Today I had the opportunity to work with Boomer for almost two hours. The whole time was spent either walking or running. Much progress was made however because the whole time he was required to take on the role of follower in my pack and also every time he exhibited any unwanted behavior he was immediately corrected.
From the beginning to then end of the walk he went from lashing out at an approaching dog to tolerating a dog's nose between his legs (for this to work Boomer had to be restrained).
At about half way through the walk I took Boomer to a good sized park, probably about the size of 4 or 5 football fields. There I ran him next to me doing speed changes, quick stops, and figure eights. For this to work it was imperative that he follow me unconditionally and look to me to guide and direct him. The run/workout at the park helped to drain some of his excess energy as well as further establish the bond between him and me. This helped to cement the idea into his head that I am his leader and he follows me.
By no means is he now the perfect dog who loves everyone and is fun for everyone to be around. He still has a great deal of aggression toward other dogs and even other humans. The other volunteers are good with him but it takes him a little while to accept new people.
Lastly he showed great improvement over his obsession with moving vehicles from the beginning of his walk to the end. When we started he was constantly lunging at anything that moved but by the end of the walk he barely turned his head. Through the course of the walk I made consistent, quick corrections the moment he turned his head or shifted his ears. Because of the timing he was able to associate the correction with his action and he stopped going after vehicles.
Considerations for a City Dog. And Dental Supplies.
5 months ago