Social Roko

Yesterday, Roko was put to work practicing everything he’s been learning in his first week. I took him to one of our local pet stores to practice meeting and greeting new people and new dogs, and not taking food or other items that interest him. I was very pleased with his progress; I had to remind him about not jumping when he saw a dog he wanted to meet, and he was able to catch himself and greet more politely.

Roko was also taken on a few walks so he could practice his leash manners. He’s still pulling a little, but he’s much better than he was a week ago. He’s learning to wait for permission to smell things, and though it’s still slow, his check-ins are beginning to improve.

It’s been a week, and though Roko is still vocalizing at times, he’s not doing it anywhere near as often as he was. His tantrums are decreasing, and he’s finally learning to take direction. He needs a lot of work in that respect, but he’s a teenager; being wild and unruly at times is not uncommon. And in a dog like Roko – border collie/mastiff/great dane mix – it’s normal for the ride into adulthood to be a bit rough sometimes.

All in all, Roko had a pretty good day yesterday. He gained some confidence meeting strangers and strange dogs, he got to practice being more polite, he got to learn how to be calmer in the car, he got to practice leash manners… He did quite well, really – and he slept like a rock all night.

Today we’re working on his interactions with Glimmer and Violet. He’s still having a hard time controlling himself when he sees them. Glimmer had to correct him twice because he’s now trying to jump her to force her into playing with him. He responds the right way to her corrections – he gives her space – but when she lets him try again, he repeats the mistakes. And he still isn’t allowing any mutual sniffing. This is a critical part of dog social etiquette, and it’s become very clear to me that Roko doesn’t know anything about this. So, with Glimmer’s help, I’m going to have to teach him.

More updates about this remarkable pup are coming. Have a great day, and remember to stay calm and lead on.


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