He is participating in his first ever group setting in a public place. Rambler was likely a dumped dog that ran at large for many, many weeks logging hundreds of miles through Maine (where he was first spotted in a well known dump site), Endicott, Binghamton and Johnson City before wandering through the open door of a house and being captured.
Rambler spent the next month in a shelter refusing to let anybody approach to see if he was microchipped or tattooed to identify an owner. After a month of charging the fence, growling and barking furiously at all attempts of contact, I was called to evaluate him in a last ditch attempt to save him before euthanizing was the only option left. Upon evaluation, I believed it was not outright aggression, but total fear and agreed to take him on with no promises. The next two weeks were spent fighting the city to get him relinquished to the Kramer Foundation.
Three weeks later…
Rambler was signed over and a plan was made to tranquilize and transport to vet to check for microchip (there was none), neuter, do blood work and fecal (Lyme positive and parasites), insert a microchip, get a collar on him and get him home to start rehab. After several months Rambler was ready for some off site training that was very controlled. We started with joining Cheryl Runyan in a closed building with her dogs who would not react if Rambler got defensive (he did not) and where we could control everything that he was exposed to. He was very nervous about anybody else being in our airspace and wanted nothing to do with anything approaching from behind.
Fast forward to Nov 2017, Big Flats Park where we joined Cheryl and a group of handlers training on a cold, windy, wet day. The goal was to work in a pack with dogs approaching from all sides, loose leash walking with focus on me while the world passed by.
People and dogs, joggers and cars passed without losing focus. Sit and down stays, recalls and impeccable heels. New goal……Canine Good Citizen 😃 Thank you Linda Hamilton for seeing something nobody else saw and the fighting fiercely to get him out. And thank you to Cheryl Runyan for making time for him and setting up trainings made to assure success. Rambler’s future is looking pretty bright ❤