Today was a bonding day for Luko and myself. We took two walks and spent some time hanging out on the floor together. He was very distrustful of me at first. Luko would skirt around me, growl, at one point he lost control of his bladder. All this time the most extreme thing I did was to reach for him to put on a leash. Around mid-day we were sitting on the floor together and he was allowing me to pet him without growling though he still did not like eye contact. When he relaxed for an hour without stiffening, growling or skirting me I let him take a nap in his crate so he could truly relax.
Later in the afternoon we spent some more time on the floor together and he approached me when I invited him and seemed to enjoy a throat scratch. The goal is to have him trusting me soon so that we can work on other strangers.
On the obedience front today he did extremely well. This is not an unintelligent dog. He got Heel down in under 5 minutes and he will Sit when I stop if I ask him to. He seems very reluctant to sit in the snow and gives me a look of deepest reproach whenever I ask him to Sit. Tomorrow we are going to clean up Down (he seems to know this one already fairly well, at least he did it nicely in the house for me when something spooked him) and work on getting that Sit to be automatic. We will also introduce the Implied Stay.
While he is very nervous of me he has not been a total basket case (which is what trainers like to call dogs who are afraid of everything or random inanimate objects). He even took meeting the horses in stride. This is a dog who needs socialization to strange people and we need to work on him trusting his handler to direct him safely. His instinct to flee is very pronounced and this will be the biggest obstacle to overcome when it comes time for off leash.