One important key to success is self-confidence. An important key to self-confidence is preparation. – Arthur Ashe
So, I’m going to admit it – I tend to get a little high strung sometimes when it comes to Porter. This is only because I want him to behave in an acceptable manner and I desperately want to be the best Pilot I can be for him. But, it sometimes means I stress out a little more than I should. I have all the tools to set him up for success, and sometimes I just forget that.
Friends of ours have recently added a Border Collie puppy to their family. Now, if anyone can handle a Border Collie’s energy and everlasting mind, it’s these owners. They are diligent about getting him the PAW that he needs.
For a while now, we have been trying to set up a play date for their dog (James Franco) and Porter. When the time finally came I became nervous. I did not want Porter to be a total jerk. Deep down, I knew he’d be fine, but the apprehensions of Will he be aggressive towards the dog? Will he have an issue with the dog being male? Swirled around in my mind. However, I knew what I needed to do to make it successful. Here’s a previous a blog post about Puppy Play Dates.
Here are some of the steps I took this day:
- We went for a walk in the neighborhood beforehand. I walked Porter up and down the driveway to the house we were visiting a few times as well to make it become more familiar.
- When I felt as though I had control over Porter, I had James Franco and his owners join me on a walk. At first James Franco walked behind Porter and then we switched. Eventually when I felt comfortable with their interactions on the walk, we walked them side by side.
- When entering the fenced in back yard, I had James Franco enter first and then Porter after that.
When we released the dogs from their leashes, it was the most anti-climactic event ever. I braced myself for immediate chasing, barking, all out craziness. What I saw was two dogs, walking around the yard, giving each other space, and sniffing different trees. It was bizarre at first. But then I realized that no, that’s what happens when you have 2 Pilots introduce dogs.
Eventually they both became comfortable with each other to play. There was running, rolling, jumping… but it was all controlled. James Franco became more comfortable playing with other dogs and eventually learned the infamous play bow. Both dogs were having a great time, but were still being respectful of each other and their Pilots by listening to our commands.
You know how to handle these situations, even the hard ones. It’s just trusting in yourself to make sure you can go through with it without getting yourself worked up.
Darwin Dogs, LLC
Dog Training in Cleveland, OH