Last week we were the kid in class who farts in the corner and shoots spit wads. The annoying kid that everybody tries to ignore as he scrapes his chair across the floor, slowly and purposefully. This week we were the demo dog!
Somehow in one week Wally went from barking at every dog that exists (in a friendly “I want to play with you” kinda way) to keeping his voice down 95% of the time. There were moments when he couldn’t contain himself, but overall he was LEAGUES better than last week. We even got to be used as a demo dog for learning “go to your mat”.
Part of the reason he was so good is because I was a good mommy and thought ahead: I brought his otter toy and played with him periodically to diffuse energy and keep him distracted. That’s probably a key reason why this week went so much better. Also, we used string cheese. We thought smoked brisket was the “Captain America save us!” treat, but it turns out that he loves the pants off of cheese. Between those things and the constant work on getting him to ignore dogs (at MudPack, walks, obedience, handling, Marion’s) I now have hope that one day not to far in the future we’ll have a dog that doesn’t embarrass us around other dogs.
Noel pointed out something that she had noticed at MudPack. As the handler you normally see the rearview of your dog and you never get to see what he’s doing with his face. Noel told me that at MudPack when Wally was saying “hi” to Chica he was throwing all kinds of appeasement behaviors at her and licking his lips like crazy. Isaac and I, as handlers, couldn’t see this. Yesterday Noel had me stand in front of Wally while she walked up to him and bam! As soon as he noticed her his ears went all floppy and his tongue started flicking. It’s a good feeling when you see your dog being sweet and wonderful.