Cooper: Transformed by Love

All you need is love, love
Love is all you need
– The Beatles

Cooper 13

We can imagine Cooper singing this song but he would have changed the lyrics slightly to “All I need is love, love. Love is all I need.” And after a few rough starts, Cooper’s wish came true…and it transformed him.

Before he was even a year old, Cooper had made three visits to our shelter as a stray. But after his third visit, his family chose to relinquish him. Why? Because he had bitten the father. Why did Cooper bite? Because he was having his face rubbed on the floor in his urine when he soiled in the house.

Because of the circumstances of the bite we chose to make Cooper available for adoption with the recommendation that he be adopted to an adult-only home with people who understood dog training using positive reinforcement.

And on April 8, Cooper scored. And scored big. The updates we’ve received from Cooper’s family show that treating a dog with kindness and training him properly and positively can transform a dog.

We’ll let the photos and stories we’ve received from Cooper’s family tell the rest of the story:

4/15/20: He’s been a very good boy since moving in… he’s showing a little more of his personality – super playful, loving, and affectionate. He is generally a gentleman and occasionally a rough housing rascal, but always listens when it’s time to quit. 🤗 He’s been running 5-6 miles a day with us and getting lots of extra walks and hikes and had a great play date with some of my friends’ dogs at University Lake.

He’s a great running partner – and we’re working on walking nice on leash… I ordered the Weiss Walkie.

He has been so great… he is exactly the adventure buddy I needed after losing my pups of 15+ years… he’s full of energy for activities but is very content to cuddle when it’s time to relax. He loves going on car rides! 

Cooper 1

 

4/29/20: I wanted to thank you again… it’s been 3 weeks with Cooper today!

He has done so great with meeting new dogs and people and his “mouthiness” and nibbling tendencies are almost nonexistent (we got some appropriate toys for him to chew on and are reinforcing no mouthy play on us – he picks up on things really quickly). He respects dogs that don’t want to play or socialize, and he is learning new tricks! He is doing great on and off leash and he is a very attentive listener. 

5/13/20: Cooper has been so great! He is such a good and smart guy who is so eager to be with us. We are so happy to have him! I think he’s pretty happy to be with us! We’ve been going on hikes, daily runs and walks, and trips to the dog parks.  We all run and hike together on the weekends. We’ve been working on “checking in” when we’re hiking off leash before going up and seeing people or other dogs- and he’s doing great with learning!

We are absolutely in love with him. Our days revolve around “what’s Coop doing today?”… we are slowly trying to build him up to staying at home alone for longer periods of time (we are up to 30 mins!).

 He is a perfect dog!

 

And now…. Cooper is helping other dogs transform:

5/18/20: I have a really sweet Cooper story I have to share – just highlighting how special he really is! We went camping with a group of friends and their dogs over the weekend. Cooper just absolutely loved it; one couple camping with us has a traumatized rescue dog that does not socialize with people or other dogs, and he runs away if you even try to make eye contact with him. He hangs out in their tent, and then when they let him out he’ll go hide up in the trees and watch everyone. If he gets around other dogs, he’s usually aggressive or runs away; but then he met Cooper! Cooper went up to him to greet, gave him some space right away – and they looked at each other curiously for a bit, and then started to play bow and jump around with each other. Merlin’s owners were in tears, they’d never seen him even try to play with another dog. Eventually Merlin started following Cooper around; and if Cooper went up to see another dog, Merlin would hang back and wait, and then eventually would come up and run and play with the other dogs and Cooper. It was the sweetest thing – and for Merlin’s owners who have had him for 3 years and have never been able to have him interact with other dogs – it was amazing! For some reason, Merlin trusted Cooper and was okay with engaging with other dogs and people if Cooper was there. They were total little buddies by the end of the trip. I am so impressed with how sweet and intuitive he is! 

Cooper says it’s exhausting being such a good dog.

 

Cooper would appreciate it if you’d take a look at these resources for
positive reinforcement dog training:

Article: What is Positive Reinforcement in Dog Training?

Karen Pryor Clicker Training

Positively Victoria Stillwell

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