Last night, we had a major breakthrough with Lupin. Even I was stunned speechless. Here’s what happened.
I had to go out on a consult. My husband offered to take care of Lupin – which surprised me, because he and Lupin are still working things out between them and I expected to have to crate Lupin for the time I would be away. But, my husband reassured me that he and Lupin would be fine, so I agreed to let him “babysit”.
When I returned home, I got the biggest shock: Not only was Lupin sitting calmly beside my husband just to the side of the top of the stairs when I walked in, but he stayed there while Glimmer came down to the door to greet me. To add to my surprise, he remained with my husband and waited until she was satisfied. Then, he waited for permission to come and greet me. And when he did greet me, he reigned in his excitement, kept his feet on the ground, and did exactly what Glimmer did: He smelled me instead of jumping on me.
This was a massive behavioral breakthrough for Lupin. It was the first time since his arrival that he’s acknowledged, accepted, and respected Glimmer’s status, the first time he’s waited for permission to greet, and the first time he’s restrained his excitement when greeting, and the first time he’s mimicked Glimmer. It is my understanding that he has never taken direction from other dogs before, so following Glimmer’s lead was a very big deal, indeed.
Today, Lupin and Glimmer are going to walk together, side by side. This is an exercise that engages each dog’s brain and makes them think about how to work together so they don’t get in each other’s way or trip over each other. It builds confidence and encourages trust between them, and the muscle control required to stay in line while giving space provides an excellent physical workout, too. By the time we return from our walk, both dogs are going to be more than ready for a nap.
Have a great day, and remember: Stay calm and lead on.