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Day #1 of Conditioning Month

July 20, 2013

dog paw printNacho is a five year old Papillon who’s been living here now for just about two weeks. Before coming to us we have only a very sketchy idea of what his life might have been like. Certainly – from his temperament and physical condition – his previous life was less than ideal, and we’ve now got quite a job to do getting him to integrate into the home pack.

Jasper is a seven month old Shi Tzu cross who’s been living with us now since he was eight weeks old. We knew one half of his parents before he came to us and we still see some of his brothers and sisters in the neighborhood. This guy is just what you’d expect a pup to be. Cute, full of beans, and because we’ve had him since he left the litter he’s very well adjusted.

The biggest challenge I have right now is getting these two to get along. Jasper gets on with any and every dog, but he’s a little bulldozer who didn’t grow out of using his teeth before he came away from his siblings. Nacho is a much lighter weight (although taller) animal, and isn’t built to have a big boisterous pup bowling around the place and leaping on him at every opportunity. Jasper can’t understand why Nacho doesn’t play the way he does. Nacho is still just finding his confidence, and tends to lash out when he feels threatened.

I think we’ve seen big improvements in Nacho’s tolerance in the two weeks he’s been here, but Jasper is really frustrated by the lack of a play buddy.

Out on the lead both are great. Nacho slotted in to the pack easily and just wants to be with me walking all the time. Jasper is a pup, so he needs the space to explore and experience things, but he seems to understand his position in the pack too. When we walk, I’m in front, Nacho sticks to my heel really well, and Jasper follows along behind Nacho quite happily – with the occasional snuffle in the bushes and grass as we go.

Tried a lot of different things to get Nacho to stop being aggressive when Jasper pounces, but it’s also Jasper’s fault, because he’s way too rough.

We’ve got a month to try to work out the wrinkles. This was day #1.

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From → Dog Psychology

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