Connor is a strikingly handsome mixed breed dog that entered the Animal Rescue League of Boston with a bang! Connor’s positive energy, intelligence and loving disposition touched everyone that he came in contact with. That high energy was sometimes hard for him to control especially when he first came into the shelter, but with some hard work from the CSD, shelter staff, volunteers along with Connor’s eagerness to please, he became a perfect candidate for adoption.
The first few months in the shelter were a bit rocky for Connor. A brand new environment, unfamiliar people, and other dogs around made it difficult for him to channel his energy and remain calm. Connor was pulling on his leash toward other dogs while on walks and he found it difficult to focus while on a leash. He was also unfocused in the first few sessions of shelter dog class and had a hard time remaining calm in his kennel when staff would enter to take him for a walk. Everyone here worked diligently with Connor to help focus his energy in a more controlled way.
Connor responded very well to the Say Please Program and thrived on its positive reinforcement. Because Connor has such a sweet disposition and is so eager to please, he showed improvement almost immediately. The basic rules of the Say Please Program are as follows: the dog must ‘say please’ (or sit) before he gets anything he wants. If he sits then he gets the reward. If the dog does not sit or displays an unwanted behavior then that behavior is simply ignored. The most important component of the program is ignoring bad behavior and rewarding good behavior. After ignoring Connor’s jumping and leash pulling, he realized that not doing those things are what will get him a reward.
After a few months of thriving in the shelter environment and continuing to learn new (more appropriate) behaviors including improvement in shelter dog class, Connor finally went to live in his forever home with an energetic young man. They both couldn’t be happier!
A few weeks later we checked in with Connor’s owner and he said, “Connor is the best dog, ever! He gets along extremely well with other dogs, knows all of his commands, walks well on a leash, and is continuing to learn new things every day. He’s an all around great dog and we’re very happy together!”