Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Bonding with Shylo

I've mentioned before that he is not used to being handled. I read the other night that puppy mill dogs hardly ever leave their cages and that it is usually a male who reached in to grab them when it's time to hose out the cages (sometimes the cages are hosed down with the dogs in them). Is it any wonder Shylo feels frightened if a strange man reaches his hands out to him? We've told everyone (especially men) to extend their hand "palm down" and give him the opportunity to approach. It seems to be working.

We are still working with getting Shylo to come in the house voluntarily. We've tried the "bribe him with treats" method but he is pretty fast. He sticks his head in the door, gets the treat and is back out the door before we can react. Then he sits on the outside of the door and looks at us. Sometimes he even scratches at the door, but when we open it he still doesn't want to come in. Time to go back to the drawing board! I wonder if he thinks he is going to be put in a cage when he comes back in? It occurred to me that I have to make coming inside more pleasurable for him. I started picking him up and carrying him through the doorway so he doesn't have to go through that whole decision making process. Then I sit for a few minutes just holding him in my lap and petting  him and talking to him. Today, for the first time, he actually fell asleep in my arms. I'd call that PROGRESS!

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