Ivan definitely has more energy.
It had gotten to the point while I was getting ready in the mornings Ivan would go from the bed to the couch. From the couch to outside and then back to the couch. From the couch to breakfast and back to the couch. From the couch to outside to the couch. And to get him to go out the second time I had to go standover him to get him moving.
I had chalked it up to him getting older and settling. However, when I started wondering about his thyroid I wondered if he was really that "settled" in the mornings or if he was just tired?
He'll still lay down on the couch every morning, but he's also up more. "Helping" me shower, going to the basement while I take care of the cats, knocking my crock pot off the counter
, etc. So he's not bouncing off the walls are anything, but definitely more alert/active.
He had another obedience class last night so I decided to do some dog introductions and see how he reacted. First dog he met was a smaller male. He didn't wag his nub, which kinda bummed me out, but everything was okay until the other dog tried to jump up and put his feet on Ivan. Ivan' had an "Oh no you didn't" reaction.
I then let him meet a female. Again, no nub wags. As the other dog started to walk away Ivan dropped into a play bow and I think since he did it so "dramatically" it startled her and she reacted with some growling.
As a handler, should I walk away immediately if Ivan is stiff and not wagging his nub? Should I just make introductions quicker and then walk away? Should I just not do face to face introductions with him leashed? Maybe do introductions by walking the dogs together first and then letting each sniff the back end of the other without the face to face?
He is fine being around other dogs. It's just the face to face intros. where we seem to still have problems. If we're heeling, I can do figure eights around those same dogs all day long.
I continue to believe there's been an improvement with his attention and focus. He's less distractable. I've tried training the place command on three previous occassions and he wasn't thinking - just focused on the treat. Last night after a few reps. it was obvious he got it. He went from "OMG will this get me a treat, will this get me a treat, give it to me, give it to me" to thinking
and quickly figured it out.
As we were leaving the door swung open and there were two guys standing there talking. I thought it was a potential moment for Ivan to react because the guys were there "suddenly" and it was dark, when he tends to be more alert. He barely acknowledged them.
As Ivan's reaction to people are my biggest concern, I'm happy that we are three weeks in and not a single bad reaction to a person. We have another PR
event this weekend, so we'll see how it goes.