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Tuesday, June 26, 2018

More games to help with Shyla's confidence

Many of you have been along for my whole journey with Shyla since I met her six years ago as a shaking and terrified young dog. Back then, I was beside myself with worry that I wouldn't be able to help such a fearful dog. 

She and I have come a long way together. Most days, I think that she doesn't feel too much fear. Indeed, yesterday, we got caught in a terrible thunder storm with ferocious hail during our bike ride. I managed to convince her to trust me. We hid under a pine tree until the hail ended and managed to sprint home before the lightning got too scary. I would have never predicted that she could handle that way back when I met her.

Despite her comfort with most aspects of our low key day-to-day life, I still search for ways to increase her confidence. If only she could always be as confident as in this photo!

Alas, I am not one to simply accept where Shyla is now. I would love for her to learn to cope with novel things and social situations more comfortably.

To increase her overall confidence, we are continuing on a program that challenges her to learn to explore novel things that seem scary. This week, I set up a challenge that asked her to rummage through a pile of metal cookware to find treats hidden in the pile. At the very bottom, there was a bowl with treats in it. This was a game suggested in a course that we're taking at Fenzi.

As she rummaged, she starting pawing at the baking containers to make noise with them because I've rewarded her in the past for doing that. I responded by rewarding her this time too! She looked so proud of herself for doing it!

Here is a short video of her doing this game.
I love seeing her take on this challenge with such pride!


  1. that is a super idea... I would like to adopt this idea to help Neilson to feel better inside of the house... he often wants to escape when he feels fear about things what are common for us...

  2. That's wonderful sweet Shyla, we're always cheering you on!

  3. You were making lots of noise, Shyla! Great job!

  4. thanks for my first laugh out loud moments of the day... she is so sweet and I did laugh a few times when she hit it with her paw and when she looked at you to say, please get me those treats mom... glad you made it through that hail storm

  5. Great job finding the treats Shyla.
    xo Astro and Mitzie

  6. Wow, way to go, Shyla!! We're so proud of how far she's come.


  7. Shyla we were clapping and cheering as you showed that pan your confident paw power!
    Well done sweet girl
    Hugs madi your bfff

  8. You go, Broccoli Girl!!

    Chris from Boise

  9. One more step in the kitchen items, well done Shyla to look, to cope with the noise, and paw those tins.I wonder if you have your own set for training time?

  10. She's such a good girl!!! You two are a great team!

  11. We just love the trusting and loving expression on her face as she hears your encouragement and praise. Way to go, Shyal!!!

  12. What a fun challenge!
    Hazel & Mabel

  13. Love her face in that second photo. It would be hard dealing with a fearful dog, but you do well with her, and living where you do makes it easier than being in a crowded area.

  14. You are making such amazing progress with her! She is obviously a very happy girl. :)


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