Viva and I get up early to get our morning walk in! This works out well as we don't see many people or dogs at such an early time. This provides a number of opportunities to continue our Desensitization and Counterconditioning work when Viva encounters people and moving objects (bikes, joggers, buses) that cause her discomfort. I'm doing my best to manage the outside environment but, as anyone knows that's a challenge. I'll be talking more about this in future posts!
We head down to Lake Washington where there's lots to smell
And we enjoy the beautiful sunrise!
Viva and I head over to one of the many public piers on Lake Washington. We checked out this pier earlier to make sure it was a good location to bring Viva.
There's a man with a hat on at the end of the pier.
Viva sees the man and does what is becoming habit when she sees a trigger for her.
She looks back at me! Way to go Viva, all our work is paying off. Giving a dog choice and new behaviors to practice is the way to go!
Viva able to enjoy her food reinforcer
Viva looks back at the trigger (the man with a hat on)
And good girl, Viva makes the choice to ignore the trigger and watch the boats in the distance. This was excellent and with this success we practiced "let's go" as we headed off the pier.
We hold up at the top of the lake to see if the man is going to leave the pier. As I would like to go back down to the pier. Lots to smell while we wait and I again I have excellent sight lines to see what could be coming our way.
Good news! The guys has left so we head back down to the pier
Lots to smell on the pier and here comes the sun
"What is this?" You can tell by Viva's body language that she's very unsure of these objects. That's a swimmer's towel and clothes.
Watching the swimmer and you can see Mt. Rainier off to the right
Viva really enjoyed all the smells. She's a dog who uses her nose to take in the environment.
She found something a seagull must have left
Time to go
We wait a bit longer for Viva to watch the environment. She does this a lot and I'm perfectly happy to stand here as long as she wants to because she's offering really wonderful behavior of no growls, no barking and no lunging.
Off we go and time go home where Viva can rest and I can go to work.