This weekend was a hodge podge of little successes. So many little lightbulb moments for us to celebrate :)
1-George continues to do a super awesome job being able stop himself from machine gun barking and throwing in a few lunges for ultimate drama when he sees another dog...hard to believe with a cute little face like that. After the attacks and off leash rushes, George became 'sensitized" to unknown dogs period. Whether they were stationary on the opposite side of the street, playing or ignoring us all together, by default all unknown dogs had become 'unsafe" in George's eyes. We still have a ways to go before Car Crash games but we're getting there. The anxiety that pushed him over the edge, atleast is dissolving.
Even when he puffs up now, he can and does choose to work through the drama on his own. I praise all the calming signals he offers up to deal with the stress and it gives him a job to do, other than barking and lunging, so we can just continue on our merry way. His success is not dependent on me doling out treats...classical conditioning portion of our training for this part of our rehabilition "checked off" our list :)
Now on to more functional rewards and operant conditioning, with a few treats every so often thrown in for a job well done :) Whether or not the other dog is moving, looking at us or ignoring him...atleast he's been consistently choosing NOT to continue the rest of his schtick.
2-Working towards CGN-Canine Good Neighbor with Keegan (I want to do it with Daizy too) has been a really good way to hone in on proofing polite social interactions. Inappropriate ones too!!! After being swarmed in class practicing the interaction tests...you heard me..it was grueling. Not kidding. Rita, (Dogsmart trainer) is so very strict about standards, there's NOOOO way that anyone will pass unless we have proven ourselves. No free titles given out there! They test your relationship to the max, and if there was any indication that we needed help (after the exercise) we'd work on D & CC'n. The extreme flagged our homework :) They're fair but very strict on quality and proofing behaviours for worst case scenarios.
After class we took advantage of being in town and proofed our walking on a busy street. Me holding an iphone (across an intersection as well) with 4 dogs in tow. No jumping up to greet people or being frightened by cars or buses or horns!!! Here's one intersection I video'd while walking, just to prove that we had our groove on. I'm sure people thought we were nuts, or I was a dog walker.....
3-Sunday's long story short, lost dog was found just around happy hour. We had spent the day hiking the trails around where he (Benny)was last seen. Cat Lake. Maren FOUND him!!! I brought Daizy n Keegan to sniff Benny's dog bed in the morning and played "find it" with the bed...which I will have to add to our "find it" games....only hiding dogs...just incase I ever have to say "find Daizy..." They are such keen sniffers...it'll be something fun to add to our out and about hikes. First round I took Daizy n Keegan and hiked with Christine and her shelties. Round two searching I was on my way with George n Taiki....Maren called to say she found Benny! We hiked a bit then joined in to celebrate with Maren. Cat lake is actually really pretty. Daizy n Kee did a super awesome job sticking close by and walking beside me then waiting until I released them to go have some fun. It was great to spend the day outdoors.
Trails around the lake
The lake and us
Returned later with George and Taiki