We didn't really get out of our element this week. I wanted to give Oreo a lot of downtime, because I felt last week was pretty stressful and we have a trial today.
So, here is an update on our RP.
We've continued our relaxation protocol pretty much non stop, taking days off when we were really busy.
We did 15 days in the living room & 15 in the backyard. This week, we moved to the car!
Getting to the car, putting on the seat belt, initial moments in the car, pulling out of the garage, pulling out of the driveway are all huge sources of excitement/anxiety.
Therefore, I was completely amazed at how calm Oreo was the first day of car RP. When I grabbed his mat and asked him to follow me to the car, not one bark, jump, spin, circle. Oreo calmly walked down the basement stairs to the car and hopped in.
We've done a week of car RP, with the door open/no seatbelt on. I figure next week we will put the seatbelt on. Then the following week, I'll shut the door and feed him through the window.
3 weeks of car RP? Believe me! We need it. However, our trip to the car for agility class this week was already a bit quieter. This may pay off (my ear drums can hope).
I thought I'd post a video to show you one day of tasks. The video is of day 9 during our outside work. I sped the video up 5 times faster than real life.
I think instead of doing the boring tasks, I should do the moves described in the song I chose. Then, the next day, I could do the electric slide, next day the macarena, achy breaky, etc. It would be much more entertaining for me.
I still don't see how this is going to help any of Oreo's fears. They're just too strong for this to be effective. However, it is helping with crazy times around the house. Cleaning, people walking by....
We use RP as a tool. If Oreo starts getting excited about me dusting, I stand by his mat in my "relaxation pose", and after a few manic circles and nips at the rag, he settles down on the mat. Pretty amazing. I don't even have to say anything, I simply relax myself. Cool, huh?
Other times, when he starts circling or getting crazy over something and I'm too lazy to get off my butt and assume the RP position, I calmly start counting out loud. This has worked amazingly well at interrupting his circling. He stops, looks at me, and walks over, sometimes even sits. Kind of like a mom telling her kid, "I'm going to count to 10. 1....2....3...."