I still can’t believe it’s been over two months since we took a very nervous, jumpy and hyperactive dog home. 9 weeks on he’s calmer, more confident and much better behaved. Duke is adored completely so he is somewhat indulged, but I do try to set boundaries.
The biggest progress has been running. Duke has started running with me regularly this week. I was nervous as he’s previously jumped up, pulled, mouthed or behaved like a crazy dog. But I bought a waist lead, was brave and took him out one evening. He was brilliant and the waist lead gave me much better control. I can use my weight to counteract his pulling. He only weighs 3 stone less than me so when he decides to pull it can be difficult to regain control. The waist lead definitely helps!! The one I bought has two handles lower down so if I need to bring him closer (like when he sees another doggy) I can !! He loves running and is pretty good at keeping a consistent pace.
Anyone who wants to run with their dog there are a few bits of advice I followed that helped me:
1. Getting the right lead; something shock absorbing!
2. Try some test runs to see how well they behave. Our dog got too excited at first and jumped up. I had to teach him that running wasn’t exciting
3. Just keep running ! When they try to stop or get distracted by other dogs (Unless it’s for a poo). I found that he wants to stop less and pulls away to distractions less because he enjoys the running and wants to keep up.
4. Start with short distances after they have been for a walk already. This really helped my dog as he was a little tiered at first so he followed me more closely and learnt what was expected of him.
We have been letting Duke of the lead a lot more too. His recall is getting better and better. And he loves running around and playing fetch. Seeing him run full speed is a wonderful sight.
I’ve been able to let him approach and play with a lot more dogs too. It’s nice to see him playing and learning doggy rules! Lots of people are intimidated by Duke so won’t let him play with their dogs. This means Duke doesn’t really know how to behave around other dogs. When he does get to play with them he’s actually very well behaved!
I got to see just how docile duke really is today when a friends little boy decided to pull dukes lip and stuck his hand in the pooches mouth!! Duke didn’t react. He was as good as can be.
He still loves a snuggle and chooses to curl up on us when ever the opportunity strikes.