Sunday, June 14, 2009

The dog who needs Cesar... (cont.)

Dogs who exhibit aggression often exhibit fear, too. Shado occassionally shows fear. As alarming as the leash aggression is, the quiet time 'hiding' he does is perplexing. I often wonder if his 'fearfulness' is his attempt to calm himself. We learned in obedience school that dogs often yawn when they are stressed. Maybe Shado hides to take himself out of stressful situations. In the photo, Shado is hiding under the computer table.

I am not sure how to 'undo' the fearfulness. Most dogs, when fearful, are frightened all the time. Not this guy! There are a lot of training ideas for timid dogs, but how about 'split personality' dogs?

I have observed something new when I walk Shado. A dog behind a gate barks and lunges. I put Shado in the sit/focus on my eyes/earns a treat routine. It works beautifully - until he swallows the treat. He immediately snaps his head around and gets excited. He doesn't even stand up - he stays in the sit but loses all FOCUS! His focus lasts exactly as long as the treat does. I haven't found what to do next! Do we quickly move on? Do I begin the process again?

My golden rule is to always set him up for success (I adopted this from a clicker training book that is also online. I don't want Shado to fail and I don't want to feel like a failure either!

I think deeper digging is required. Dr. Vet did not address this in her write up, so maybe I need to read between the lines and 'move him on down the road'.

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