This morning we went on another hike. Ander and Bella got to go. Ander thought it was great fun again.
Tonight was his first Puppy K class. When I got there, there was already one puppy there. Clueless young owners – pup at the end of the leash, no control, and a bit reactive. It was giving Ander a hard stare, occasionally lunging at the end of the leash and barking. The instructor told them to let their puppy go say Hi to Ander. No!!! I said not while he was acting like that. . . about the time he started lunging and barking again. Ander reacted by barking back.
Another pup came in – cute little heeler mix. A bit of barking, but she was very friendly and exuberant. Ander would bark if she lunged toward him, but she was not being aggressive at all. Finally he let her sniff him, and later they shared cookies and he sniffed her. They hung out for a few minutes, but then when we went back to our places and she lunged at him, he lunged at her (not in a good way) when she turned her back. He’s going to need some work.
I did take his mat and did a lot of quiet mat work during class. He was able to give great eye contact and do his sits. While working eye contact, the trainer came up and asked if she could do it with him. He turned and gave me eye contact. Good boy!
When he felt he needed space, he would go to his mat and lay down. That’s exactly why I brought the mat. We played a lot of Look at That with the other puppies. Yes, he needs some work, but he’s not horrible. He already has a lot of very good foundation behaviors to pull on for the work.
I had his tug toy and he played some – not with his usual gusto, but he did play. I’m sure that drive will come as the class continues also.
It’s good for him to learn to work around the distraction of the other puppies. Honestly, I don’t need him making friends with every dog he meets – and he was learning good skills of looking at me instead of focusing on every move the puppies’ made. That will be more valuable in the long run.