Friday, April 21, 2017

012: A walk in the park

"I'm so bored"

It's been a few months since we adopted Spillo. I never imagine it would be this difficult. I thought we solved the problem of barking at people. It's definitely not a 100%. orz He just barked at someone yesterday. Probably my fault for stopping when the 2 old ladies approached. That same night i understood what went on. Last night as we were on the couch, there was a stinky fishy scent coming from Spillo.

Then it became clear, why he was so irritated during the day. There was a built up of fluids in the anal glands before excretion, so he became very irritated and will snap at anything. There's no indication of this, except that he is more anxious than usual.

It's normal to have the results yo-yoing. Everytime this happens me and Roby keep having to re-examine what we have done or what we have done wrong. Walking Spillo is quite difficult. Already there is a huge improvement from before when he used to pull like crazy on walks. We went through a period of feeding him treats when he is in the right position while walking. At that stage he was barking everyone coming close. That was extremely stressful for us and the poor person taking a stroll. Because there's too many things expected of him. He didn't know if the treat was for not barking or for walking properly; it was too confusing for him. So we stopped "walking nicely" treats and treated only for not barking at people. We used only biscuits which is different from the cut meat pieces. That worked very well. Roby bought a video from this site which we are using at the moment. It's a program for reactive dogs. It's a long term investment in terms of time but well worth it.

I walk him fast; brisk walking. We do the morning walks together. It helps us exercise more than if we walk slowly. Spillo doesn't have much chance to exercise when he gets home. He doesn't sniff very often like this and our pace matches. Let's say if we were we doing a 5-legged race we will be winning. The down side is with the increase heart rate he also gets agitated easily. Maybe I have make stops in between. I would have a looser leash with him a bit further away from me. Roby walks him slow. He normally makes a trip to the dog park (it's fenced) and let him run around off leash. If there are dogs around Spillo normally plays with them if he can. Not all dogs like playing; some are hostile. Ahhh dog politics! Don't question. Just mediated when necessary. Spillo is also not friendly to all dogs only to some. He picks his friends and bully the ones he doesn't like. What a personality!

Spillo is quite territorial and guards us quite a lot. Roby is careful not to bring out the treat bag or toys in the dog park when there are other dogs around or there will be chaos.

The challenge of living with a rescued dog continues.

We use these youtube channel reference on positive training and counter-conditioning dog training: kikopup; zak george.

#sliceoflife #verona #italy #Spillo #barkingatpeople #analglands #irritated #anxious #reexamine #walkingnicelytreats #5leggedrace #looserleash #picksfriends #bully #territorial

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