Photos and text copyright Romping and Rolling in the Rockies 2009-2017.

All photographs and text within this blog are copyrighted.

You may not copy or repost any photos or text without specific permission from the author of this blog. When in doubt, please ask.

Monday, May 20, 2019

The Hachi Chronicle

Puppy Hachi seems to have felt a bit stressed out this week. Compared to our time in the desert, he's had a ton of everyday "stranger exposure" which may be a reason for it.
Among other things, Hachi started an advanced training class this week. That involves group classes at city parks. His stress seemed to start on the first day of school although he did pretty well at class.

He also went to town multiple times this week, and the Runner did a fair bit of counter-conditioning while watching strangers and other scary things. That involves feeding Hachi treats when the scary things are in view. The counter-conditioning went super well, with Hachi gradually relaxing during the course of each session.

He came home from town wired each day. Some of it was pure teenage rambunctiousness and some was stress. Thankfully, R wanted to play with him most days which relaxed Hachi a lot.

Hachi looked at his brother with wide eyes while they played. What incredible faces they both make.

I could watch them play all day!

Hachi's general stress level led a few resource guarding episodes. Immediately after a service person was here to try to fix the internet, Hachi guarded unopened bags of food that Chewy had just delivered. Then, in a similar scenario, he'd just finished some slightly stressful training, and he "guarded" a treat in my hand from R. In both of these situations, the astounding thing is how little it takes to stress Hachi enough for him to resource guard.

I find it difficult to constantly be on our toes to avoid potential food guarding but it's what we need to do. In particular, we need to be especially vigilant if anything remotely stressful has happened to Hachi recently. I am going to redouble my efforts. I was a little too chill about it this week.
I am writing this so honestly because I want to be able to remember the ups and downs of rehabbing Hachi. I think that this view might help others as they rehab their fearful dogs. It also will be interesting for me to go back and read it later, when Hachi is a well-adjusted dog. (Do you like my optimism about the ultimate outcome here?).

As I know from my experiences with Shyla, rehabbing a fearful dog is not a smooth ride from point A to point B. Rather, it involves lots of ups and downs. The progress sometimes seems negligible but, then, the dog will suddenly make a big leap forward almost unexpectedly.


  1. we are always surprised what wild eyes they can make when they play their rough games LOL

  2. praying this will help him, he is so beautiful. I love their faces all snarly while playing. the counter conditioning is helping with Big and cats. he chases nothing but a Cat. he hates cats, was attacked by one in a foster home... each time he sees a cat while walking I am giving him treats as we pass, it gets easier each time and seems to be working. he is so funny. now when we see a cat, he will look at me to see if he gets a treat.

  3. There are lots of wrinkled noses when Mackie comes to visit. You will ace all of your issues, Hachi, because you are loved.

  4. Awww, your pups are just adorable. You take the best action shots.

    Thank you for joining the Awww Mondays Blog Hop.

    Have a fabulous Awww Monday. Scritches to all your babies. ♥

  5. Hachi is a smart guy and I know you'll help him figure out the normal you're expecting from him.

  6. R and Hachi you two need to take your comical faces on the road. Too funny
    Hachi I want to commend you and your peeps for training and classes. I know it must be scary for you and the peeps worry a bit when strangers and their dogs are around BUT I say well done. I too agree with Molly you will ace your issues
    Hugs Cecilia

  7. You are so good to keep strong and help Hachi along - you'll both reap the rewards of this hard work at the end, it's just getting there that sometimes seems overwhelming. Stay Strong! Purrs and prayers to you and yours.

  8. Your experience and work with Shyla has to be such a big help, since you already know how patient you have to be. Staying optimistic has to help too! It's great that Hachi has his big brother to play with, and as a role model. ♥
    Jan, Wag 'n Woof Pets

  9. Conditioning with rescues always has its ups and downs. Here's hoping there are loads more of the ups in the future.

  10. "(Do you like my optimism about the ultimate outcome here?)" YES!!! :D
    he will make you think someday... (WOW! it was so worth it!)
    kudos to you for your's and Runner's loving patience. not to even mention his beloved siblings! xo

  11. We're sure he'll be well-adjusted in future, too.

  12. It may be a bumpy road with lots of twists and turns, but we know you will be successful. Always best to be optimistic - we agree!!!

  13. I appreciate your honesty and am confident you will be able to hell Hachi be less fearful.

  14. Hachi is so lucky to have landed in your home. We are confident you will help him to grow just as you have helped Shyla.

  15. Oh, I just knows Hachi will come out on the other side of this! Yes, just lookie at Shyla! need I say more??
    Ruby ♥

  16. You have to be optimistic or there is no point to rehabbing Hatchi. You are doing a great job, and it will be a long road, but you know he is getting better slowly. There are so many things to learn about in the world, it will take time.

  17. Hachi is so fortunate to have you to teach him about life. Of all the dogs we rescued, only one was fearful. I never knew to do any of the things you are doing with Hachi or to be as observant as you know is necessary. He was a male Doberman, he ended up trusting us, loving only me. Later, he was bullied by another dog of ours, who was much smaller, but totally secure. I am convinced that, like with Shyla, your work and love with pay off and Hachi will be just fine.

  18. Hachi and R's faces are so fun to see! They play hard! And its good they trust each other!
    I think your doing an excelling job with Hachi,,,and I feel that in time,,, all your training will work out!

  19. We see how far you have brought Shyla and know you will do whatever you can to help Hachi be the best he can be!


If you are a Blogger registered user, you can skip the step asking you to verify that you are not a spammer. For posts older than 5 days, I have comment moderation turned on.

Thanks for your comments!!!!!