Monday, July 18, 2011

Yes. [Wallaby training #3]

I have the greatest dog ever. He is so smart and wonderful, and sometimes he can be frustrating. But not today. I love this boy.

Wallaby used to be very good at being a crazy nutjob. He's like so many rescue dogs out there, who just have not had proper training, exercise, attention, or all three. Some days he's lucky he's so cute and snuggly. But not today. Today I saw a glimpse of what lies ahead for Wallaby and I.

I saw a dog who was faithfully by my side, but not because I forced that idea into his little dog brain. And not just because I had yummy treats [beef heart and venison, aka dinner]. We went for a walk and he didn't yank me along. He didn't obsess over every.little. thing. He didn't spend the majority of walk in a constant cycle of getting to the end of the leash [16ft], sniiiiiiiiiffffffffing something or fixating on something, and then, because I was still in motion, feeling a tug on the leash and rocketing past me out to the end of the leash again, without so much as a sniff in my direction.

I now have a dog who can walk on a leash politely. I have a dog who can be in my house and not be bouncing off the walls,or getting into things he shouldn't [still working on some impulse control when it comes to low coffee tables...], or whining every time I go somewhere without him. I have a dog who does not jump up when he meets people, instead he sits or in the case of kids, he downs, and thus gets FAR more attention because "omg this dog did not assault my face as a greeting!" and the behavior is reinforced.

And not once, never have I had to yell at, pinch, choke, yank, kick, shock, or otherwise abuse my dog in order to get this out of him. All I had to do was trust him a little, and show him what I did want from him.

I love my dog.

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