Saturday, February 1, 2014

Isaac and I Went for a Walk Today

It's still cold out but it's warm enough that some of the snow and ice is beginning to melt.  So Isaac and I went for a walk.  I am continuing to use the prong collar with him and he seldom pulls on the leash anymore.  Once in a while he does pull, when there is something he really really wants to sniff.  That suggests to me that the collar isn't causing too much discomfort even when he does pull, which I am glad about because I don't want it to be too uncomfortable for him.

One of my neighbors commented on the fact that he isn't lunging at and jumping on people so much anymore.  That sounds really bad, like he was completely out of control and like I was letting him jump on people all the time, and that's really not the case.  But his enthusiasm for greeting people was getting out of hand.  He is doing much better and I'm glad my neighbor noticed.

I've also continued to work on the commands "paws up" and "off" with him, so I can give him permission to put his feet up people that don't mind or even like him to do that and I can also tell him to get off people that don't like it.  The other day we came in from a walk and his feet were all wet and cold from the snow and one of my neighbors that Isaac really likes (and she really likes him, too) was sitting in the lobby of our building.  She likes him to put his feet on her but I told him not to because his feet were wet but she said she didn't mind, to let him do it.  So I did.

Anyway, back to the prong collar.  Today on our walk, Isaac spotted a squirrel running across a snowy lawn.  He was excited to see it.  He stopped in his tracks, he was very alert and tense, and his tail was wagging like crazy.  But he didn't attempt to take off after the squirrel.  I wish I would have had some yummy treats with me to give him for that, but I didn't.  He got a lot of praise, though, and an ear rub.

I am very pleased with his behavior when using the prong collar, but even more pleased that I can walk him now without worrying about hurting my back.  When he would pull in the past, or try to take off after a squirrel or something and I would try to prevent him from taking off, it really aggravated my back pain.  It often triggered painful muscle spasms.  There were times it made me cry.  I know Isaac didn't mean to hurt me, but it was a real problem.  I'm so glad we can now take long walks together again.  I know Isaac loves walks and I need the exercise, too.

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