Saturday, March 31, 2007

A Perfect Shiba Inu Day

I am so proud of Sushi today. It actually started yesterday though. Sushi has had issues with fear aggression towards other dogs. He didn't always used to be that way. About a year and a half ago, he was pinned down at the park by a not-so-friendly Labradoodle. Since then, it's been a gradual change for Sushi's behaviour. He used to LOVE playing with the big dogs, now he is afraid of them. He doesn't run and hide. He has not attacked either, but he does freak out, growling, snarling, ears back and he becomes uncontrollable. For a year now, Sushi and I have been working on his behaviour with the help of his trainer.

Yesterday, I took Sushi for a walk. We now have a Boxer/Shepherd mix living across the street from us. Before Sushi could spot him, I had Sushi "settle" aka lie down and gave the command "watch me". For some reason, lately, he's been listening better to me! lol He did as I asked, but kept sneaking peeks over at Max, and barking his head off. An improvement over freaking out and growling/snarling. He eventually calmed down, and then I gave him tons of praise, a treat, and continued on our walk to the park. I was very proud of him.

I"ve been watching The Dog Whisperer, it's now my new fav show. I now make sure Sushi is calm and relaxed before approaching a situation where I think he might act up. It's working. I've also learned to relax and appear more confident. We've also been re-working on heel. So far so good!!

Today, I took Sushi to his fav park in Mississauga - Totoredaca Park. We always go very early in the morning and only in the small dog area, as nearly no one else uses it. Sushi has his usual pals that will come over and play with him though - 2 Beagles, 2 Basenjis and an older Lab. Sushi is good with all of them, including the Lab. If a bigger dog has no interest in Sushi, Sushi is ok with them.

Today it was just the Beagles and Sushi. Sushi had so much fun, doing the Shiba 500 several times and playing. He usually will growl at some of the bigger dogs on the other side of the fence, but today, it was not as intense. And, when his "nemesis" - a big hound that barks very loudly all the time entered the park (other side of the fence), Sushi listened to me when I gave the command "watch me". He took peaks at the dog, but for Sushi to listen and do as I asked in that kind of situation, was a HUGE improvement. Even I was surprized!

We stayed for about an hour, since Sushi was doing so well and having so much fun. Later in the morning, for a treat, I took him to his favourite store - Global Ryan's Pet Food store in Brampton. His fav pal, Leah works there so he got some extra treats and fussed over.

It's been a great Shiba Day!!!

PS: Sushi is one tired pooch, yay!

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