Saturday, January 22, 2011

Navi needs to relax!

Yesterday when I came home for lunch, Navi absolutely could NOT sit still. She was a constant blur of activity, going from begging to looking out the window to playing with toys and back to begging - around and around and around the living room. Every few seconds she was back with her paws on me, and I'd gently push her back to the ground, and she'd do the circuit and come back again. So after lunch I took them all out in the rain for a run around the field. She ran and dug holes and played hard. Then I rinsed her off with the hose and brought everyone back in, where she raced around and dried herself off on the furniture while I chased her around with a towel!

After all that she STILL wasn't settling down. I grabbed my favorite training book, and it recommended starting a session with getting connected with your dog, doing something like a massage. Barclay never cared for it, but I thought, what the heck, let's try it.

So I sat on the floor and she was SO EXCITED she literally jumped on me, licking all over, almost lick-nibbling at my nose, just going nuts. I started petting her, but she couldn't sit still for that, and she ran off to do something else, but after a minute she came back and let me pet her some more, then she ran away again. She kept doing this, but I quickly noticed her time away was getting shorter, and the time she stayed with me was getting longer. I kept petting her, and running my hands over her legs, giving her a shoulder rub, things I don't normally do when just petting. She was really enjoying it, and soon she chose to stay there with me and get petted.

As she was starting to enjoy the petting, the frantic look on her face started to go away. She started to relax. Her tongue wasn't hanging out as far, her mouth wasn't pulled as far back, her eyes started to soften. She started to make eye contact more. It really was an amazing transformation.

Once she was totally back in her head, we did a little work with treats and some self-control exercises - Doggie Zen, and Leave It. Very short work, then some more petting, and then she was able to settle down and relax. What an amazing difference some one-on-one time can make :)


1 comment:

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

You're a good do owner. My first thought was, "Give 'er some doggie prozac" lol!
Navi's lucky to have you to help her redirect her energy and find some peace and relaxation :)