Even though we've been at our old place for a while now (construction is too intense for us to be at Lab Valley), Hachi has had a good week. He has been so affectionate with me and the Runner, spontaneously giving us kisses and snuggles.
In bigger news, he's continuing to have a more muted response to strangers on the trails. Sometimes, if they are at a great enough distance, he doesn't even bark. That blows my mind when it happens.
Every single day, we play the "bucket game" for handling with him. I won't lie - it is going slowly. We are both feeling as if plain old counterconditioning might be working better. However, we will keep at it as long as our behavior team still thinks that it might work.
We also still play with Hachi every single morning. All three of us love it, and we humans think that it may be the single most important thing that we do with Hachi. While we play, Shyla gets personal time with her "machine", which is a Pet Tutor that is set to a program that delivers treats when she is quiet for a certain period of time. I think that her Pet Tutor time might be Shyla's favorite thing all day!
We also try to do Hachi's Relaxation program every day. It's a short training session that is designed to teach Hachi to relax whenever he's on a certain mat. It seems to be working but we still do it only at times of the day when he tends to be sleepy.
Moreover (this is a time intensive dog!), I try to practice putting on Hachi's harness every day. Putting on his harness has been a long term issue for him. It seems to terrify him, and his body language while it's being put on worries me. Just today, I managed to put the harness over his head without him becoming so worried. That was a great moment!
I decided to list all the stuff that we are doing with Hachi just so you'd know that it's a big undertaking to try to help a dog like him. Through a couple of years of having him in the family, we've become very committed to him so we are willing to spend the time. I still believe that there will come a day when we'll look back at his early years as a long-ago memory, kind of like how I have trouble remembering how fearful Shyla was as a youngster.
da nelly needs such a machine too.. urgently LOLReplyDelete
Happy Hachie Day! and I wish many more of them to all of you. I know you will be so happy to move into your new valley and home...ReplyDelete
Some relationships are and always will be high maintenance. Love is the winner!!! YAM xx
Goodness, that is a lot of work. It's wonderful you're seeing the progress, even if it is slow at times. Lucky Hachi to be part of your pack.ReplyDelete
We're so glad to hear Hachi is doing so well. You are the best pawrents he could have ever hoped for. We were thinking about how far Shyla has come and just know Hachi will get there some day too.ReplyDelete
I know that with your continued and loving help, Hachi will be the best dog he can be, and I can only comment your patience and persistence.ReplyDelete
All the best,
I am always so impressed at your commitment to keeping your dogs healthy and happy. I know it's costly in both time and $$ and emotional toil. I think Hachi probably has the best possible home for him, and I love you all for the love and training you give all your pets. Hang in there!ReplyDelete
I don't have your issues, Hachi, and I'm not crazy about my harness going over my head either but mom insists and I'm not sorry because walkies are fun! I think I NEED your Pet Tutor, Shyla!ReplyDelete
You harness issue reminded me of our Angel Little Bit. She loved her harness because she would drag you along and choke herself. The harness put a stop to that. Hubby would lay in on the floor and she would step in the harness. When they were done with their walk he would unhook it and she would step out of it. We sure miss our angel.ReplyDelete
I love your action shots of your babies. They are both so lucky to have humans that care about their well being.
Have a woof woof day you two. My best to your peeps. ♥
Your what a lucky pup Hachi is to be loved and nurtured by you, Runner and his Sissy Shyla.ReplyDelete
Patience and love are so healing to the mind, body and soul.
A happy Hachi is a good way to start out the week. Keep up the good work.ReplyDelete
Every little step forward is a huge one for Hachi, and your total dedication speaks volumes for how he is these days. I am sure one day you will look back and marvel at the differences.ReplyDelete
I love to hear he is doing ok!ReplyDelete
We are always happy to hear about that Hachi progress, it makes us smile!ReplyDelete
"Slow and steady wins the race" seems to fit this situation. Good for you, sticking with it so consistently!ReplyDelete
Happy Hachi is a good thing to hear!!! That is a lot of work for you to do for him, and we hope that you continue to see ongoing progress.ReplyDelete
Not only have you done a fantastic job with Hachi, but you gave him a charmed life.ReplyDelete
It is amazing what love will do for a scared pup. I am so impressed with all of your efforts and the techniques you have been trying and maybe a little jealous! So glad you have all the support, trainers, behaviorist and vets you need. Go Team Hachi!!ReplyDelete
It really helps to read about your daily routine with Hachi. Thanks! And someday - video of the morning play session?ReplyDelete
Chris from Boise
It's all about routine and slow progress which is so very hard, but it is working. Hatchi is so fortunate to be in your home. Most homes wouldn't put in the effort and his life would not be what it is today.ReplyDelete
Thanks so much for posting Hachi's progress. it has definitely helped me out. I've had dogs for over 40 yrs and never had a reactive dog. We rescued a sister duo and one of them is leash reactive with other dogs. Slowly but surely she is making progress (baby steps). it's a lot of work but she's worth it, love our little girlReplyDelete
Like you said, the key is accepting that the steps will be tiny. And there will be backwards steps. You might like the podcast "The bitey end of the dog". There was a recent one with Clair Hickson (I think) as the guest, and she talked about the psychology of the human who ends up with a reactive dog. Hearing her wisdom and experience helped me a lot. Getting to the phase of accepting the situation is key. Thanks for your comment!Delete
It sounds like you have some really good routines going there. ♥ReplyDelete