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Ameteur Houdini
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Just thought I'd give an update on Rocky! He is doing so well, I am quite proud of him. We have been working hard on his acceptance of strangers outside and in the home. Also, strangers handling. We had a friend over several days ago that is very experienced with working breeds and shy dogs. We worked on him letting her pet him (using kikopup's method), and he was fine with it, once he realized she was alright. Now, on friday, there is a family with 3 little girls and 1 boy who visit. I told them all to ignore him, holding treats in their hands. He is now fearlessly walking up to them and taking the treats. Later that day, when he got more comfortable with them, he actually approached the youngest girl and let her stroke his chin! The rest loved on him, gently. When he had enough of it, he walked away. (All of this is supervised, FYI)

Anyway, this St. Patricks day, we had our Aunt and Uncle over, plus their two dogs. Both of the dogs are pretty aloof, and were content to ignore Rocky. We had introductions outside, they were all fine with each other! So, skip forward about 20 minutes and all four and lying on the kitchen floor. My wonderful Aunt is loving on Rocky, stroking his head and giving him treats for doing "sit" and "down".

He still gets spooked by sudden movements and strange things, plus total strangers touching him. BUT, what progress! I am very proud of him. Do I think he'll ever be a social butterfly? No, and I don't want him to be, so I'm not going to push him over his limits. When on walks, if he see's something weird, he'll hesitate and try to pull away...I walk forward, touch it and offer him a few calming signals and coax him forward. He'll come check it out, then we'll practice walking by it...soon it's no big deal!

In other news, we started a group obedience class last Tuesday! There are about 5 other dogs there. I am very happy with the trainer and the way she does things, so I look forward to what this will bring. The first class was uneventful, she spent the first half hour doing paperwork, then giving an orientation. I liked the fact that during that tiem period, the dogs were able to relax and take in everything going on. We have such a mix! There is a Golden Retriever who seem very eager to please and VERY trainable, but absolutely BURSTING with energy! She looks like she needs a nice ride on some roller blades. A couple have a tiny white dog (not sure the breed) that has been affected by "Small Dog Syndrome"...hehe, he is very headstrong and very bossy. A dad and his two sons have a German Shepherd pup...ah, we'll see how that goes. The phrases "She doesn't like nothing"..."Roxi, sit, sit, sit, sit, sit, SIT...Rooxiii." She seemed like a CL dog :( I wish the best to her and the family though, they bit off quite a bit of dog. Then there is a Aussie/corgi mix and another dog that looks like a small Lhasa Apso. Anyway, it will be fascinating to watch how the owners and dog's behaviors change.

Well there you have it, a novel of an update ;D I'll have to snap a few new pictures to post!
 

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Congratulations!!! Sounds like you are doing very well with him and have a good plan worked out for his future.
 

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Ameteur Houdini
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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you Linda! We are so happy to have him! Today was his first vet check-up with us...the Vet was very positive for him. We just need to make sure and socialize him as much as possible in controlled and not-too-stressful environments, so he can learn to come out of his shell.

Yesterday was a fantastic day for both of us. We had some old friends over who have 5 kids. Rocky was a little unsure of them, but we went through the routine and after he took some treats from them, he took their handling very well. About 20 minutes into the visit and he is nose-poking them to come play with him. I am still a little giddy after seeing him romp and beg for tug!
 

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You are doing so well with introducing him to new people, places, dogs and things!!!

Just keep up the good work to help him come out of his shell and you will be rewarded by seeing his progress.

Congratulations on his improvements.:):):)
 

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I wish there were more pet owners like you! So many people just ignore their dogs, and they end up being a hazard in public. Does that stop them? No.

Responsible dog ownership is helping your dog overcome obsticals in life, so that they can life a more easier, comfortable life. Congrats!
 
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