I try to imagine what the dog’s life was like before he came to live with us based on his weirdness now. The fact that he freaked the fuck out when I left for Memphis with a small suitcase, even though I leave for work every day with a large purse was weird. And, as I have now fictionalized, he’s not put off by negative feedback.
But the other thing is that I don’t think I’ve ever had a dog who listened so well and who worked so hard to figure out what I want from him. We had a couple of bad walks, where he just yanked on the leash and was ridiculous and so I started just stopping when I needed him to recoup himself. And that seems to have mostly fixed the problem. Yes, just me being consistent for a couple of walks.
Anyway, today, I let him off his leash once we got back to the AT&T yard and he ran into the yard and then turned back to look at me. Then he saw something behind me on the other side of the road and he started running toward the road. I was yelling “No, no, no, no, no” just like there was no tomorrow and he turned and stopped and put his tail between his legs. But then he came bounding over to see what I wanted. To make sure that we were okay.
So, I praised the shit out of him. Because I want him to always associate doing what I want with pleasant results.