So because I see myself taking lots of pictures of Zeus's adventures in training these next however many months, I'm starting a therapy thread for him! For me to dump pics, ask questions of you all, vent any frustrations, etc. Again, I totally don't think he's ready yet, especially after watching some videos on Youtube on what he'll be tested on, so this is a work in progress! His biggest weaknesses are:
1. Being distracted by other dogs. His attention totally snaps to other dogs when they're around, but it's mostly when they enter a room. If a dog is already in a room when we arrive, he's okay. But if a door opens and someone enters with a dog, he's like "Omg who's that? Why are they here? What's going on? Hey friend!!" accompanied with barks/whines. So... our Number One Thing to Work On is reactivity to dogs. Any advice? We kinda visit dog parks, but stay on the outside.
2. Staying seated while being petted. We work on this pretty much every day with willing strangers at stores/parks.
3. Accepting hugs. He's okay with me snuggling him, but when it comes to full on hugs, he's like, "Uuuuh..what...?" and backs away or starts batting me with his paws because he thinks it's an invitation to play. This is very new to him, so it's a big work in progress.
He doesn't have issue with loud noises, wheelchairs, or walkers. Our other obedience trainers in Texas /always/ had us working with walkers and wheelchairs, so Zeus is used to them. I also purposefully take him to areas in stores that have loud noises (when someone is cutting a key in a store or working with machinery at Home Depot/Lowes) to get him accustomed to strange sounds.
Eventually, I'll need to do everything without his training collar (Sports Dog eCollar) which was used at both of his training facilities in Texas and New Mexico. I know he's not allowed to have it on during the eval or during therapy dog visits, but he was able to pass his CGC and Community Canine, both without his collar, so I'm confident he'll succeed when it's time!
Here are pictures from today We went to Lowe's and I asked some people who showed interest in him to help me with his staying seated to be petted issue.
There were also a lot of random things on the ground (flowers that had broken off, pieces of wood, insulation, etc) so I got a lot of practice with the "Leave it" command.