Not-So-Reactive: Session Four

This post is a continuation of the Reactivity series. If you've missed the previous posts, you can find them in the archives.

He tries. He really does.

He tries. He really does.

Like session three, the write-up for session four is coming a bit late. Grimm attended on August 17. Unlike all of the previous sessions, Grimm attended a Level 2 obedience class for session four. It might have been a little early for that.

In Level 1, Grimm already knew almost all of the content (sit, down, turn around, etc.). The challenge of those classes was in trying to complete those commands around other dogs. Grimm finds it hard to focus on his mom with that kind of distraction. In contrast, the Level 2 class compounded that challenge with all new content. It was very difficult for him.

To everyone else in the room, Grimm probably looked like he didn't belong there. Grimm's mom, however, was very proud of how hard he tried to understand the new commands. Level 2 includes skills like a perfect loose leash walk, a firm stay, holding eye contact until released, and, eventually, a proper "heel". Grimm came into contact with most of these skills for the first time in that class, and he tried his very hardest to internalize them. It wasn't incredibly impressive to watch.

The most important takeaway from these classes, though, is the exposure to new dogs. Additionally, Grimm's mom learns how to improve their at-home training sessions. Since that class, Grimm has made significant progress on most of the Level 2 skills. Most notably, his firm stay has improved greatly (not that it was fantastic to begin with).

Grimm's mom finds these training sessions only moderately helpful, though. When Grimm can't see or hear any other dogs, his obedience skills are improving rapidly. As soon as a single bark is thrown into the mix, however, he seems to forget everything he knows. Even after removing Grimm from a distracting situation, his mom finds that it can take 10-20 minutes just to calm him back down. Again, she can't help but wonder if these classes aren't addressing the real issue with Grimm's behavior.

Of course, it's impossible to reshape a dog's behavior overnight, but they've been working on this for four months with training sessions nearly every day. If there isn't real progress made soon in the presence of other dogs, it might be time to try a new angle.

Have an tips or tricks for when your patience is running low? They'd be really helpful right now. Thx.

Not-So-Reactive: Session Three

This post is a continuation of the Reactivity series. If you've missed the previous posts, you can find them in the archives.

Seeing as the actual date of this session was July 28, this is very overdue, but better late than never or something like that. 

For his third session, Grimm returned to puppy school after taking several weeks off from training due to his injury. The result was a dismal performance on his part. At the beginning of the class, Grimm appeared to be back at square one (or maybe a little worse). The divider between him and the class had to be curtained again, and his mom spent most of the class redirecting his attention, frustrated to be starting over.

Grimm really wants to be a good pup, but it's just not as fun as being a booger.

Grimm really wants to be a good pup, but it's just not as fun as being a booger.

In the last 20ish minutes of the 1-hour class, Grimm found his groove. His previous classes all came back to him and his performance improved immensely. By the end of class, he was nearly back to completing the Level 1 commands as well as he had before punching out a window. It was a relief for everyone. He was still going to need some work, but at least he was getting somewhere.

Session four coming soon!

Too Busy for the Big Guy

Grimm has been practicing his eye roll a lot lately. He's not even sure if mom sees it most of the time. He's so over her.

"What do you mean you were only home for lunch?"

"What do you mean you were only home for lunch?"

In addition to hardly ever having friends over at the house anymore (And Grimm fails to see his own agency in this.), Grimm finds himself home alone more than ever before. Last week, his mom worked over 30 hours. That's more than when she was working at the college! She comes home smelling like an entire pack of dogs and doesn't always have the time or energy to walk poor Grimm. That's not exactly what he had in mind when he adopted her.

Grimm rolls his eyes when she starts up her lectures about how expensive it is to rent a house with a yard in Seattle. She's constantly reminding him that if she doesn't go to work, he won't be able to go to puppy school, won't get new toys, won't be served whole foods in his bowl each day. Big woof. He'd like to remind her that a thoroughly exercised dog is much less likely to put a paw through the front window again. Check. Mate.

If you're interested in a constant stream of puppy pics from Grimm's mom's work, you can follow her on Instagram @grimmsmom.

Top 5 Most Read Posts

Good mooooorning, everyone!

It's hard to believe that I've already been at this for six months, but somehow I have. Now that the archives have some meat on their bones, I thought we could take a trip down memory lane and review the five posts that have been most loved by YOU!

5. Wedding Schmedding

His parents celebrated one of the most important days of their lives, but Grimm didn't see what all the hype was about...


4. Dog Person

Grimm begins to question his mother's mental well-being. Discover the warning signs.


3. How to have a Great Quarter-Life Crisis

If you find yourself wondering just how Grimm's mom got to where she is, this story is the one for you. Recipe included.


2. Grimm Takes One for the Team

Our favorite guard dog takes his job a little too seriously. Get the full story from his perspective.


1. Doggie Backpack FAQs

Learn more about why and how to use a backpack with your dog. And find out what's inside Grimm's!

Which one has been your favorite so far? Share it, and let me know!