Saturday, June 1, 2013

Spur: Training the Beast, Part 18

Another Visit with Aunt Jann

Jann had called Doug on Friday, to offer encouragement. She was happy with our visit with Spur last weekend and wanted to offer another opportunity to visit again. So we took her up on it. Again, we pulled up behind Jann’s garage. Doug took Spur and his remote while I went to knock on Jann’s door to give her some treats to throw at him.

Jann had a mobile vet come Friday night to care for her cat Toby and the vet ended up staying for 3 hours, talking to Jann about all sorts of issues; from caring for Toby to how to approach a fearful dog. A tip the vet told Jann was for us to offer the dog something with Jann’s scent and then treat him. That way he associates Jann’s scent with yummies. So, Jann handed me a pair of her socks and told me to have Spur sniff them and then treat him. I did.

When we brought Spur around the garage into Jann’s back yard, Spur was a little bit curious, but still stand-offish. Jann called his name and threw a treat. Spur liked that and looked for more. Not once did Spur bark or even “oof.” Jann stood for a while until Spur began to relax. Doug ran into the house to use the bathroom and Jann sat down. Spur was anxious about his daddy disappearing, but I re-directed him with some “puppy pushups.” “Spur sit, Spur down, Sit, down, sit, down,” treat! “Free dog.” He walked over to Jann, sniffed her and put his paws up in her lap, looking to see if she had treats. He didn’t stay up long; he got down pretty quickly. Typically, I don’t let the dogs up like that. But I felt we were all in agreement that we were in a period of training for Spur, and if that’s what he needed to do to become more comfortable, I was okay with it. Besides, he seemed rather relaxed, and so did Jann. It was quick, and it turned out good. Jann got Spur a big bowl of water. He drank most of it then went over to the grass to lie down in the shade. He was so relaxed, it looked like he was actually going to nap. We stayed about an hour. Chatting, letting Spur know all the things he was doing right, “Good Boy, Spur!”

Wow. Just Wow.

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