Because I like to be able to pet my dog, this Spring I started what I call Pet Therapy with Connor. I make him come over and be still long enough for me to hug or pet him. At first, we started with just a second or two and we always did it just before we were headed out for a walk because he would get so excited and over-stimulated by this massive, overwhelming display of affection that he would have to go out and run it off. He'd grab a frisbee, bite it hard, shake the life out of it and have to run extra fast to make up for every nanosecond of Pet Therapy.
Little by little though, Pet Therapy is paying off. We can do it minutes at a time now several times a day. He even let RB give him a brief hug this weekend, which was a first. He adores RB, which usually means that, every time he sees her, he gets so excited that he is never still long enough to touch.
There is one place where Pet Therapy has really paid off though - every morning now, while I am getting dressed, he voluntarily comes in for a dose of Pet Therapy. I rub his shoulders and he instantly bows down in a long, luxurious stretch. At night, Connor sleeps on my bed with me, managing to take up at least 4/5 of the available bed space and lying like an anchor atop the blankets. Connor does nothing by halves, so as hard as he runs and plays, he also sleeps hard at night. When I crawl into bed and have to shove him over so I can carve out a little slice of sleeping space, I make him endure more Pet Therapy. It took a while, but he has decided that he likes it. If you ever manage to be around Connor when he is sleepy, you might be very surprised - he is downright cuddly.