As a part of my New Years resolution to teach all of my park dogs to ride in the back of the truck, Achilles and I had our first lesson today. Achilles is a 2yr old, 150lb Great Dane with a lot of spirit and a hint of a stubborn streak. He is bigger than me in size and weight and so far I've been happy to get him in the truck any way I can. If I try to push/pull him he throws a fit like a bucking bronco and after successfully staying on my end of the leash, we have to take a few laps to settle down before trying again.
Considering the scenario I just described is just to get him in the back seat, I thought I had my work cut out for me today. To prepare, I brought a nice selection and Trader Joe's cheese and prosciutto. Random, but it's easy to cut, easy on the stomach, and something I knew he couldn't resist.
Much to my surprise, Achilles didn't even hesitate to jump in the truck on the first try for that cheese. We practiced several times and then I turned on the truck and started closing the tailgate and letting him get comfortable with that. He decided that was as far as our lesson would go today, but I am so very proud of him!
Next step is to try the Trader Joe's magic cheese while another dog is in the truck. I do believe there will be a day when I don't have Dane slobber on top of my head (he rests his head on mine while I drive - endearing and gross). Stayed tuned and wish me luck!