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Never Judge a book by it’s cover

img_6748Lil’ Megan is a senior resident at Dogtown SA. This little sharpei has managed to wiggle her wrinkly, chubby, puppy dog eyed self into my heart.

In Early October we were given the challenge of training a dog to lay down next to you when you fall. Now, sharpies are notoriously difficult to train so you have to understand that lil’ Megs, even though she such a little cutie pie, wasn’t my first choice for this challenge.

This was my first challenge at Dogtown and I had no clue how to start training for this. One day I was doing a quick training session with little Megan and, as usual, she was eager and willing. I knew she could already lay down with a verbal cue so I decided to give her the benefit of the doubt and try the challenge with her.

Despite her wrinkly appearance and loud breathing, much to my surprise we had achieved a huge milestone in just one session. After just 10 minutes, she was laying down next to me! Although there were a few seconds of latency and she needed to be lured down with her favourite treat (liverbread) once or twice, I knew we could do it!

For two weeks training continued and she was picking up the idea very quickly. To help her along, some of the session would be more like a game where she had to chase me and would catch me ‘’falling’’ on her blanket.

Then the big day came. The assessment was due and I was feeling very anxious, but Megan’s eagerness during the set up reassured me that she knew what were we going to do. We started as usual then Megan’s time to shine came and with my heart beating I lay down and…… heypresto! The cleaver girl did it! without being lured by food or a verbal cue. She even stayed down till I got up again. We did it!

A few days later the results were in and we came in third! I was so proud of her and she got a delicious chewy bone as her prize. Just goes to show never judge a book by its cover.

By Savannah, Caregiver

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