Week 3: Work Hard, Play Hard

In week three of Parker’s Second Pawportunity at Urban Tails, he continues to advance and show better behavior. He’s gotten very good at sitting for things he wants, even when he’s very excited. For example, when sitting at the door to go outside in the morning, you can see him trying very hard to hold as still as possible (minus his tails, which wags 100mph!) in order to get what he wants. He now knows to sit automatically, with no cues from his handler, at doors, curbs, before getting treats or chasing his ball.

Parker has become a much more attentive dog when on walks, following the handler’s movements and directions closely as opposed to becoming distracted and overwhelmed by all of the outside activity (birds, squirrels, smells, traffic, etc.).

With regard to Parker’s reactive behavior around other dogs when on-leash, he has improved dramatically. Walking through the kennel area is no problem for Parker now. He is also able to sit outside the Urban Tails building watching dogs enter and leave with little reaction. As his training progresses, and when Parker is ready, the trainers will gradually move closer to his triggers.

“It’s important when working with dogs like Parker that we train just below his threshold-that point which he can no longer focus and just before he reacts- and only gradually move closer when Parker can stay calm and focused,” says Monica Body, Head Trainer.  “Pushing a dog too far too fast can greatly overwhelm them and cause them to regress quickly in their training.”

Parker will have a very special lesson this week at Friends For Life to show his other adoptable friends what he’s learned so far. Stay tuned for video of this visit.

Among all this learning, Parker knows that when you work hard, you deserve to cut loose a little! In the video below, you’ll see Parker being silly and rolling in the grass –one of his favorite things to do on walks.