One of the most amazing, and at the same time annoying, things about dog training is that everything is fluent and changes over time. Most so with puppies!
In one of my first posts I wrote about the changes I am introducing to my socialisation for Falka, as compared to what I did with Yarpen. And it appeared to work beautifully… for a while. My continued effort to reward her for redirecting to me made her into a polite, mildly interested in other humans puppy which is very happy and confident to say hello.. and nothing more. This would be perfectly sufficient if I wanted her as my pet and companion, but is not good enough for an IPO prospect! The first time she was play-bowed by humans, she didn’t like it. At all…. She was sending very mixed signals: play bowing, barking with head close to her paws, both indicating playful indication, but her bark was too low (more defensive than playful) and she had an “offensive pucker” (I love this expression, it comes from a book by Jean Donaldson For the Love of a Dog, and relates to the muscles in the corner of dog’s mouth). After discussing this with our trainer, it appears that her attachment to me became a little too strong. She doesn’t understand that other people can be “fun” too. So, we have started a new chapter which sees me sitting in back seat and her having a ball with my friends. Not easy for a control freak! At the moment we are at a stage where she is quite happy to play with a new friend with a toy, but physical contact during play is still off limits.