Lupin goes home to his people tomorrow. I want to extend my deep appreciation and sincere thanks to his people for entrusting their beautiful boy to me for this past month. It’s been a life-changing experience for me in all the best ways conceivable, and I look forward to hearing from his people about all the progress he makes at home.
For the most part, Lupin has made huge strides in all areas. He is definitely very different from the dog who came to me a month ago. However, he is still extremely anxious, nervous, tense, and insecure on the walk to a degree where he is continuing to struggle to walk nicely on a loose leash.
Working with Lupin’s unwanted behaviors over this past month, I’ve observed that most of his issues are fear-based, including his reactivity with strangers. We’ve done a lot of trust- and confidence-building work during his time with me; learning to trust me in situations that previously triggered him [e.g. meeting or even just seeing strangers] has helped him relax enough that he’s finally started using his nose first instead of just blindly reacting. There are times he does still become reactive, but the level of intensity is nothing like it was a month ago. As long as he has calm but strong leadership and guidance in trigger situations, he will continue to make progress.
The following video was done two days ago. He is still breaking sit and down positions, but what I wanted from him was to hold the “place” position – which he did an excellent job of. With consistent practice, holding a sit or a down position will be achieved, too. He also did a phenomenal job dealing with the door and the door bell:
Today is our last full day together. The forecast is calling for a high of 31ºC, so we have a very small window in which to work outside safely. We’re going to be doing more leash work, some flirt-pole work, and then, I’ll be working him on his door manners. After that, I’m going to attempt to give him a bath.
Have a great day, and remember: Stay calm and lead on.