I only have two resolutions right now for Silas.
Get out more.
When Silas was a little chap, we carried him everywhere. If we couldn’t go in the store with him, one of us would sit in the car. As he got older, we stopped. We could leave him for more than an hour or two, so we did. Not to mention that an adolescent male dog is hard to take places. He had very few leash manners, and he was apt to pee somewhere embarrassing. There was also his tendency to mount any dog who passed, which did not bode well for his future. (We didn’t neuter him until he was a year old, for good reasons that I don’t regret.) I started seeing going out as “grown up time.”
I’ve mentioned a few times lately that his good behavior out and about has surprised me. I imagine that we socialized him extremely well to our handful of local dog-friendly stores. So, while the weather is cool enough for one of us to sit in the car with him while we do the other errands, I want to get back in the habit of taking him out with us. The objective is to capitalize on what he sees as “safe” places to work on his comfort with people, with a bonus of continuing to work on his fear of cars. It was the chance to see his beloved local pet store employee that convinced Silas that he could possibly walk through a parking lot.
By getting out more I also mean the park, of course. I’d like to bump our once a week average up to twice. Nothing too ambitious. Silas thinks I’m crazy if I take him two days in a row.
Work through the Protocol for Relaxation.
The protocol for relaxation (PDF files here, MP3 files here) was the biggest take-away from our private lesson, and I absolutely did not follow through. Actually, all the private lesson advice fell by the wayside, since my dad was in ICU the next day, and we’ve been in and out of town since.
I don’t see any of these resolutions lasting us through the whole year. The weather will seriously cripple even getting to the park starting as early as June. The relaxation protocol sounds shorter, but for all I know it will be the longer-term goal. It’s ostensibly fifteen days of work, but some of those “days” could easily turn into weeks of training. (Day 11 involves ringing the doorbell, heaven help us.) Then you’re supposed to repeat in other locations. We’ll see.
Do you have resolutions for your dog?