Comet – 2 (light) years later

We had a really heart-warming update from Comet’s owners this week.

They have put in such a tremendous amount of work into his care and we are so grateful.

Dear OAS team,
It’s almost been two years since we adopted Comet so it is time for an update!
We are still truly in love with this charming lad. During the year, Comet has matured and mellowed down substantially, which is welcome given his previous level of energy. He remains a very active chap, always out for a run (we’ve run 1935km together this year!) or a long walk, and happily naps on the sofa after that.
Some of the issues we were working on remain but all have made substantial progress.
Comet still doesn’t like to drive, and will be uncomfortable for 10 minutes but will eventually slumber. He understood that when he lies down, he doesn’t get sick and he is most comfortable when someone is with him on the back seat and pets him along the way.
Comet is still anxious about other dogs. We have been working with different professionals. One of them had a very hand-off approach and allowed Comet to meet other dogs off the leash. This allowed us to realize that a large part of his reactivity is lead reactivity. This approach has allowed Comet to learn to play with other dogs  and to spend mornings in doggy daycare. But the approach also has its limits, as situations can turn sour depending on the reaction of the other dog. Comet is not the kind to de-escalate and if the other dog is scared, this probably feeds into his own anxiety. This has created problems with neighboring dogs, and we have had to reconsider our approach to get out of the catch 22 (putting Comet on a lead, increasing anxiety and reactivity, therefore needing to keep him on a lead).
We are now working with Oxfordshire Animal Behaviour and Training. They have a much more controlled but very slow approach of desentisation. We started in the summer and we think it might start to bear fruit. Comet can remain focused on a treat even with a dog a few meters away from him.
Besides reactivity to other dogs, Comet is a bit reactive to people at home, now that the rules have allowed us to invite people in. He needs five to ten minutes to warm up to them, and then is absolutely fine, and will gladly beg for food or go for a nap nearby.
The good thing with Comet is that he expresses himself, so that his reactions are always predictable.
It appears that in most situations, Comet just needs 5-10 minutes to get comfy.
With our best wishes.