eventually, after some work, Stella calmed down and even ended up hanging out on the same blanket with this new dog!
Stella is starting to let go of her insecurities and is learning to be calmer in stressful situations. Not only did she hold herself easily in a down-stay command while other dogs passed, but she did it without a single baring of the teeth, growl, or any barking! As a small dog, Stella has used her big voice to keep others away from her.
She has some improvement to do with allowing other dogs on “her” property and letting her brother come in her personal space, and she got a lot of practice today! By the end of the lesson, she was allowing other dogs to walk ON “her” property, and she even sat near them! Keep making strides, Stella! #StellasStrides
When it comes to her brother, Stella likes to rule the house as she thinks she is the Queen Bee. However, if they’re outside together, she feels the need to protect him from every dog that passes by. This is something she, her parents, and her trainer have been hard at work on. Today all of the hard work paid off! Both with and without her brother present, Stella was able to hold her sit-stay, as other dogs were passing by. Not only did she hold her sit-stay, but she didn’t react towards any of the dogs that were passing. She still has some improvements to make, but today she proved to her trainer just how smart she is!
A big part of Stella’s training has been getting to lay down on command. To a dog, laying down means to be vulnerable and submissive. A stubborn pup, like Stella, will usually find this very challenging to do, especially when asked to do it repetitively. Stella has started working on laying down but also laying down outside where there are tons of distractions and dogs. Stay tuned to see how she progresses through!