We thought you might enjoy an update on Pippin's progress. She is now enrolled in what is half-jokingly called Boot Camp. With a bite history, a girl like Pippin requires serious reprogramming in order to be placed in a home. Next week, Pippin goes to see the veterinary behaviorist, the only board certified one in the whole state of Oregon, and we are hoping and praying that something can be done for her.
Meanwhile, her foster family has adopted a very strict and unswerving set of expectations for Pippin. She gets 3 power walks a day to keep her energy levels under control. She always wears a lead if she is outside her exercise pen and the lead is always attached to either her foster mom or dad. She is not permitted to get up on the furniture, to assert her dominance (even in cute ways), or to take liberties of any kind without permission.
Pippin is an odd little bird. She seems to relish the limits set on her behavior, particularly on walks, when she consistently watches for cues and is very well-behaved as long as her walker is clear about what is expected. She maintains her zero-tolerance policy towards footwear on strangers, particulary men, however, and may fly into a tiny Pippin-fit when shoe-wearing unknowns come to call. Her foster family has been working on desensitizing her to strangers, though. Here, her foster mom describes a recent weekend and some work they have been doing with Pippin, with the indulgence and assistance of some friends. We can only hope they came wearing steel-toed workboots!
"In the last 48 hrs we have concentrated the most on the aggressive
lunging/barking and had some great results. We've had friends arrive
at designated times and been ready to show her what is acceptable.
We took her to a painting party and let her stay in the main room in
the crate (which she is protective of) and it really helped to
desensitize with all the knocking and different people entering; we only
had to correct her twice. We also randomly ring our doorbell or go
knock on the door.
[Pippin] goes absolutely ballistic after any dogs out on walks,
so far that has been considerably better, as long as we can catch any
of these behaviors before they kick off, it's a good change. We will
keep you posted on this adventure, and really hope we can turn this
cutie pie around. When she is cuddly or playful she is the most
adorable little thing, there is a great dog inside that little wiener
body waiting to get out and show us all. She is very, very quick to
learn and please, we just need to remove the negative triggers and
replace them with better options."
We are keeping our fingers crossed that Pippin can be turned around and that, at only a year or so, it's not too late for her. Please keep a good thought for Pippin's progress. We'll let you know what the behaviorist has to say.
The Frog Princess