Malli wrote:here is our background :
For Oscar the best exercise he can get, other then a hike or a walk, is swimming.
When he swims the combination of the actual act plus the toys (which are not indestructible, and this sends his intensity through the roof ) sends him into really really intense drive.
We have even gone so far as to have two toys for swimming because he refuses to let go of one and then destroys it, so we "trade" after each retrieve.
When he is in this "state of mind", he is at his MOST frustrating for me - he doesn't listen well, he doesn't remember his manners, and he is extremely impulsive - once he had set his toy down and I reached under him to "sneak" it away and when he saw this he went for it, except he grabbed my hand
So anyway... I like to take him swimming because I know he likes it but it can be really frustrating and I have lost my temper(this is the bane of my existence in training, my temper) many times.
I took him for the first time all winter, just the other day; I thought before about staying relaxed all around. I kept my voice low except for praise (he seems to most like praise that sounds rediculous), and conciously kept my actions slower.
The improvement was immediate!
I was able to bend down next to him while holding the "trade" (because we always come to the point of me needing both toys when we leave!) and ask him to out, he did! Even as much as to take a step back instead of standing over it. I did have to repeat, but....
I think I've also come to the conclusion that repeating a command in a high excitement/high drive situation isn't at all the same as having to do it under normal circumstances. I don't see it as a negative at this point.
We went again yesterday and had the same
I'm hopeful this will be the theme of our swims now!