Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Scanaholics Anonymous?

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!


Katrin said...

Well you know my philosophy on 'walks' and 'pottying' so we don't need to get into that here :-P

If you start to see him scan, what if you ask for something incompatable, like eye contact with you or a hand touch, or a nose touch to the ground, etc?

ann & partner said...

Julie, This is very interesting. Please post your changes and progress. You work so hard, and your always will to learn more! Your very special and I'm sure Ike knows it, even if he doesn't always show it.

JULES & IKE said...

Since eye contact is part of the LAT game, I think I might try hand touches. Especially since that is a new skill. I will have to start practicing our hand touch!

I might start trying to consistently use a word when he is doing his business too.

I will keep you posted on my scanning plans!