Abby had a really good morning. She ate all her breakfast, she pottied outside – no in-house accidents – and she worked really hard with every exercise we did. Her afternoon and into this evening… Not so great. Here’s how it’s been.
It was too hot to work Abby outside for very long. The best I could achieve was short increments of about 20 to 30 minutes roughly every 90 minutes to ensure she wouldn’t overheat. Each session started out good, but after about 10 minutes, Abby became nippy and jumpy, and she would get tangled in the leash and then thrash around like crazy when I tried to untangle her. I understood that she was frustrated – I wouldn’t let her make any decisions about anything – so I brought her back to the house, we sat in the shade, and she laid down and dozed for a few minutes. Then, she would bounce up and be raring to go again… so, off we would go. And sure enough, the nipping and jumping and entangling started all over again. She was also very, very vocal.
The behavior continued when we came back into the house. Abby refused to settle; although she had toys to play with and even a bone to chew on, she went after everything she could reach on the short lead and tried to destroy it. Her frustration level was off the charts, and I had no choice but to give her some down time in the kennel.
In the kennel, she was vocal and she tried to push her way through the kennel door. ::sigh:: It was not a good afternoon; several short time-outs had to happen.
This evening, she did really, really well with her supper – she practiced patience, she offered steady, soft eye contact, she performed the “leave it”, “wait”, and “take it” exercises really well. It was an excellent session. Towards the end of her supper, she started indicated that she needed to potty, so I took her out to the back yard to do her business. The unwanted behaviors started again when she was finished and she tried to get a fallen apple. And when she saw my husband, she went right off the rails.
Abby was completely disengaged, and she was completely insensitive to the pressure she was putting on the leash and collar from pulling so hard. She didn’t care about anything except getting the apple. When she didn’t get her way, she became vocal – and then, she started jumping and nipping at me again. I took her back in the house and attempted to implement the “do nothing” exercise to help her calm down. She wasn’t having any of it; instead, she went after anything she could reach and tried to destroy it. It didn’t matter to her that there were toys laying around for her. Even my efforts to redirect her to them failed; she completely ignored them.
Abby has really been having a hard day. Her reactivity towards my husband is continuing – and now includes lunging, along with the barking and growling she was already exhibiting towards him and almost every other male she sees. She’s not accepting direction or even trying to engage with me when I move her away from him.