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.