Foster–Calvin, Day 1

21December 2011

I was very excited to get to work with Calvin, a Husky/ St. Bernard mix.  Having a very large (and tall) dog myself, I enjoy getting to work with bigger dogs that many people tend to somewhat fear, just based simply on their immense size.  I will admit, Calvin was definetly quite the hand-full.  Calvin was a very boisterous foster that liked to greet people by jumping on them.  Now I’m sure that I don’t have to tell you that having a 100 pound+ dog jump on you is not exactly the greeting we are hoping for.

Calvin’s foster mom and I worked on many things with Calvin, including some basic food lures and waiting for calm behavior.  Calvin is a big dog with LOTS of energy and needs plenty of exercise.  After working on some anti-jumping techniques, I took Calvin and his foster mom out for a walk.  It was a very, very slow walk.  I can see why he doesn’t get walked at this point in time.  It took us probably close to a half hour to walk about 100 feet.  Calvin tries to pull you like a freight train.  Again, patients and consistency.

After our very tedious walk we tackled some fetch training in the back yard.  The foster mom had told me that Calvin was uninterested in fetch.  The key is finding a way to make it interesting.  For Calvin it was playing fetch with a rope toy and rewarding him with a little bit of tug-of-war when he brought it back.  Of course there should always be rules to teaching any game to a dog.  Amongst others, our rules included sitting and waiting calmly before throwing the toy again.