Monday, July 21, 2008

This is going to be a challenge

She's here.
She's scared, and nervous, and defensive. She does NOT want to be touched by us, although she was very affectionate with the foster mother. She's nipped and growled a few times, warning us off and showing her fear (but never breaking the skin). She's even making some sort of "hmmmmmmmm" noise at the cats - I can't read the expression on her face, since her eyes had that "I'm not sure what to do but I'm trying to be submissive" look but her lip was pulled back a bit.

She's willing to obey my commands up to a point, although "come" and "off the couch" have met with some argument. I have reason to believe she's been abused in connection with both these commands; I may have to come up with alternative words for the same effect, then train her to understand them. Allons-Y is a bit difficult to make sound staccato and sharp. Same issue with Binga. Maybe "to me" for come, and "couch" for get down?

The trick is to win her over while giving her as much personal space as necessary to adjust and to her new situation, and yet subtly reinforce my "lead bitch" status and steer her away from any situations where we might have to argue about my authority. (At this stage, I strongly suspect that if she felt cornered and endangered, she would definitely bite.)

The good news is, we have time to work through this.

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