Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Asking Permission

***I know Loretta sometimes reads this blog, so Message for Loretta! - if I am getting what you said at our lesson wrong, please set me straight!***

At our last lesson Loretta said she doesn't want Tibby to ask me for permission to do everything.  I get the reason why and I really want to work on it (build drive, working independently, ect.), but when she said that I was shocked.  I never, ever, EVER thought anyone would accuse Tibby of asking for permission for anything. 

It really made me see how far we have come.  This last weekend when we were stopped at a gas station I offered Tibby a drink of water and then spilled the whole glass on myself (wet ride home!!).  Without thinking I opened my door, jumped out, ran around to the other side of the car and grabbed a paper towel from the side of the gas pump.  I left the door OPEN.  Tibby was still inside the car and she stayed inside the car.  Shock and awe!  I didn't tell her to stay inside the car, she just stayed.  Wow.  Maybe it isn't a big deal to a lot of people, but for us this was a HUGE moment.  It doesn't mean that I trust Tibby to do it again.  That's the thing with Tibby - she is always testing me.  For example, I wash Tibby's feet off several times a day.  When she gets out of the tub I dry off her feet and make her wait in the bathroom.  I go out of the bathroom, turn off the light and walk away.  I walk past the bathroom a few times, stop in front of the door, throw a toy or something else new that I want to test her wait with.  Tibby is very, very good a waiting for her release now, however sometimes she will test me.  Can she inch toward the door?  Can she put her head around the door frame?  Can she bolt out of the tub and run for the living room couch? 
This is just an example, but she does this with EVERYTHING.  Do I really not want her to eat the cat?  Dancing on the table is not allowedDigging holes in the backyard is a no-no?  It's not Ok to bite you and scream when you try to brush me?

Stubbornness. Tibetan Terriers have an independent mind of their own and can be stubborn and manipulative. You must show them, through absolute consistency, that you mean what you say.
Tibetan Terriers (also known as TT’s) are not really terriers. They were bred in Tibet as companion dogs and brought to the west through India by the British.  They were also used as guides through the Himalayas and as herding dogs. 

As my Mom always says, "I'm not done with her (me) yet."  She means she isn't done raising me yet.  Even though I've lived on my own for 6 years LOL!  I feel the same way about Tibby, "I'm not done with her yet."  We have a lot more things to learn and experience together.  However, here are a few things I am grateful Tibby no longer does:  She does not steal food out of people's hands.  She now backs up a few steps or even lies down and tries to get a taste of your food.  Many times Tibby stole food right out of my guests hands - without them even knowing it!!  Yes it was a skill, but not one I wanted her to have.

She does not run away (too much).  The first time Tibby ran away from me she was about 18 weeks old.  I had just given her a bath and I thought she needed to go potty.  So I put her leash on and started to open the front door.  Tibby bolted through the small opening of the door, pulled her leash out of my hand and chased after a boy on a bicycle that was riding past the house.  She chased him for 3 blocks, around a corner and out of sight.  I chased after her, but thankfully he stopped to talk to 2 other boys playing in the street.  If he had kept riding toward the busier road a few blocks away I'm not sure what would have happened to Tibby.  The boys helped me catch Tibby, but I never trusted her again.  Now she waits when I open the door and she gets released when she gives me eye contact.  She also didn't run away at Loretta's house.  She had super zoomies, but she came to me when I called her.  Again wow.  Wow!  Remember this fun time?  
Also, it has been a long time since she chewed up any clothes, blankets, socks, pants or doors!  She only chews up the things I give her permission to chew up, like the toilet paper in the pictures at the top.  She LOVES toilet paper!

It's not that I think she will ever stop testing me, but I really love the companion she has turned into. 


Laura, Lance, and Vito said...

You're doing an awesome job with Tibby and I can't wait to meet her!

Catalina said...

Thanks! :) I know! I wish we could meet sometime soon!

Loretta Mueller said...

LOL you crack me up :) I think, just like everything..there is a balance that has to be put into place...too much independence and you have a dog that doesn't care about you...too much dependence and focus...and you have a dog that won't do anything without you helping or telling. Sounds like she has come leaps and BOUNDS with you already! Just the few lessons you've had with me I can see her changing everytime :) That's why I love teaching...seeing the changes in the dogs is so much fun and also the changes in their owners :) You're doing a great job!!! Keep it up!