Board and Train: Lupin, Day 3

Good morning, and happy Wednesday to everyone. Today marks the half-way point of Week 1 of Lupin’s 4-week stay with me – and what an adventure it’s been so far. Lupin has shown me a lot about where he’s at, what he needs the most help with, and where I need to make changes in me. He’s quite an amazing boy; no question about it.

I am very happy to report that there have been no further bite attempts since the first one earlier this week. I am working to help both Lupin and my husband become friends again by having my husband offer a treat whenever Lupin is calm with him. So far, the two are doing better with each other; Lupin is starting to think before he acts or reacts, and my husband is regaining his own confidence. It’s a win for both of them.

Lupin is really struggling with anxiety on the walk. He becomes so overwhelmed so quickly that he can’t focus on me at all. So, I’m going to help him build confidence and trust by working him on very simple, very basic commands in the back yard. He’s familiar enough with the space that he’s at least trying to focus on me, so I want to maximize the potential for improving that.

The work to teach Lupin to be respectful of both food and the source of his food continues. He is actually making very good progress, though I have not yet tested him by placing the bowl on the floor and holding onto it. He’s only just learning how to deal with not being allowed to make decisions; he’s not ready to be challenged with more than that right now. However, I am hoping that by the end of the weekend or the start of next week, he will be ready to try eating a little closer to the door – which remains closed for his well-being and our protection when he’s eating, as he is not muzzled during that time.

While he does really good most of the time, Lupin still struggles to control his prey drive with Violet. They’re okay with each other until they start to play. Once play begins, his drive overwhelms him and he becomes very intense and will bulldoze his way through any obstacle to get to her. So his exposure to her is strictly monitored – he is not allowed to be around her at all off leash or without highly controlled supervision – and the moment he starts to get too intense, he is removed from the area and sent to his mat to decompress. The purpose of this is to teach him that his intensity is unacceptable, and that he must work harder to control his impulses in order to earn the privilege of sharing open space with Violet.

Overall, considering that Lupin has only been here for 3½ days – and, considering that he’s only 15 months old – he’s actually doing really well. He’s learning to become a happy dog and he’s learning how to live and be with humans and other animals calmly and respectfully… It’s all good.

Have a great day, and remember to stay calm and lead on.

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