The Roller Coaster Ride Continues

February 5, 2014

We’re backsliding a little. I had an extra session with Mary to figure out how to get A.J. to stop pulling so much on the leash. She didn’t really have any suggestions I hadn’t tried, other than going back to doing circles again. I’ve started doing that, which eases the pulling for a time, but A.J. is getting more reactive again. Yesterday we went to the park and saw a dog as soon as we were out of the car. A.J. was doing okay until the dog got within about 12 miles (okay, slight exaggeration), and then he threw a fit. I don’t know what happened. I totally lost my patience. I put him in the car and drove him to day camp, where I left him for 4 ½ hours.

Today we went to the park again. He was crying in the car most of the way there. He pulled a lot on our walk, improving some with the circling. But again he saw another dog and I couldn’t keep him from having a fit. We’ve gone backwards again.

He’s even getting a little worse at home. He’s barking almost every time we let him out.

And he’s getting even more into playing with rocks. He has tennis balls and toys outside, but if I look out and see him really happy and playing and chewing on something, it’s going to be a rock. I go out and take it from him, and throw a toy for him which he plays with just like he was playing with the rock. So it’s not that he doesn’t like the toys. He just happens to be a rock dog. Not a good thing, but I don’t know what to do about it. We have rocks everywhere.

And of course during all of this A.J. is a star in our freestyle class. Everyone thinks he’s wonderful.

There is one sign that he’s improving. When he’s pulling and I turn him around, instead of just ignoring me and either staring or pulling more, he looks up at me and tries to get me to turn back around. Not good that he’s trying to direct me, but good that he’s paying attention to me and recognizing he goes that way when I go that way.