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.