Nothing much new around here. Crazy weather has gotten in the way of some training sessions, and I still haven't managed to set up my weekly Tisha sessions. I'd better do that before the weather gets really miserable. Two new items: there are new dog parks in the neighborhood! I worked with the Eastside Dog Park coalition for a few years, and we finally won! Very exciting, and also gives me a new, closer place to bring Dottie for controlled training (i.e. we can wander around the outside of the dog park and control distance and practice BAT).
The other thing: Justin berated me for staring at triggers too much and therefore calling attention to them. Interesting idea. Today on our jog I practiced not looking at all at dogs behind fences or people out and about, except in my peripheral vision to keep track. Gustav did not bark and lunge at anyone. On the other hand, I don't really know if he tensed up a lot or not because I was just looking forward. Also, an off leash dog came up near up and instigated a pretty fierce stare-fight but was too intimidated to come all the way up to us. Dottie barked a few times, and Gustav did not bark and lunge at all, he just stood stock still and stared the dog down. Pretty interesting. Then the owner came up and got him and we all went on our way. So, while my dogs were not exactly relaxed and happy, then did not go totally crazy and the other dog was smart enough not to come up and start a fight. All in all, I was pleased with the jog. The only downside of ignoring triggers is that I am losing a training opportunity, in that I usually stop and do look-at-that or a tiny BAT set-up. Do you think Gustav learns anything one way or the other by just staring but moving past without incident? I'm not sure. But at least he didn't have any bark/lunge fests.