Sunday, 16 February 2014

#WoofSupport husky walks

Today I'm joining in a hop with Oz the Terrier, Roxy the traveling dog and Wag n Woof Pets   
Here's what they have to say about #WoofSupport:    

This is the WOOF Support Blog Hop, where reactive dogs and their owners can come together to share similar experiences.  Are you a reactive/fearful dog or its owner?  Then please join us and share your story.  The Blog Hop is open through Sunday, February 16th on my blog as well as on my co-hosts Roxy The Traveling Dog and Wag 'n Woof Pets blogs

Mika came first in my pack. 
When I adopted Mika, she walked very well on a leash. Always beside me, always in heel.
We could walk past other dogs on the street, she loved saying hello to the people and the dogs, and then we would be on our way.
Then something happened. And I'm still not entirely sure what.
She became very **searching for the right word here**  Agitated with the other dogs that would come near her.
I can't for the life of me think how anything might have changed this , but whatever the case, it was not pleasent.
It started out small, little growls and snarls when she would walk past another dog, and then gradually it got to the point where she was getting very hyped up and very snarly and pulling hard on the leash to go towards the dog.
Now, I couldn't say whether or not she would have went at the dogs, had I let her, but needless to say I stopped letting her get close to any dogs....ever...
And then I made the situation worse.
I simply avoided the situation, and/or when we had no choice but to walk near another dog, I did everything all wrong.
I tensed up thinking about what she was going to do, and I tightened the leash.

I later learned that while I probably will never know why Mika began acting that way, I DO know now, that I only made the situation worse by letting my body language be tense and fearful of the situation. 
Instead of fixing the situation and trying to understand, I avoided it.

SO I did a ton of research online and started working at this.

I learned that a lot of how she acts on the leash is fed from how I'm acting on the other end of the leash. 
So I made myself feel as comfortable as I possibly could.

I also learned what Mikas 'threshold' was and learned not to cross it until she was ready.

How did I do this?

I kept my eyes peeled for other dogs, when I saw one, I let her in sight of the dog but I would turn down a different street before we got to close, all the while keeping my cool and knowing that if I stay calm, she will stay calm.

At first she still got a tad riled up and wanted to run towards where the dog was, but after she realized that we didn't have to walk by the other dog, she started to calm down.

So as time went by, Mika got a lot more relaxed with her threshold.
It was time to bring it a little closer. 
So bit by bit, week by week, we were able to make our way a little closer to the dogs walking near us.

Things were going great.
We were walking down by the river one day and ran into an owner and his dog that Mika always used to LOVE saying hi to. So he was casually approaching as he normally once would . . .and I very calmly let him know she has been snarly a bit lately and I would like to let her say hi but I had to warn him at the same time , he said let her come give him a sniff, so knowing he was ok with this, I was calm, she was calm and he was calm, they sniffed each other, and what do you know? Her tail was wagging and she seemed her happy self again.

Today she is much better then she was. We are able to walk by other dogs, she does get exited, but her body language is different and its a happy "hey how u doin" sort of exitment, not a fearful one.
Although if a small dog walks past and starts barking wildly at her , she will bark back! 

Lexus :

                Couple short things about my Lexi girl.
She is a major puller. I have tried HARD to teach her loose leash walking, and walking in heel as Mika and Koda do, but she won't budge with it.
I even tried changing up the training from what I do with Mika and Koda, but still she doesn't seem to want to heel or at the least , not pull while we are walking.
I have to admit, I am at a big of a loss when it comes to this. Nothing has worked and I'm not sure what the next steps should be : (

The other thing with Lexus is, she loves walking, she gets super happy when we go out. UNTIL I try to take her down the main road.
I don't know why, but she is terrified of the main street. Not the cars going by but the buildings.
I have had her since she was a young pup so I can't see it being anything from her past that may have traumatized her.

She tries to get as far away from the buildings as she possibly can, she would run right out into traffic if she could , just to get away from the buildings! 
I simply do not know how to help her with this!
I have tried bringing treats with me and praising her and everything else when we go that way, but she won't even accept the treats.
I have stopped taking her that way on our walks because I don't want to put her through whatever it is that scares her.
But I don't want to just keep avoiding these situations.
If anybody has any suggestions on this, I am more then willing to listen.

I want to thank the hosts for putting on this wonderful hop, and giving us a chance to share our reactive/fearful dogs. 
It is a very important topic. And I think this side of our fur babies is just as important as the loving cuddly side of them. We are not perfect pet parents, nobody is. And here, we come together to share our stories.

Thanks for reading.
♥Husky hugz frum our pack♥


  1. It is great that you are so sensitive to your dogs' reactive situations. I think you're doing a wonderful job working with them. Have a fun Sunday!

    1. Thanks Melissa!
      Have a great day yourself!

  2. I have a suggestion for Lexus :-)

    When you go for walks, do you have to always walk down the street? Do you ever go to the park/field and let her off the lead - does she have a reliable recall? Do you have to walk down the street to get to the park/field? If not, try taking her straight their and exercising her there. Therefore she doesn't get the opportunity to pull (here, either let her off the lead or put her on a long lead), she can get her exercise, if not more as she will be running around instead of just walking, and she will be away from her fear for now. When you DO walk by the street, go straight to the park/field and have a really good time. Do some playing, positive reward-based training, and she should hopefully look forward to getting there! When it comes to heeling, I am no real expert. Earl has always been a great heeler, so…!!

    Earl and I.

    1. Thanks for your suggestions! I appreciate them. You must have missed my last Sibe vibe though BOL!! She has a pretty good recall but I don't let my dogs off leash at all unless at an offleash dog park. Huskies can't be trusted off leash and are hard core escapers!
      But I do use long leads to let her run around though. But I still would like to work on helping her be more comfortable on a leash walking though

    2. I know - I meant by park/field an off leash dog park! Do you have done close by you? How does she get on there?

      Good luck.

  3. Thank for sharing your story, I'm guilty of giving off the wrong signals to Sheba I always tense up when I see another dog. I think I need re training to try and get my confidence back.

    1. Its really hard not to...
      Once we have in our heads that our dogs are gunna bark, growl, lunge or whatever the case may be, then its our natural instinct to get tense...
      The easiest way I did it was by knowing the dogs where I live. If I see a dog that I know is going to start barking etc, then I do my best to keep mika out of that situation, but a dog who is more calm will help her be more calm, in turn making me more calm lol ! Thanks so much for coming by :)

  4. Thank you for joining the hop and sharing your experiences. I know I tense up when Oz and I are coming up to other dogs; I am trying to be more relaxed and sometimes I am! LOL I'm so glad you had success with Mika; I think it helps us all to know that there IS light at the end of the tunnel. In regard to Lexus...I cannot even imagine why she would be afraid of buildings but there are a few leashes that are supposed to help with the pulling issue. Have you tried any of those?
    Gina and Oz

    1. It is SO hard!! But I wanted so badly to be able to have people and their dogs come up to us to have a chat and let our dogs say hello, I am a social person and so was she (although in dog form) haha! So I wanted that back....and it did take quite a while, even still today though there are certain dogs that rub her the wrong way, but most of them are ok, but like I said if they bark first.......then its game on for her : (

  5. I think we're all guilty of tensing up and being fearful ourselves. So it's not just the dogs we have to work on, but ourselves too! I have practiced just trying to be more confident when I walk....head held high and purpose to my walk. You've done so great with Mika!
    Your issues with Lexi and those buildings reminds me of our issues with a dog we used to have, Maggie. She was scared to death of going under any tunnel or bridge, or anything that was above her head. We also had her from a puppy so we never knew what could have started that fear. I think sometimes dogs have phobias just like people, which are just unexplainable.
    Thanks so much for joining our hop!!
    Jan, Wag 'n Woof Pets

    1. Its hard not to tense up when we know whats coming, but I think the key is to learn first what our dogs thresholds are....like how close do we get to the other dogs before our own start to get tense and worked up, then we need to make sure we don't cross that point. Then slowly but surely work on getting past that point, bit y bit. It takes so long bit is so worth it though!
      Good point about the phobias, makes perfect sense and I never really thought of that. Why shouldn't our dogs have phobias when we definitely do! Thanks for your input!

  6. I have always found dogs are more receptive to training and working through problems after lots of exercise and then just do small step like taking her closer to the street a little bit at a time and then gradually work on going in to the street and give her a treat then go back the other way eventually she will realize its no big deal and do leash training after exercise too,good luck,xx Rachel

    1. Who'da think such great dog advice coming from my bunny buddy! BOL!
      Thanks for your tips! It is much appreciated!
      That's one thing I haven't tried with Lexus, walking her near the street then giving a treat and walking away and gradually going further and further, so thank you and I am going to try that for sure!!

  7. I think you're doing a great job. We're all guilty of making mistakes, but we learn by them and sounds like you've tackled yours really well.
    I'm a puller too, though usually only when mummy and daddy are together. If it's just one of them I'm fine. I do settle down after a while and more so after a good play in the park.
    I'm fab on my halti but I figured out how to pull it off my face and mummy gave up using it lol

    1. That's funny, I just went out and bought the gentle leader head haulty today!!!
      I bought it for lexus but its to big so I am using it on Koda. He has pulled it his face twice but I'm going to try my best to train him to use it because not seems to work really well for stopping the pulling.
      Thanks so much for reading :)

  8. My mom have a sort of collar around my nose. As long as I don't pull the leash I can't feel it, but if I pull my leash, my head will turn to the right (or the left it depends on which side of my mom I am). It don't hurt me, but I don't pull the leash because I want to look straight ahead.

    1. I was just telling Misaki that we have just bought that one today! Its been working really well so far, he just has to get comfortable using it.
      Thanks Laika for your help!

  9. I don't know a lot about these things 'cause, you know... I'm a cat. But I figure that sending purrs is ALWAYS an appropriate and helpful thing to do so I'll do just that. Hope that's okay. Purrs.


    1. Purrs are purrrrrfect! Thanks Missy!, some good purrs are always helpful and relaxing!!

  10. Thanks fur sharing your experiences -

    My mom is so furry happy I'm 'normal' - fur a Siberian that is - of khourse, I do get fearful that I WON'T get a walk so I make sure to be in Mom's line of vision or obstakhle in her path ;-)

    PeeEssWoo: We have Bluejays too - we'll try to snag some shots fur WOO!

    1. Haha! Good! Thanks so much!!! I do love blue jays as well as the cardinal photos you took.
      Blue jays have always been one of my face for sure! So thank you!!! That'd be great!

  11. Great post!!!!!!! Good luck with Lexus...fingers crossed

    1. Thank you!!
      Yep fingers crossed here to!
      Thanks for your comment ;)

  12. Have to agree with Speedy on this one guys. Let us know the results of Lexus xxx

  13. nice post - and loved that Dr. Seuss quote!! :)

    1. Thank you! And yep Dr Seuss=genius! I love his quotes! They are so inspiring!!


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