Max and Release

Max has done very well with us in the short time he’s been in our home. He’s been re-learning the importance of giving space and being respectful of others, practicing sit-stay lessons, and yesterday, for the first time in his life, he experienced the power of the treadmill to help him release pent-up physical and mental energy. Since then, he has been allowed to be off the leash in the house and allowed to play with Violet, who has been waiting impatiently to play “chase” with him. She was egging him on while he was working on the treadmill and this morning, the two have been romping around with each other since about 6:30am.

Max has developed a nervousness about his food that causes him to either growl and become frantic if the bowl is touched, or to outright refuse to eat when people or other animals are in the same room. This was confirmed when I took him into the bathroom to eat his supper last night: He ate his food with no hesitation, and he remained calm and relaxed *when I touched the bowl, and then, when I put my hand into it while he ate.

*WARNING:  This is a dangerous exercise. If performed incorrectly, at the wrong time, or with the wrong energy, it could result in a serious bite. Do not attempt this technique without the help of a professional.

During his short time with us, I have been teaching Max “pillow”.  It is the same principle as “mat”, with the goal being to associate the item with calmness and relaxation. This is very important to his well-being, as it will help him decompress when he’s feeling overwhelmed. He’s been doing an excellent job with the exercise and has even gone to the pillow on his own a few times. Today, I’m going to transfer that lesson to the actual mat; when I take him home later this afternoon, the mat will be going with him so his people can continue the exercises with him.

This morning, Max has been enjoying some much-needed play and bonding time with Violet. Even Glimmer has gotten in on the fun and played chase with him. Play sessions with Glimmer have to be very carefully monitored, as his mounting behavior worsens when his excitement level rises. He has had only one in-house accident, but that was our fault. We failed to recognize that he was alerting to go out.

All in all, Max has done very well. He still needs a lot of work, but on the whole, he’s been doing a fantastic job of listening, learning, and trying to practice the self-calming techniques I’m teaching him. It’s been a real pleasure to have this little energy tornado with us. Way to go, Max!


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