Mr. Blue is coming along. Best class ever Sunday. You know what we did?
Nothing. Just walked around, up and down the street, and let him look at the dogs and people. Let him sniff the grass, wander and just relax.
Let him be a dog. No commands, very little attention on him and enjoyed the sunshine and fresh air.
We worked with 2 other dogs by just walking past them, over and over, while the foster parents helped them to stay calm and correct them when they became reactive. This was interesting to Blue. Of course, being Blue, he wanted to walk over and say hello.
Not once did he jump on me, or pull the leash or do anything but walk and smile.
Then the instructor came over. Blue was lying in the grass and chewing on a stick. She showed me how to be able to take it away and give it back to him. Blue can get a tad reactive when anything is taken away from him. It bothers him. You can see it. So he got a treat every time I took the stick and another one when I gave it back to him. Back and forth, quietly with very high praise.
Then she wanted to see how he was with another dog. This is a big thing and takes intelligence and being able to read a dog perfectly.
So nose-to-nose he went with Miss Betty Boop. Blue was ecstatic and immediately jumped and hugged her. She hugged back. I was trying to stay relaxed and trust. I held tight as he was pulling the leash with everything he had.
Betty was fine. She is used to work with other dogs. This is Miss Betty Boop:
So little steps based on tons of praise and fun when he's good and ignoring him completely when he misbehaves. He hates to be ignored, so it works well.
We will slowly have Blue be around Betty. She will not put up with any nonsense but Blue has no idea what that is.
That's OK. We'll get him there and my hope is he will soon have a friend to play with, to learn from and to just be a dog with.
That would make me the happiest person around.
Monday, May 5, 2014
This is Blue pouting.
Had a most interesting time with Blue yesterday in class.
Actually, saying he was in class isn't exactly correct. We stood on the sidelines and walked up and down the street for class. Marthina spent the hour with us and watched.
Yep, little Blue gets too excited and demanding in class. That's when he throws his tantrums. He is a "treat whore" and when he wants one - no, when he feels he DESERVES one - nothing will stop him.
Being in class with other dogs and people is just a bit too much for him right now.
We had all noticed that he wasn't behaving better; he was getting worse. I mean, we had to spray him with the water bottle!
Walking him up and down the street, easily and without much restraint, he began to smile. He looks at other dogs and people, but isn't particularly interested in them. We walked on the grass and then back off before he started to jump. When he gets near grass, all he wants to do is start running.
Marthina saw how great he is AS LONG AS I IGNORE HIM. The minute I lean over (to fix his leash) or say anything to him, he starts in.
He is a typical teenager AKA brat. Wants his own way NOW.
Marthina thinks he may have had some extremely strict obedience training before arriving on my doorstep. I don't know but it's possible.
So Blue needs to learn how to relax, amuse himself and not look to me all the time for attention and entertainment.
As soon as I ignore him, not even give him a command, he relaxes. If anyone comes up or gives him any attention, he acts up.
He lunged at someone when he came up because the man bent over to pet him.
Blue was all over him, wagging his tail and trying to lick the man to death.
Of course, I had him on his leash, so I get pulled right into it.
Marthina said "Nope, ignore him. Walk away," and the man did.
Blue knocked it off.
On our walk last night, Blue was fine when he saw another dog with his person. I felt him tug a bit on the leash. I stopped walking and he knocked it off.
But as soon as the other dog barked at him, Blue wanted to play.
I pulled him back and casually walked away. Blue followed. I didn't say a word.
So, no treats for him, no commands or praises. Just calmly and with some degree of boredom, walk down the street. If anyone approaches, immediately tell them to ignore him.
Operation Blue - ignore completely and help him to learn how to be a dog.
That means no treats.
Only I would have a dog that you do the opposite with.
Just like me.