Rusty not only lets me pet him, scratch him, and rub him all over, but he comes to my children for attention as well.
Walking on a leash has improved drastically! Rusty is able to go on an outing without Chaco and walks pretty well. He is still startled by unexpected sudden movements and noises from time to time, but he has gotten used to the noise that comes with living in a home with a family with four small children. It is now time for Rusty to continue his socialization training outside his foster home. Rusty is beginning group classes at PetSmart tonight. I feel that when he sees all the other dogs and people that love each other, it will help him to recognize that he is not in danger and help him see that sometimes, people just want to pet him with no ulterior motives to catch him or trap him.
We’ve also been working on being able to reach down and pet him. Before, we could only pet him if we had treats to bargain with (“If you let me touch you, I’ll give you a treat” sort of approach). Now, there are no treats involved with petting. I’ve been randomly reaching down to touch him unexpectedly. At first Rusty would get startled and run hide under something; but now he’s become desensitized to the petting and rarely runs away.
We are now ready to begin basic obedience training. Rusty is still a special needs dog in that he will need continued socialization training, but he can be listed as available for adoption now. It is time for him to start bonding with other people. It may be good for Rusty to go to a new foster home that will be willing to bring him to his training classes at PetSmart so he can learn to trust more people. He is, of course, welcome to stay here as long as it takes to find him a new foster home.