However, Sarge really is a gentle guy who might play a little rough but doesn't want to hurt anyone. He is a workhorse at heart and LOVES a job. Today we introduced Heel/Autosit, Implied Stay and Down. Heel and Autosit are almost there, his Autosit isn't exactly automatic yet but he is getting the idea. Down is also sort of there. He seems to understand the word and where he gets into trouble is with the Implied Stay. He has zero impulse control. In a 100% distraction free setting he can hold a Sit or a Down for a little while and I can even walk around him if I go slowly. But if there is a kitty, another dog, another person or even an interesting leaf I will lose his focus pretty quickly. His big test will be having him hold a command while I toss his ball around, but that torture test will come later.
His first workout wasn't great but it is because he was not comfortable with me. I call it the "You're not my mom" attitude. We weren't friends, he had no reason to trust what I was telling him. We skipped his middle workout and played a big game of tag and fetch and after that we were buddies. His afternoon workouts were much better because I wasn't some stranger. As soon as he feels a bit more settled in I am certain he won't be so reserved with the people here. He loves the other dogs and gets along fine with everyone but he clearly misses his people and just plain isn't sure of this place. He likes his kennel (likely because that is where he eats) and that makes it easier for him. After 4 workouts today he is starting to understand that he is being given a job and his last workout of the day was pretty good and he was the most engaged he had been all day.
Tomorrow we will be working on Down some more, and suring up Heel/Autosit. His Implied Stay, I can tell, will be a bit of a project but it shouldn't take too much longer to get where we want it. He won't be introduced to his shock collar until he understands very well what it is I am asking him to do. For now, he is snoozing in his kennel after enjoying his dinner.