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Day #6 of conditioning month

July 24, 2013

thWow, is it almost a week already?

It’s interesting to watch Nacho and try to understand what makes him act the way he does.

I’ve discovered that he really doesn’t like walking on grass…whereas Jasper loves to run on the grass. Makes for an interesting walk.

I’ve discovered that Nacho has a tiny appetite and doesn’t seem used to eating out of a bowl. At first he would take little mouthfulls and run off to a corner to eat them, picking through the food for selected little bits and leaving the rest all over the floor. He’s just about finishing his whole meal every time now, and not leaving very much on the floor. This is not good news for Jasper, who got used to having a few extra bits from Nacho’s side of the feeding area.

Despite Nacho’s tiny appetite, food and walks remain his two greatest motivators.

He didn’t show any signs of excitement or interest when he first came to us, and just spent all of the time being scared of everything. Now he’s EXTREMELY excited at walk time, and about 50% that when he realizes there’s a meal on the way. He likes treats, but only certain types. This is mostly down to the state of his teeth, as he can’t (or maybe won’t) chew anything that’s particularly hard. This is a source of additional contention in the household, as Jasper really likes his rawhide bones and chew sticks, but once he gets them to start softening up, they mysteriously disappear and strange noises begin to emanate from Mr Nacho’s sleep box…

Nacho still likes the security of the crate, and we actually have one upstairs (the big one for sleeping) and another downstairs for moments of insecurity during the day. It’s his refuge when Jasper decides it’s wrestling time…

It seems really clear to me that Nacho simply doesn’t know what to do in a lot of circumstances. He doesn’t have the self confidence to be natural so he ends up getting excited then bottling out at the last moment and snarling at whatever threatens him. I think we’ll need to do some intensive training and socialization with him in the company of other dogs and an actual trainer. This summer is not the greatest time to try this out. I’m here on my own at the moment, and it’s way too difficult to try to manage both dogs, work and train a difficult dog all at once.

Dubai is also a tricky place to have a dog. There are very few places you can take dogs at all, and they need to stay on the leash even in those places. The summer daytime temperatures are too hot to take a dog out anyway, they burn their feet on the pavement! You can get little running shoes…but…you know? That’s not the kind of dog person I am.

Meanwhile Jasper is just Jasper. How does that dog get so dirty so quickly??

He got into a little trouble this evening on the walk when we met a Labrador on the way around. Of course both of mine wanted to go say hello (Nacho is keen to say hello but loses confidence when he gets nose to nose), but Jasper got totally over-excited, and when I tried to move on, he jumped all over Nacho – who inevitably did what he always does under the circumstances : curled lip, snarl, snap.

This is a bit of a conundrum I have under these circumstances. Nacho is wrong for snapping, but Jasper is wrong for pile-driving him. They both got a sharp word, but Jasper came off worse really. He clearly knew he’d done something wrong, as he slotted in behind myself and Nacho and plodded along most of the rest of the walk without incident. I’m not sure if I am making progress or not. It feels like it is too early to tell, but at the same time I think we have made great steps with Nacho getting him sociable around humans.

Little steps. Now to go throw Jasper in the bath tub, AGAIN!

 

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From → Dog Psychology

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