Introducing the Agili-Coop!

It’s no secret that Cooper has had his fair share of behavioral “issues” that we’ve been working through since he joined us in January.  He had severe separation anxiety, which lead to Houdini-antics and destruction. Potty training was slow and tedious.  I can say with a pretty high level of confidence that we’ve worked through these things pretty darn well so far.  However,  Cooper’s one issue that seems to stick around is going to be the hardest one to work on – and is probably the one that has kept him from finding his furever home so far: Fear

Cooper is still not a big fan of other dogs who he doesn’t know.  Since Coop has been looking for his People for seven months now, Agape thought it might be a good idea to try something new to help Cooper work though his anxiety.  So, we called dog trainer extraordinaire Kat Martin once again, and enrolled Cooper in Agility class.

The theory behind using Agility as a tool to help with anxiety is two-prong: 1) We’re putting Cooper in a situation that makes him a little uncomfortable, but we’re giving something to focus his energy on instead of the other dogs in the class, and 2) We’re hoping that Coop will learn to associate having fun with being around other dogs.

So how’s he doing so far?  Spoiler alert: he freakin’ ROCKS at it.

These are video clips from Cooper’s third Agility class.  As you can see, he’s a natural!  It’s funny that Kat, Foster Dad and I all describe him as “fearless” on the obstacles, since Cooper is in this class to deal with his fear!   Even more impressive to me and Foster Dad is how relaxed Cooper was by the end of class, even when he was in close proximity to the other dogs.  He still has a “threshold” of closeness that he can tolerate, but we’re noticing the distance getting smaller and smaller.  And, by the end of the most recent class, Cooper was so relaxed that he decided to lay down in the grass and chill. 

I wouldn’t be more proud if Cooper brought home a hundred Agility medals.

If Cooper has leaped and bounded into your heart, please fill out an adoption application with Agape Animal Rescue.

…and don’t forget to VOTE for COOPER!

~

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11 Comments

Filed under Our Foster Journey

11 responses to “Introducing the Agili-Coop!

  1. Aww that’s so great! I love how his tail is wagging the whole time he is up on the catwalk. I miss doing agility with Nola, it is such a great thing for them. But it’s not so good on ACL injuries.

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  2. How Cooperific is that! Wooohooooo!

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  3. This is so great! Love the video and pics! I would LOVE to enroll our Hankers in agility for the EXACT same reason, but alas none are by us or at very convient times travel to 😦 but I’m still looking with hope because I believe this is just what would help!

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  4. kate with a camera

    That’s awesome!!! We have Heidi in agility too, and even though she doesn’t have Cooper’s fear issues, we’ve definitely noticed how great it is for socialization. Way to go Cooper!!

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  5. That is so great, and what a good confidence builder. Love seeing his secret talent!

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