Yesterday was a day of challenges. It was day where some of the unwanted behaviors I’d been told about made an appearance, and where some unexpected behaviors were revealed. It was a character-building day, to say the very least.
On the walk, Lupin was not relaxed or calm at all. He was nervous, skittish. On high alert to every sound and sight. He pulled hard on the leash for almost the entire walk. He weaved continuously both in front of me and behind me. He did not use his nose at all. We only made it to the end of our street and across the road before we turned back and headed for home. He was just not coping well at all.
Since his arrival, Lupin has worked hard to earn trust and to practice being calm around my husband, Glimmer, and Violet. He was doing so well that he was given time off from his muzzle. And then, I broke one of my toes.
Lupin does not yet understand that his choices matter. Bear in mind that, as of this post, he has been with me for less than 48 hours. Because he doesn’t know better yet, and because he doesn’t trust humans enough to stand down and let them deal with situations that arise, he misinterpreted a helpful action as being a threat towards me, and made a wrong choice that resulted in physical harm. Everyone is okay and so is Lupin, but Lupin must now work to regain the trust he lost.
Today, we are going to be focusing on that. Over the course of the day, Lupin will be presented with opportunities to make different choices, and to learn how to think first instead of arbitrarily react. Because the Thai Ridgeback was bred to guard and protect, working to create a reasonable balance requires tremendous finesse and delicacy. You cannot override out train out genetics no matter how hard you try; you can only try to work with them and hope to create a compromise in which the dog will at least wait for direction instead of making an arbitrary decision without any thought at all for the possible outcome.
So, that is what we’re going to strive for. Everything else is secondary and can wait.
Have a great day, and remember to stay calm and lead on.