i got a new bed, because i made holes on the old one. now i know how i get new stuff!
Ever since Kaiju got rejected from the nosework class, I have been obsessively reading online about fearful dogs, trying to find any signs that Kaiju is "not so bad" and that medication is not really necessary. We've been struggling with Kaiju's fear issues throughout the recovery periods after the injuries/surgeries but we always hoped that this was a temporary aftermath, and that as soon as he resumed training in various obedience classes, started exercising more, and felt less and less pain in his legs, he would show noticeable improvements towards becoming a happy active dog. However, in the nosework class, watching other dogs easily and happily perform the tasks, then seeing Kaiju unable to take even one step forward towards the boxes, and being advised to medicate him by the trainer, totally bursted our little wishful-thinking bubbles.
That's how I found fearfuldogs.com. I bookmarked it and went back to it several times because it seemed to offer relevant suggestions and perspectives for Kaiju. You find a lot of tips on mildly fearful dogs online. Most of those involve treats that help dogs make positive associations with frightening objects. Kaiju, however, snobs treats in a most of those situations. He shuts down and refuses to even glance at a high-value treat right in front of his nose. This site, and the Yahoo mailing list called "shy-k9s" are the only two places I found that discussed severely anxious dog.
For the labor-day weekend, we drove for a couple of hours to this beautiful lake in NH. There, we met up with 4 friends and rented 3 canoes. We loaded all our stuff and paddled away for about an hour to a peninsula on the lake where we were to camp.
Kaiju was very nervous on the canoe and tried to lean out and possibly go into the water several times at the beginning. Since he had been familiarized with water at Flowdog for the past month, he may have figured that it would be better to be in the water than in this strange thing called canoe. Thankfully, the life vest had a handle on the back which we pulled back to keep him in place. He eventually settled down to a very strange position. You can see it in the previous post. He kept his one front leg dangling out and dragging in water. Sometimes, he would stick his nose in the water.
First day of work as office manager!
Since Kaiju is still not allowed to do a lot of physical activities but we are eager to resume his training which got interrupted by the injuries back in March (right after Puppy Kindergarten), we signed him up for a nosework class. The class was suggested to us by Kaiju's Kintergarten trainer, Melissa. She told us that it often increased confidence in shy dogs. We had been looking forward to it for about a month.
Today was the first session. This is what happens in the class. Many small, cardboard boxes are placed on the floor. One of them contains some yummy treats. Dogs are brought into the room one by one, led by their owners. They go around the room and find the box with the treats. Simple enough, right? Every dog cleared this task. Some quickly, some with more difficulties. But all of them were happy when they found the treats, wagged their tails, and followed their owners around. Then Kaiju's turn came. Paul led Kaiju out from his waiting area to the main room. Kaiju stood in one place and refused to move forward. He was too scared of those unknown objects on the floor. He wanted nothing to do with them. No treats we prepared for the class got him to move.
An interesting little tidbit that we never got around to posting, but Kaiju in fact, has a song... and its a classic too! Not just one time, but BOTH times we took him back from the hospital after his surgeries... this song was on the radio... and it perfectly sums up those emotions.
Coincidence? I think not!