Calvin, a true jelly bean – part 9

I wanted to get back into the gym with Calvin today, work on some specifics, and also strengthen fetch a bit more.

What was interesting the other night, and I know it was cool out and that kind of makes dogs a bit zingy, is that Calvin was so aroused, so excited, that while we took a walk together, I didn’t feel a good connection. But again, it was cool, and he may have had a low activity day and was just super excited to get out and about.

This morning I picked Calvin up, we got in the car and drove to McDonald’s for a bit of an early business lunch, and brought it over to our gym. I wanted to see if working with him outside first made a difference, kind of taking the edge off. AND IT DID. We played a bit of fetch, and lots of recalls ‘come to me’. Him getting to open up, stretch his legs, and run, made all of the difference in the world.

By the time we went inside to work on some specifics, he was so focused, so relaxed, and just a complete pleasure to work with.

This video is of us playing with FIND ME, and COME TO ME.


Today I focused on mat work, and you can see in the first minute or so, that when introducing new words,and new behaviors, he cannot handle very much social pressure. The mat, because it was so new caused a bit of conflict, so we had to work through that.

Something to keep in mind, while Calvin is physically a powerhouse, and athletic, and beautifully muscled, he is tender, JELLYBEAN tender emotionally.

He wasn’t initially raised to be a learner, or to learn how to learn with a human. All through this next video you can see me introduce behaviors, but for short periods of time, and then we switch to some other stuff. Too much pressure and he folds, he becomes uncertain, and tries to avoid what it is we are doing.

If he is given a bit of information, and then it is done and we move onto something else, he is happy and successful, and feels good about things. He needs a bunch of reassurance that what he is doing is correct, because honest to god, he has no context for learning. Do you know how strange that would be?

So again, kudos to genetics, because he is willing to hang in there and give it a go with me, and he rocks, ROCKS!


So today we worked on, in micro sessions, GO TO MAT, MICRO STAYS, FETCH, and STAND ON MY TOES.

He was light, having fun, and just a snuggle bum!

After an hour at our gym, we went for a little walk around the neighborhood, about a 1/2 mile, and he was SO RELAXED, and was perfection in my book. No arousal, not pulling, and just smelling things and walking with me and I totally felt a connection.


We are still accepting applications for his adoption, please continue to share his posts and story with family and friends.

Love, Nancy


9 Comments Add yours

  1. While I listened to this, Gunner heard your voice on the recall noise and he got so excited. He climbed up on my lap with his front paws and put his nose on the computer screen! I don’t know is he recognized your voice from yesterday or he loves the trilling noise!

    1. Nancy Tanner says:

      Hi Gail, most of the dogs that I work with, especially those in weekly classes that see my often, get SUPER excited when that tiny crazy ‘box’ on the table starts to sound like me. I love to watch videos of dogs watching my videos, it never gets old, ever… I find it so sweet!

  2. gailgug says:

    I tried to reply on the post but somehow could not get it to work…. I wanted to tell you that while I was listening to this latest video on Calvin, Gunner heard your voice and that recall sound that you made and then the praise for the behavior. He got sooo excited, he climbed with his front paws into my lap and put his nose to the computer screen. He cocked his head in that adorable way that dogs do. I don’t know if he recognized your voice from yesterday or he just loved that recall sound, but it definitely got his up from a nap and completely aroused. Thanks for a great walk the other day. Both Gunner and I enjoyed it! Gail

  3. Nikki Brown says:

    I love reading about your training sessions with Calvin. Gives me lots of info/ideas for my own situations, ’cause there’s always something new happening. I know there is just the right home for him, and they will be so lucky when they finally get together.

    1. Nancy Tanner says:

      Nikki, I am so glad they can help in anyway, because yes there is always something new! And also keep sending great thoughts his way!

  4. EmilyS says:

    awesomeness! he’s so cute and willing! I love the way he wants to use his paw. Teach “shake” and “high five” should be a piece of cake.

    1. Nancy Tanner says:

      Emily, he is SO very sweet! I am starting TRICKS this coming week to help boost his confidence in learning, shake shall be added tot he list!

  5. mtwaggin says:

    Clean off the coffee tables people – that happy tail is going to be lethal! LOL He is making such amazing progress!!!! What a guy!

    1. Nancy Tanner says:

      Sherry he is such a good dog, and so very very sweet!

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