Love some alliteration! 🙂
We finished Cooper’s Reactive Rover course, and it was a great reminder that no training is a one-size-fits-all. Several of the dogs in his class made tremendous progress. Heck, when Lucas took the class, he made tremendous progress. Cooper? Well, let’s just say, at least he didn’t digress.
I think in a lot of ways, Cooper is too smart. He was terrified for a few minutes that first day, but he totally caught on to the fact that we were training, something he knows well. And he did fine. He went off only a few times the entire course, and his only “bad” night was week three when he had spent the afternoon at the vet’s office for his allergies (not a smart scheduling move on my part at all!) and I had a meeting that night, so John took him alone.
It’s certainly projecting a lot of assumptions onto him, but I’m fairly confident that “training” isn’t unpredictable to Cooper anymore, so he felt more capable of working through the exercises versus the “real world” where scary, unpredictable things happen all the time. Like… a guy getting out of his car.
Obviously, any training is worthwhile, so the class wasn’t a total bust, but I don’t think it’s worth our time to take Reactive 2. Instead, I’m going to work with the trainer to get him back into agility – whether she thinks the on-leash group session is a good idea (fingers crossed! I’m hoping for that!) or if we should just do some one-on-ones now that the trainer he HATED isn’t at that facility anymore. I believe that would be a more productive use of our training time, and I think it would help him with his overall confidence.
So, that’s that for reactive dog training.
One last update: the car. For his entire life, he’s been fine in the car. Now, he won’t jump in on his own, and when he gets in, he sits in the back trembling and rasping.
Here’s Cooper in the car about a month ago:
Here’s Cooper in the car a few days ago:
Such a difference. It’s out of focus because he was shaking so badly! My phone couldn’t come into focus!
But I’m not going to worry about the cause. Who knows what goes through his little head. Instead, we’re going to start making the car a fabulous place. Rewarding him for jumping in in the garage, then not going anywhere. Giving him some yummy treats to go around the block. That sort of thing.
Hope your (short! yay!) week is going well! Any training progress or conundrums going on with your pup?