Tuesday, October 5, 2010

BAT with Dottie and Cynthia

We had our weekly practice with Cynthia, and this time she brought Dottie. Vanya did very well. He did lose it once and start shrieking and pulling when Dottie barked and he was too far from the car. But once we got back to the car, his safe space, he calmed down, had a little time in his crate, and then was ready to play the game again. A few times he whined and bounced, very eager to go say HI to Dottie. Even when he lost it, he didn't seem aggressive at all toward her--just very frustrated that he couldn't go run over and check her out.

He does seem to be getting the game: look at the other dog, look at me, then run off for a click and treat. Then do it over again, a bunch of times.

We also did mat work together--Cynthia and Dottie on their mat, and Vanya and me on our mat, about 30 paces away on the other side of the street. Vanya was able to do his relaxation protocol exercises, with me going back and forth in the usual fashion.

He was also able to stay calm while Dottie was playing tug and romping a bit, from about 40 ft away. As soon as she or Cynthia vocalized, he got more excited, however. And we did a bit of leash-walking together, with Cynthia and Dottie ahead of us, on the other side of the road, and Vanya was fine with that. At moments, I thought--this must be what it's like having a regular old dog and taking him for a walk. (Well, that lasted only for moments).

His reverse-directions are improving a lot, and he was able to leave the situation several times when getting too whiny, without freaking out and lunging.

Progress! Plus probably too much peanut butter--I need to watch the quantities so he doesn't get pancreatis.

On a less positive note, he has figured out how to dig under our very long fence. Right now, he's just getting into the woodlot or DNR land, but I need to dog-proof the fence better, so he doesn't get out when a dog and hunter are in the wildlife lands. While I was at work, he found a possum in the woodpile where the guys were chopping wood, and I gather he got extremely excited (and successful at the hunting-down possums part). By the time I got home, he was exhausted, as exhausted as I've ever seen him, seemingly from excitement, not from actual exercise.

1 comment:

  1. Vanya is gorgeous :) I just heard about your blog via "The Dog Trainer."

    If you are interested, I would love for you guys to join the ROAR Squad- it stands for Rescue Owners Are Rockin' and it's all about making adopting rescues THE coolest thing around. Current members: http://fidoandwino.com/category/r-o-a-r-squad/

    I am trying to find members from every state in the US and province in Canada by April 2011. Let me know if you're interested!