December 17, 2020

Meatloaf Update: I Finally Have a Barn Dog

 Who doesn't want to look at cute dog pictures?

I had an inkling Meatloaf was going to be a good dog once she got some structure, stability and training in her life, but I had no idea she was going to be this good, and I could only hope she'd be a good barn dog, something all of our current and previous dogs have failed out of.

Just two months into owning her, she now comes with me to the barn every night, staying patiently tied to the wall of the stall while horses are out, and once the horses are all safely contained in their stalls, I let her run loose with all the doors to the barn and indoor shut. She has a better recall than any dog I've ever owned, but I still don't feel comfortable letting her off-leash in the open.

It didn't happen overnight. At first, she was deathly afraid to ride in the car and would poop and pee in my backseat, shaking like a leaf, probably because the only car rides she ever went on before I owned her were to go to yet another shelter. 

As she slowly realized I wasn't taking her somewhere to abandon her, she got to be okay with transportation, but being left in the stall alone while I rode was scary and she whined. Finally, just in the last week, she's started staying relaxed and silent in the stall the whole time I ride.

Dog can jump 6 feet from a standstill but very occasionally she just cannot brain, lol

Along with that, her obedience work is going amazingly well. She came knowing sit and shake, and now she knows high five, down, spin around, all the way (which is forever our term for 'lay on your side' thanks to Austen's Sonka <3), roll over, crawl, jump on command, touch, heel and wait. Many of those she got on the first try! She'll also do all of those without hesitation for my dog-owning barnmates.

Also the wiggliest, cuddliest happiest little thing

Learning all of that has come easily to her thanks to her incredible power to focus. Last weekend I had her on the leash while standing next to Mary jumping Aeres through a line, and Meatloaf never took her eyes off my eyes even though the horse was cantering no more than 5-6 feet from her. THAT'S the kind of barn dog I want.

Also must love the kitties <3

She still does have her flaws. She has 'stranger danger' I doubt we'll ever fully overcome, where she does some short alarm barks and low growls anytime she sees someone she doesn't know. That's good when I'm at home or the barn alone, and bad when I just want her to relax when we go downtown for coffee. And of course there's that whole 'can jump my 6 foot privacy fence from a standstill' thing, but she balances that out with EXCELLENT recall once she's escaped.

Bad dog + good dog = neutral chaos dog

All in all, she's been a great addition to the family, and I'm so excited to finally have a barn dog for the first time!


  1. What a good doggo! Good job seeing all the potential through the trauma from being a shelter surfer.

  2. What a cool little dog! Nice that you could see her potential AND have the knowledge to make it happen.

  3. Gah could that last picture BE any cuter???

  4. so awesome to see her become such a great dog with structure and consistency!

  5. I really want Meatloaf and Asterid to meet and break the world with energy. Lol

  6. Love the update on your great dog!

  7. its crazy how structure turns them into different animals. dogs, horses. not cats. cats love chaos. I'm jealous of what a good barn dog she is - I hope our next one hates horses a little less than bailey hahahah

  8. Omg that jump video, haha!! She's adorable! Fred also has concerns with stranger danger, and over the years I've managed to get him to where I can carry him around strangers without him freaking out because he trusts me to never let them come pet him when I'm holding him, but he will never be a dog that I can casually take out in public. That's ok though, he's still almost the world's best dog. =-)

  9. She's so cute, and that jumping clip is absolutely hilarious! I'm so happy she found such a lovely home with you!