Major event! Spencer seems to have totally accepted Anne-Claire into his circle of confidence!
Recently when we meet her and Soca for our walks, we’ve been letting the dogs play to get over their excitement and then tying Soca to a tree for a few minutes while we do BAT exercises with Spencer and Anne-Claire. Today, he was so calm and relaxed when just a couple of feet from her that I decided to do an experiment. Starting a foot or two away, I asked Spencer to touch my hand. To do this, he had to take a step or two towards her. It worked, and I then jogged him away happily for a treat before trying again. This time, I held my hand directly in front of her leg. Spencer executed without any tension!
Later in the walk, I tried moving us next to Anne-Claire to see if he would still be comfortable. No problems.
Anne-Claire held out her hand and asked him to touch it. To our surprise, he nosed her leg the way he had done in the exercise I had asked him to do (he has a very good memory).
We continued to walk alongside Anne-Claire and even stopped together at the end of the walk, and he never tensed up.
This is really good news. Every person who gets into the circle of confidence makes it that much easier to bring the next one in. But we also now have the outline of a protocol that works for getting him closer in a controlled fashion.