I can't believe how far Elo has come since I started seriously working with him on his behavior in public a couple months ago. He blew me away last night! I have to say, LAT is miraculous! Elo, as far as I can tell, freaks out at stuff simply because he doesn't know any other way to respond. LAT has given him a different way and it's so much fun to watch the wheels turning!
We went to the park last night to work on his "asshole training." There were quite a few cars there (mostly parked), lots of kids running around the playground, and even a dog WAY off in the distance. I didn't know if it would be too much for him, but we were quite a long distance away from the action, so I figured I'd give it a try. As soon as I got him out of his crate, he knew the game we were playing and his eyes were glued to mine. He didn't even bother to look around for things he might want to bark at. He was totally fine, so we moved a little closer, then a little closer. Giving me attention while walking (especially with any distractions) is way too much for him at this point, and motion gets him worked up, so we just took a few steps forward and kept working while stationary. He did awesome the whole time! Alternating between offering me little over the shoulder LAT glances, and giving me eye contact. Relaxing in a sit or a down. I thought we might have some trouble when a couple people came walking quickly towards us, but I broke his focus on them before he could react by calling his name and running backwards. He responded immediately and came to me, so he got a jackpot for that and we called it a day.
My other Elo brag--I took him to the park to run on a long line. Brag number 1: He was calm enough in the park to play fetch with a ball!! Last time we were there, he was WAY too distracted to play. Brag number 2: There is never ANYBODY in this park and nobody ever walks by, but of course some lady walked by with a dog and Elo saw it and took off before I could grab his long line (if he's this fast on 3 legs, I can't imagine how fast he would be with 4!). However . . . . when I called (ok, SCREAMED) his name, he STOPPED, turned around, and came to me!!!! Having no treats or toys for him at the exact moment, I rewarded him with a dog catch (his favorite trick) and some love.
It's been almost a year that he's been with me and I can't believe how far he's come! He really wants to be a good boy and I know we'll get there!