Seeing Some Slow Progress

April 15, 2014

It’s been a full week since we started A.J.’s new training. Some of it has gone really well, but we still have a long way to go. So far it hasn’t been the miracle turnaround Jerry had predicted. I’ve taken A.J. out to the trail on a busy road and he’s watched bicycles go by without lunging or throwing a tantrum. We’ve walked in the vicinity of some dogs and have been okay. But we also walked past a dog that he completely flipped out over. Today we saw a cat, and that didn’t go well at all. He’s still not staying fully in heel position, he keeps creeping out ahead. He also keeps banging into my leg.

I took him to day camp today. He was really excited when we got there, but even with his regular collar on he walked pretty well next to me all the way into the building. He’s still very excited and on alert when we walk around, but he’s mostly staying close to me.

I did discover one thing. When A.J. first starting keeping it together, he’d have a harder time not reacting to dogs that reacted to him. But the discovery I made was that A.J. is the one who’s been starting it. Even when he didn’t react, he was staring down the other dogs and setting them off. So I need to keep him from even looking at them; that’s going to be tough. But we’ve managed to do it a couple of times so far when the dogs weren’t too close.

I think with the cat today I didn’t give him a strong enough correction. But it’s difficult for me to pull hard enough on the leash for A.J. to really notice. Plus he’s gotten smart: when he feels me start to pull, he jumps into it so it doesn’t really get him. He can be a smart little guy when he wants to be. Now if he’d just be smart enough not to do the thing that’s going to get him a pop in the first place.