April 21, 2014
We had the best walk this morning! We reached the end of the street and turned the corner, and there was a man across the street walking his big yellow lab. We got closer and the man and I said “hello,” and…that was it. A.J. would take a quick look at the dog, then look away. Look, look away. We went by with absolutely no incidents at all.
After that we saw two ducks on the sidewalk. Again, looking, but no lunging. Finally we saw another big dog. This one was off leash. But the dog stayed on the other side of the street, and A.J. kept looking away, so we had no problems. HURRAY!!!
We still need to work a lot on heeling, I was tugging on him a lot. And he’s still trying to turn me around when he decides I’m going the wrong way. But we walked past dogs with no tantrums!
Yesterday we had a small lunge. There was a dog off leash who had a case of the zoomies. The owners were trying to get him in the car, but he kept popping back out. I thought as we approached that they finally had him in the car, but they opened a door and he popped out again just as we were passing. He came running over to us and A.J. lunged and barked once, but I was able to pull him behind me and keep him behind me without too much trouble. It was easier to keep him behind me than the last time this happened, although this dog was much friendlier. But still, progress. The owner of the dog apologized and we talked for a minute, but I didn’t want to hang around too long, I just wanted to get past and enjoy our tiny victory.
Last night we went for a walk again. Greg came with us. We saw that same dog, this time on leash. It didn’t pay any attention to us at all, and A.J. walked right past. He really did a great job the whole walk. I was complaining a little about how I couldn’t get him to heel very well, but Greg was so impressed with how well he did with distractions that he actually started defending A.J.
I’m almost afraid to get my hopes up too high. I know we’re going to have another eruption at some point. But I need to enjoy the successes we’re having now, and deal with the problems as they arise.
We walked past big dogs today!!