Seriously, new environments do get him wound up. For all the progress we've made with him on his arousal issues, he has a long, long ways to go. Wish us luck! We're both exhausted. At some point I will write out the homework and training goals Sarah set for us, and possibly even describe the consult, once I've digested it a bit more.
His foundation focus behaviors are very good with distractions on the farm: watch me, sit, let's go, target, leave it, recall.
But in the city, at her house, he started out being able to offer his foundation behaviors, but after 30 minutes in the room (small room, 3 new people, 8 dogs and cats in the house but not visible), he was getting more wound up, and soon his cues fell apart and he started shrieking at runners he saw through the window. He's not used to cities, to put it mildly. On the walk with the trainer, he didn't scream, or lunge at dogs that he saw halfway down the block, but he did teeth-chatter when he peed, and he wasn't able to take treats or respond to target cues. The main part of my homework is to take him into the village and town, away from other dogs, and work on his foundation behaviors in novel environments.
For a comparison, she thought he is less dog aggressive than many dogs we work with, but among the most aroused of dogs she's worked with. She is confident we can make progress because he has calmed down so much on the farm, around our chickens and around our dogs.
For another comparison, I asked how he compared to Dr Yin's Podhee, who lunges and barks a lot more. She said Vanya was far, far more aroused. She held her fingers close together: "this is Podhee's arousal." Then she held her arms wide apart: "this is Vanya's arounsal." Okey dokey.
Here's Podhee for comparison: