I have noticed in the past few months that Ike is more excited/diligent about looking for people on our morning walks than he is about going to the bathroom.
Since Ike thinks people are, “Oh so creepy,” I play an old school version of Leslie McDevitt’s “Look at that Game.” (I say old-school because I adapted it form some privates I had with Emma Parsons and that was a LONG time ago.)
Essentially Ike gets rewarded for looking at creepy people and I do not have a reactive dog on my hands. I have a dog that is still a bit too over-stimulated by creepy people but isn’t lunging or barking his fool head off.
So, I think the fact that Ike has turned into a scanaholic tells me two things:
1. I need to change the rules of our game for Mister-Ike; and
2. I should begin providing additional mental stimulation for Ike.
I will begin experimenting with raising my walk expectations (I caught myself using an "off-limit" word! criteria) starting tomorrow. I will have to be mindful that there will always be some types of people that Ike deserves a cookie for not reacting to. After all, some people are just plain scarier to Ike. Hopefully if I add additional mentally stimulating games for Ike that will also help. Part of our morning walks involves training and I do not want to lose that, I just want to redirect it. And I would like my dog to go to the bathroom!
I am not sure if this will ease the scanning or not, but it is a start. If anyone has any brilliant (or not-so-brilliant) brainstorms, please share!
4 days ago