As I look back, the actual process was gradual. Once I was finally able to convince Treun that it was possible for him to jump in the car all on his own, the challenge began. He seemed to think that getting in the car was a license to play . . . hard. I had to pad my schedule by about 20 minutes for every time I had to load him into the car because that is how long it took for Treun to stop jumping around, playing tug with the seatbelt, and nipping at me trying to get me to play. Ah, patience!
Even though I know the changes were gradual, it seems like just yesterday that I was trying to tame the wiggly fuzzy creature in my back seat. At one point it became a bit of a spectator sport with co-workers hanging around at the end of the day to watch the adventure. While the current process is not always flawless, there is usually a rhythm to it. Treun no longer thinks it is time to play. He positions himself so it is easier to put on his seatbelt and lifts his paws to help with the process. But I never really registered all of the little pieces coming together. Only my subconscious noted all of those little successes that gradually improved and came together until, one day, I realized how much the whole process had improved.
Treun and I are at a point in the training process where he is doing a lot of things well which makes the things he is still learning seem more frustrating. It will make things easier for both of us if I do a better job of noticing all those little improvements. It is important to notice what still needs work, but FOCUS on the improvements!