Matthew and I spent all week working on our skills that we learned last week; heel and easy walk. We made some progress but not as much as I would have liked because I didn't have the proper equipment. No fault of mine, though. I went to the store and bought the right gear, but I just could not get the training collar to work properly. I brought it with me today and Helene (the trainer) said it was defective and I should have called her when I was having issues and she would have brought me something to use. I'll remember that for next time. Though perhaps she shouldn't have told me that because now I might be calling her all the time. We continued to work on heel and easy walk, though this week we did it at a shopping plaza with distractions. Matthew did very well ONCE he had on the right collar and he realized (for the most part) that I was in control. Helene said he might have been exhibiting some signs of non-compliance but it was hard to know for sure since it was only our second week. What did Matthew do that might be considered non-compliance? We were in a heel, working hard, when he suddenly stopped to itch, and itch, and itch; total down time of maybe 20 seconds.
I was more in control of my commands, tone of voice, etc., and Matthew was responding very well. We went around inside the pet store, too.
We'll continue to work on these skills (and now that I have the right gear, we will make some serious progress) and Helene is going to look in to getting Matthew his working dog vest so we can start branching out in the places that we take him. We also need to work on a command to let Matthew know that it's okay for him to interact with people. He is such a beautiful dog and people just want to touch him, but we need to let Matthew know that it's okay for him in interact with strangers by following my commands. And I really hope that once he gets his vest people will start to give us some personal space because we had two woman just touch him without asking. Thankfully Matthew was behaving and didn't jump on them, or else he could have for sure taken one of the ladies down, as he was bigger than her!!
His behavior at home has gotten better, too. We've taken away all stuffed plushed toys, and he's only gnawing on giant femur's and elk antlers and doing very well. He's only dug a small hole once, and really just a great dog.
Can't wait to see what happens this week and how quickly we progress!
Do you take your dog out in public? Dog parks? Stores?