We got on the road at about 11 am after all enjoying a much needed shower. Our plan was to head to Orlando and see what it was like and how we felt about continuing on to Miami. Orlando was a super clean and artsy city. We grabbed a coffee and headed downtown to Eola Lake to get the pups out for a little venture.
I’m sure from all our pictures the pups look like perfect dogs, but I would be lying if I said they didn’t need work. Rubix is seven years old and as good as a dog as he is at most things, he can be a bit of an asshole on leash. I do take blame for this for always taking him to off-leash parks where we would do miles of hikes and walks with his freedom, always staying with me and never ever running away. He is great that way, always walks right next to me, chills when I chill, unfortunately everyone has their downfalls. This trip was going to be a huge test for him, I knew his weakness when I left, but have been constantly working everyday on his, practising his “sit, stay, down, leave it” and most importantly “with me”
We have done a ton of research on dog training and positive reinforcement. We feed them their dinner as we walk them, feeding kibbles slowly as they do commands. Yes it takes time but the results have been amazing. Bali started following Rubix’s bad behaviour of leash aggression, but now that Tom is here for one on one, we have nipped it in the bum very quickly. keeping them separated and not egging each other on as they are being trained.
Today was probably the biggest ground breaker for Rubix. After doing training hours a day, having him attached to me every moment of everyday, we got to a downtown park where there were copious amounts of other dogs on leashes. This was it, this was showtime, lots of distractions, people, kids, birds and best of all dogs. I let Tom and Bali meet the first dog (a 4 month old rhodesian ridgeback puppy, I also forget to mention puppies are also rubixs’ weakness, he likes to bully them) everything was great, Bali met then ignored and was chill, I waited a minute, then approached with Rubix. I kept a loose leash and let him approach, then both sniffed faces, then sniffed bums, then the puppy started licking his face and I told Rubix he was a good boy, he came over to me and sat and waited for his cookie.I was so proud I could have cried.
This happened about 4 more times until he literally didn’t even care there were dogs right next to him. Before, this would have been a tight leashed situation, a lot of trying to get his attention, and to focus on me. He did amazing and I can’t wait to keep putting him in these situations to reward his great behaviour. I am so proud of his breakthrough!
We got back in the van after a little lunch and are currently driving to Miami, I think we are going to stop in West Palm Beach for the night, then head down in the morning.