Inka’s been in mine & Scott’s lives for almost seven months now. We’ve come a long way in that time, though that’s not to say we’re at our endpoint, but Inka has improved a lot. I still remember the first few times I took him to the training centre, just to sit in on classes. He was so anxious he froze in the car park and wouldn’t move. Our training instructor came and took his lead from me, allowing me to walk into the centre, with Inka now following behind, probably in a bit of a “please don’t leave me!” panic.
But it worked, and needless to say, he now loves going to class – he whines in the car when we’re waiting to go inside, pulls like a steam train to get inside, then whines to get started (or get going again!), and spends the entire hour with a big grin on his face – especially during his agility classes.
He’s been on & come off Zylkene, which in itself I think was a godsend, it certainly seemed to help to take the ‘edge’ off his anxiety so that he could learn. He’s had a session of TTouch, which also helped him a lot, I try to do touches daily, but it often turns into an as-and-when situation, because he’s still not absolutely certain about them, though we’re getting there slowly.
He’s had a ‘play date’ at a local hydrotherapy centre, which he seemed to enjoy, even though he had to be carried into the pool. That did make me think about a lifejacket for him, but his confidence is slowly increasing around water. Down the road from us there’s a small stream which he’ll walk through beside me (thank goodness for wellies!), and downstream where it grows a little wider and deeper he’ll cross it to retrieve a toy.
We worked hard so that the fireworks on bonfire night & new years eve wouldn’t bother him, and he slept through most of them, the loudest bang made him lift his head up, but then he put it right back down again.
He’s now confident enough to go off-lead, obviously only where it’s safe to do so, and his recall is good – if a little problematic…he comes charging back towards me, and then keeps on going!
This past Wednesday was an extra special day for Inka, not that he really noticed (though he did enjoy the food sample that arrived for him). His Kennel Club Activity Register Certificate arrived in the post – his ‘posh’ name is ‘Morgansr Got an Inkaling’; and alongside that, Inka passed his UK APDT Good Companion course, receiving his second certificate of the day.
So, what’re our next steps? Well, I’d love for their to be a higher level of APDT certification, but as yet there isn’t, so next week we’ll be starting classes to work towards the Kennel Club Good Citizen Bronze award; as well as carrying on his agility training.
We may do some fun classes in agility shows this year, and will hopefully start playing for real next year. As for his Good Citizens, I’d love for him to achieve the gold award. Who knows what we’ll do after that, but we’ll certainly have fun getting there!