Welcome to the second WOOF Support Blog Hop.
This month’s theme is Success, Frustration, and Everything In Between.
Reactive dog trainers talk about “setting your dog up for success.” To me, that means careful management.
Generally, I do not consider Leo a fearful dog, but he is extremely leash-reactive. After what we went through with Isis, I don’t have it in me to devote the kind of time needed to teach Leo to be bomb-proof on a leash. Instead, I manage him. I don’t walk him around our neighborhood when we’re likely to encounter a bunch of other dogs or people.
While I am decidedly not a runner, Rob jogs on a treadmill sometimes, and I knew he liked the idea of jogging with our dogs. The day we met Mia, in fact, he tested her out to see if she would run beside him. She did, and yet, he never goes running with the dogs.
Recently, during the darkest, wettest part of winter, I started walking the dogs around a well-lit commuter parking lot that used to be a drive-in movie theater. (Rob remembers when it was, but that was way before my time.) Buses arrive on the hour to return college students to their cars, but otherwise there is minimal bicycle or dog traffic, and the gravel is so uneven, I’ve yet to see a skateboarder there.
I clocked it with my car and found that the perimeter is 1/3 of a mile. I suggested to Rob that he try jogging there with Leo. He took me up on it, and a new exercise routine was born!
Mia and I went with them a few days ago to get some pictures before Mia and I went on our own walk. (I told you, I don’t run.) Leo was very distraught to see me and Mia go off in the other direction. He squawked and squawked and even backed out of his harness. Mia and I had to get out of his eyeline before he could focus on jogging with Rob.
Mia and I got back while they were on their sixth lap. I handed her off and Rob jogged with both of them for a stretch.
As far as I’m concerned, any activity that gets their tongues hanging out is a success. If we can do it without a bark or a lunge, it’s cause for celebration!
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