What an amazing week last we had! Well, actually it took a few days to really get into a groove, but the walks have gotten so much better and on Sunday something slightly amazing happened.
We were walking around the block when a little black fluffy-dog-thing came rushing up to us, barking and full out annoying. It stayed out of reach, thankfully, and Ray was straining at the leash, jumping and wanting to play. Finally the owner sauntered over and started calling her dog. It went like this: she stood about five feet away, called her dog and then turned her back to walk away. Rinse and repeat three times. My heart was pounding and I was trying to get Ray to walk away while she finally got her dog to leave, giggled a “sorry.” Then when they finally left, Ray and I went a few more feet and then … I believe he settled himself. We walked to the other side of a parked car and Ray sat. I got him into “down” and gave him a couple of treats and lavishly praised him for the time out before we set off again. A similar type of settling also happened later that evening which is great.
The problem is settling and not jumping are huge obstacles for us and though this was a step in the right direction we still deal with it too often. There’s a point at which Ray gets too wound up and though I try to avoid getting to that point, it still happens and it is disheartening. There’s a mixture of too much puppiness still with some attitude and topped off with a dash of stubbornness and when that happens, it is upsetting. I want to make sure he doesn’t jump and nip and sometimes he is very sensitive and eager to please and other times he is the Honey Badger and he just don’t give a shit. I’m thinking about some individualized classes but the mindset is almost that I’d have to get him wound up just to teach him to settle. Seems counterproductive.
Do you have or have you encountered similar issues? How did you deal with them?