The Boominator seemed to have decided to prove me wrong today – she has been very chilled and slept a lot. Dogs. Anyway, I said I would blog our journey, so here we are.
We did the Day 1 of the protocol (https://belleplainevet.com/files/7314/5556/6965/B2_Protocol_for_Relaxation_Beh_Mod_Tier_1.pdf ) and I was very pleased that no one could see me as I clapped, counted aloud and did a sort of demented, slow aerobics class in front of an unimpressed staffy…
Overall, I thought that she did a lot better than I thought she would. She seemed to take most of the shenanigans in her stride, including the clapping which I don’t think I’ve ever done in front of her.
She seemed to get more relaxed – or possibly bored – through the whole thing, and I only had to repeat one or two of the movements – apparently step back means come with me to her. But she got the hang of just chilling in front of an insane person while she got fed chicken pretty quickly.
Boo started at sit and ended at down. I didn’t get her to ‘break’ in between the sits or anything, and she only moved when she thought she needed to come with me.
Finally I found that I needed to not look at her while I counted in my head, and also that if I moved slowly, especially with treat delivery, this seems to help her to relax.
I also had a go with the Charlie Monster. This was harder, which surprised me. He was pretty confused and much more alert than Boo and I think this is because he is more used to training and he likes it and gets excited that he has going to train fun stuff with me. We had to repeat more of the movements with him. My body language, breathing and eye contact made a much bigger difference with him than Boo, so I made sure to help him by moving slowly and breathing deeply. I also realised that it was super important that I used my marker word and then went to go get the treat otherwise he was too focused on the treat bag. He went into a down more quickly than Boo did but his tail was whipping round like mad. It’s a flaw – he also does a happy tail when the rest of him is performing a dead dog. He makes me laugh.
Onwards and upwards! Tune in tomorrow for more crazy behaviour from me and more bored staffys and happy hounds…