The honeymoon is over. Three weeks to the day the handlers report that Walker is showing his true colors now. I warned them that might happen. When dogs go into a new place they tend to be a bit reserved as they learn the routine and get comfortable. Not that he is being bad, he is just showing more behaviors that need to be worked on. Things that probably got him brought back to the shelter (twice) in the first place. He is super smart though and fortunately a quick study. He will definitely need an owner who will set some good rules for him and exercise him regularly. It would be great if he had a doggy playmate too.
Here he is learning a trick. His end cue will be the word China. This way we can tell him "Dig to China" or "Who wants to visit China?" and he will start digging. (I heard about one dog who's cue was "Go to hell" but we thought that wasn't appropriate for our dog. VBG) This trick is from Disc 1 of the DVD "The magic of shaping" by Pamela Dennison.
Here is Walker and Cooper playing. You can see that Cooper is much more relaxed in this video than the last. Cooper is making strides and is finally working in his room away from Walker now. He could also benefit from a doggy playmate due to his increased confidence with another dog around. The tricky part might be finding an appropriate match due to his initial assertiveness. (which may be insecurity/defensive in nature) He will need a dog that is tolerant of that.
Coopers ears are looking great. When he came in they were mostly bald. The hair has grown back well. He has also gained a little weight and his coat is looking better. It's amazing what good care can do for a dog. I just wish we had more info about his past. We can only guess that we was neglected, based on his condition, but wonder why he was dumped at the shelter. (And I mean that literally, he was left in an outside pen to be discovered in the morning. At least he was let out of a car like Ben was though.) He was even happily wagging his tail which is a new behavior for him in that context. He will need a patient owner to bring him out of his shell. Overall I am pleased with his progress.