Holly was very excited on 1st April 2021, after a few days of meeting new people, we introduced her to Caroline Bennett who runs Look Forward Dog Training and Behaviour. Caroline got in touch in February and offered Holly a free session, we arranged for a one-to-one session in the garden, as I felt Holly being on public transport and then training would be too much. Caroline has worked for the dog trust previously and has experience of working with disabled and blind dogs.
Holly was so excited to meet Caroline and then when she found out that Caroline had duck paté, their friendship just grew from strength to strength. We had a good chat about Holly’s start in life and the challenges she had faced and overcome. We discussed her mobility and also how her balance, co-ordination and walking make things more difficult. Although Holly is doing wonders with her walking and balance, we have noticed that the hardest thing for her at the moment is when she needs to make small movements from a lying down position, like going just a few inches to reach a ball. Holly struggles to make those small adjustments. We also discussed the support she gets from Claire Lawrence so not to overlap the exercises Holly does. Caroline was able to offer some advice on how to use treats to help Holly engage with her exercises.
Whilst chatting, Caroline observed and interacted with Holly. Caroline showed us a technique to enable Holly to take steps forward and receiving a treat as she took slow and steady steps. This will help Holly really slow down and think about each step she takes. As Holly was doing so well, Caroline got her poles and Holly walked over the poles in a very controlled way. She is so determined and you could really see her thinking hard about what she was doing.
We also discussed that Holly tends to follow me around quite a lot (I don’t mind), but when I’m just popping into the kitchen to grab a drink and Holly is tired and she follows me, I do feel bad for her as she struggles. She also cries if I go to the toilet, have a shower or pop upstairs. We don’t believe it to be separation anxiety so Caroline suggested doing some boundary training too. So we will be giving that a go.
Caroline gave a few other techniques to try and Holly will be having regular weekly sessions in our garden with Caroline. We hope that we will be able to update you on how her training is going.