Saturday, August 15, 2015

Starbucks and Saturday Market Outing

So I have taken the dogs out to all kinds of places this week!

Home Depot
Another hardware store
The park

Everywhere we went I took treats and the dogs interacted with people from babies to grownups and everything in between. And who knew that running a few errands can get a dog so mentally tired because of all the stimulation!

Today we took the pups to Saturday market and Starbucks. The dogs were really good, social, and calm. At Starbucks the dogs just lied down. "Bark" mode only happened once for Lucy and it was a single bark at a motorized wheelchair. She responded to my sit and with hundreds of people around she was very gentle and social amd curious about all of her surroundings. 

I've always taken my dogs on traditional walks like tons of parks and hikes, but I never made a real effor to take them to lots of new places and different situations. I used the shoppig cart at home depot and Lucy quickly got accustomed to the sound of loud air conditioning, loud lumber, etc. It's so simple and yet I never did it consisently and often. So I am really excited about her progress in just one week.

One thing that was interesting to learn was that Lucy seems to do better when another confident outgoing dog was there. I took her out with Tucker today and multiple other tomes this week and she did really great. Last night I took her to petco by herself and she was a little bit less confident. She never entered bark mode, but her tail was a little lower and she had a cautious look in her eyes when w ewere just standing around. When I was walking her around petco her tail was really wagging. But standing around she was cautiois and a little unsure, but still let people pet her and took treats, dhe wasn't as 100% enthousiastic about it.

Today when she was with tucker it didnt matter whether she was standing around or walking or anything, she was great the whole time! It's so good for her to be surrounded by so many different smells, people, sounds and sights!

Here are photos of our outing today:

Monday, August 10, 2015

Meet Billie!!

Billie is the latest addition to our family. As you can see, he clearly thinks he is a dog!! We will definitely be trying to raise him as such: car rides, leash training, taking him everywhere we would take a dog!!! Here are pictures:

Improving confidence

 I have now had Lucy for exactly 2 years! Heres the photo I took of her the first day I had her: 
As you can see from the photo, she has always had a tentative cautiousness about her. She was 11 weeks old when I took her home and 'sickly' because she had special care needs the first couple months I had her. As a result, her socialization started late. 

Today, I took her and Tucker to Coastal, Home Depot and Petco! We walked all the aisles. Tucker is more outgoing by nature and Lucy picked up on his energy and was copying him.

I've always called Lucy a "fake guard dog". Sometimes she will bark at people when she firsts meets them. Sometimes she's completely friendly. Sometimes she doesn't bark at all. Sometimes it seems like a protective thing, other times it seems like a confidence thing. She's definitely not fear agressive and would never bite someone. 

I love this dog so much!! I just want to be the best dog owner I can be. I can definitely help with the confidence thing, especially by taking her to new places with good experiences. Maybe if I spend more time with her and REGULARLY  take her to new places, that will help her confidence. I definitely saw her be extremely confident today when she was imitating another confident dog!!! Here are the happy puppies: 

Proof that Lucy made progress in one day:

At the end of the day, we were at home and the neighbors were out and at first she barked at them. And they were like come here baby really friendly etc.  THAT ALWAYS MAKES HER BARK MORE!!! I don't know why but the more people try to approach her, usually it just makes her bark more. She is most comfortable when people are disinterested in her and she will then freely approach them. She doesn't like it when bew people approach her. And guess what the heck she did??? She worked through her fear and APPROACHED THEM LICKED BOTH PEOPLE AND SAID HELLO.

This is amazing because once Lucy enters bark mode, it doesn't stop until the person stops being friendly. Then, she will be friendly by approaching when she's ready on her terms. Yeah, I know my dog is a weirdoooooo. But I love her and I wouldn't trade her for the world. But now that I've stumbled on a confidence booster (Tucker and other confident dogs!), I'm going to commit to taking her more places when there's another confident dog present she can take her cues from.

Lucy and Tucker 2 years old!!