Saturday, December 1, 2012

Hiking, Jacques, puppy social

Big day yesterday! I took Chimera on my daily dog hike so that he would get tired out before we went to Sherry and Jacque's house for the evening. The trails are muddy nowadays and it was raining lightly during the hike. 4 out of 5 dogs ran through muddy puddles, and I am SHOCKED to report that my crazy puppy was actually avoiding them.

Muddy puppy.
Not that it made much of a difference. (Also, I added this picture to the raincoat montage on this post. Compare this picture at 18 weeks to the ones posted at 12 and 15 weeks.)

He got cold quickly and was shivering through most of the hike, and clearly wasn't enjoying it as much as usual. Poor boy.

I couldn't show up at Sherry's house with my dog in this state, so we went to the nearest Pet Food Express with a self-service dog wash and got him clean and fluffy again. I also bought him a big, warm coat. It hangs on him now, but he'll grow into it. I had to convince him that he can walk while wearing it. Pictures to come.

He was happy to see his Papillon buddy Jacques, yet didn't harass him throughout the evening nearly as much as I had expected! I guess he's learning some manners after all. He picked a favorite toy from Jacques' collection and liked to run around squeaking it. The only poor behavior was when he started guarding the toy when we were all in the kitchen, and then he escalated to something I haven't seen before: he would deliberately bring the toy over to Jacques, and then launch himself snarling at Jacques' face. Jacques defended himself, we split the dogs up, and after this repeated three times in quick succession I took the toy away. It was worrying behavior. I can understand playing with a toy and growling or snapping if another dog comes close, but purposefully taunting and then assaulting another dog is unacceptable. It's hard to train this out -- counter-conditioning and teaching an alternate behavior -- because the interaction between dogs is so quick and sometimes unpredictable. I will of course give it a go and see what I can do.

This morning I took Chimera to the Puppy Social at the daycare, and he guarded toys and treats fiercely. Again he would launch himself at the face of other dogs who came too close to his "precious". Because I was running the social myself, I wasn't able to devote enough attention to him to do b-mod. I decided that this would be his last social, unless I attend one hosted by someone else and I'm there specifically to work on the guarding issues.

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