As some of you may know, I do Brazilian Jiu Jitsu as my sport (which is why my forearms are as awesomely powerful as they are!) (Joke! before the haters have a heart attack). We spar for the last 30 minutes of the class and we usually do 5 five minute rounds. I am always looking for more. “One more round!” is the battle cry. It’s not always a good idea. One more round when you are dog tired can lead to injury. Self knowledge is crucial. The less experienced players become more aroused, tempers can get frayed and people get hurt.
This brings me on to tonight’s arousal control session with Logan. His ability to control his arousal levels is the single biggest things which will change his life for the better. My suspicion is that beofre he came here there was plenty of going up and not enough coming down. When he is over aroused, he will pull on the lead like a train. He won’t let go of toys readily, moves frantically, snatches the toys from your hands and can’t listen when you ask him to do things. When he is really over aroused, it takes him an age to calm down.
Having said that, with the advice from several excellent trainers I can talk to about him, we are making huge in roads.
This evening, we played tug under control. It was the best he’d been. Loads of beautiful behaviours, letting go of the tug immediately when asked, accepting food and affection during the session, lowering his arousal levels quickly so we could engage in another round.
We did about 4 rounds of this over about 20 minutes. Tug-let go-move with me-tug-let go-accept food and petting and so on. All was well. Until I got a bit greedy and asked for one more round. Up he went. We did manage to get back to the house without (major) mishap so all good. I’ll stop at four rounds for the forseeable. Operant conditioning in action!