One of the reasons he was in the shelter system for so long is that he is huge and he is strong and he has no idea that he can pull someone over or knock them down. He is an energetic, young dog who has very little self restraint. After today it is clear to me that this goofball with a heart of gold is craving some discipline.
We put him on a prong collar because he is so big he just doesn't notice a correction on a slip chain. As soon as the collar was appropriately fitted he immediately started focusing on and listening to me. We made some very good progress today, especially for day 1.
We started out with Heel/Autosit and he seemed to get it right away. My guess is that someone somewhere taught him leash manners. He walked nicely next to me with the leash loose and did not pull or lung forward. He even started Autositting after a few minutes. We also introduced the Implied Stay. Implied Stay means that when we tell him to sit or lay down he will remain seated or down until he is told to do something else. After a few corrections he got it and I was able to walk all the way around him.
I am very impressed with how quickly he is catching on. He seems to really enjoy the work and the praise he gets when he does a good job.
Tomorrow we will introduce Down, and Recall (the Come command) and we will push the skills he learned today a bit harder. He is being a very good boy!