Cupboard Love

Cupboard Love

Cupboard Love –Β the mutts and me – photo credit my friend H

I thought you might like to see what goes on at dog class. My friend took this photo a few weeks ago. Mr Spaghetti Legs is the white dog sitting closest to me, on the left of the photo, with the sweet, sweet expression (he loves his food) and Little Monkey is on the extreme right of the picture, at the back, in the red and black collars, looking anxious, and distancing herself from the crowd of dogs.

This is only a small selection of the dogs at class; just those who happened to be near enough to realise there was food being handed out, and to prefer that to play time. There are usually 20 to 30 dogs, all mingling, all off-lead, all getting along; which is amazing, when you think that most of them have problems of one sort or another. They are not the well-balanced dogs of the Dog Whisperer’s pack!

When I first got Mr SL and took him to class, he would follow me onto the field and walk part way with LM and me towards the group of dogs already there. Then he would turn round and head straight back to the car! This defeated the whole object of the exercise – socialising. So I started taking food treats as a means of keeping him inΒ class. After no time, here he is, right in the middle of a lot of big, dominant dogs, and no-one is bothering anyone else. They are all focused on the food.

If I make myself very small, maybe no-one will notice me

If I make myself very small, maybe no-one will notice me

It’s not the same for my girl. I took this photo two years ago. She loves actually to go to class, and run round the field, but prefers not to join in. Even after taking her regularly for seven and a half years, she is still uneasy around the other dogs, though very much improved. But the old boy that I have had only 9 months fits in fine, because he is more calm and balanced. Poor old girl. I will be taking her to class till she’s 99!

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10 thoughts on “Cupboard Love

  1. ady

    It looks like a fun time and you get to do it regularly…:) The whole group seems to enjoy the treats more than anything else…;)

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    1. scifihammy Post author

      It is fun – but also hard work! Gotta be ever watchful. But it is worth it to help my anxious girl to become more normal. btw Did you manage to solve your problem with WP? Cheers πŸ™‚

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  2. cottonthemaltese

    We haven’t brought Cotton for classes, but whenever we have gatherings, she’s always excluding hersel!! 😦 for example, someone could be giving out food and asking all the dogs to sit, but she will remain extremely uninterested and refuse to leave me side! So it’s quite a comical sight of 10+ dog all sitting and aiming for that morsel of food and there she is not even caring about what’s going on! Can’t wait for her to be like your girl and improving! πŸ™‚ and good job with your girl! Seven and a half years, that’s long! πŸ˜€

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    1. scifihammy Post author

      When Cotton has enough confidence she will join in more. The more you socialise – and she sees nothing bad happens – the quicker she will relax. You could try giving out the food, then the other dogs can be near Cotton but ignore her. And she will see they are not going to harm her. But it all takes time and patience. Good Luck

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      1. cottonthemaltese

        Thanks! She doesn’t really have low confidence, but instead I think she feels very stressed out with other dogs as she doesn’t know what to do. Cotton doesn’t like any dogs being in her personal space, so she will growl, snap, and push when cornered. She wasn’t like this when she first left her fosterer’s place (which had a dog), but over time she started getting out of touch with how to “dog” at our place so I believe frequent outings to doggy places will help her more πŸ™‚ can’t wait for my schedule to clear up soon (major exams before college) so I can spend 7 whole months bringing her to these dog places πŸ™‚

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  3. Midwestern Plant Girl

    Did someone say treats? !
    I understand unsocial.. I’m included! My last dog, an Akita was a loner. She was not friendly to animals. My boys now are great, although Breck is way more laid back, says hello and goes back to chillin’.

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    1. scifihammy Post author

      Breck sounds like he has it right. Sadly my Monkey missed out on her formative years and will never be ‘normal’. She won’t take treats from other people at class! Still, she is full of confidence away from other dogs – which is 99% of the time!

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