After 20+ years together Dragon still has the power to surprise me.
Simple. He believes in me.
I am training a young puppy to be a mobility assistant. I get a little unsteady at times and a dog does more to keep me on my feet than a walking stick. She is the third dog I have trained. As usual, there is a problem and as usual, it is my fault.
I listened to bad advice.
My little girl is shy. She has no problem with other dogs but really doesn't want to say hello to strange people. My thought was that it is a good thing. She needs to be calm in public and ignore all the distractions. So,we were working on that. Calm and aloof.
Nope. Not good enough for the trainer we are working with. The puppy has to act like a politician on election day. ?????
The other problem? Engagement. The trainer thinks she is too focused on me. I don't think she is focused enough but she is still a puppy.
New tactics and a new trainer coming soon.
We are going to work on trust. The puppy needs to trust that I won't put her in danger. Lots of new places, cookies, her favorite toy and her blanket. People around but not touching.
Lots of work on basic obedience to increase her confidence and more engagement games. I am going to work on some specialized training. It is not to soon for her to start Learning her job. Touch, take, drop, up, off, find. Ahhh hide and seek is so fun to teach. The goal is to teach her to find my car keys.
I have a plan. We have 4 more classes with this trainer. I am going to treat it like puppy play time. During this time I am going to interview other trainers and find one that works for both of us.
What surprised me? Dragon just spent $$$ on a mobility harness that won't fit her for months, a touch pad and another Leerburg training video. This took me by surprise.
His purchase says, "I believe in you. You can turn this frightened little puppy into a service dog."
Before Dragon, no one believed I could do anything. I wasn't smart enough, fast enough, good enough or pretty enough.
For Dragon, I am enough.
Crying now. I need to go find a tissue. Love my man just a little.