Find a Different Way

We are currently sitting outside while my brother-in-law is cutting wood, making us a shelf for our patio. There was once a time where just seeing him would cause Oreo to fly into a barking panic and hearing the noise of a saw would send her into a fit. 

However, we have to find a new way to do things so that our anxious dogs are no longer worried, but calm and relaxed. For example, Oreo use to back up and bark excessively out of fear when she saw Chris (brother-in-law). This would happen if we greeted him inside.

 Instead, we tried the greeting outside, by doing a quick sniff, turning and walking with him. This technique seems to work with most people, sometimes even strangers. Many times we think, “Well this is how my dog is supposed to act, why aren’t they listening?” Or sometimes we give up all together and avoid what we think scares them. Reactive dogs think differently, so we should too. Having a reactive dog can be difficult, but it’s much easier if you find a different way.

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Caught in the Rain 

  

We got caught in the rain! It’s a typical summer day sunny with a few clouds then-boom-Instant downpour! We tried to take cover under a few trees but Oreo wanted to get home faster, so we ultimately got soaked! 

What else is up today ? Well it’s my first day off for summer break (I’m a teacher) yay! 

We spent some time outside- me weeding the garden and Oreo:   

Watching and hanging out in the screened-in patio. We don’t have a fenced in yard so it’s a good place to lay down for her but be outside and contained (she has allergy issues with laying in the grass too much). Enjoy your day and don’t get stuck in a rain storm! 

Four Years!!

I can’t believe it’s been 4 years since my first post on here! I started this blog as a way to deal with stress when I finally found out the name for what was happening with Oreo- reactivity. We’ve been through many tough times and have come a long way. Now I mainly post on here for updates and to share hope for others with reactive dogs.   I still train Oreo, but do much managing and take many previous skills she learned and apply them every day. Four years ago, I would’ve never imagined I would be cleaning Oreos teeth, ears, feet and even grooming her myself! I also never thought we could go on long walks without her freezing, shaking in fear, or losing her cool. We’ve come a long way since she was attacked and the future can only get better! 

Sweet Grass! 

As we walk down the road, Oreo slightly leans to the right, trying to sway me towards that yummy piece of grass sticking out of an otherwise ordinary clump of that green stuff. She has spotted the perfect piece-larger, wider and with a different shade of green than the others. Oreo has always loved grass and I have always wondered why. 

Do dogs like grass? Do they eat it to help ease stomach pain? When Oreo was younger I thought she ate it to help her throw up. I made this connection after she would eat grass and come inside and immediately vomit. However, I personally believe she would have thrown up anyway, it just happened to be after she ate grass. But who knows, maybe it does help a dog’s stomach and that’s why she likes it so much. Why haven’t important questions like this been answered? 

When you google, “Why do dogs eat grass?” you will get thousands of results with many different answers and no scientificically proven time after time answer. I tend to believe dogs like grass. Oreo usually looks for the just right blade of grass and refuses others. Yet there are the rare times she will munch on our grass like I eat a bloomin’ onion at Outback Steakhouse-like an animal!!

No one really knows why dogs eat grass. Just remember if they are eating grass it should be untreated by pesticides and sprays. Sometimes I call her my little cow! 

  

Your Dog is so Sweet!

As Oreo and I strolled down the block in the fading sunlight, we spotted an older couple walking toward us. I dove my hand into my pocket getting a small treat ready for when we got closer. We switched to the other side of the road and as we were about to pass them, Oreo looked up for her treat. “What a sweet dog,” the woman said as they passed. Oreo did great and took the treat and we continued our walk. This happens quite frequently.

I had to smile when she said that because when we first started training I would’ve never imagined people saying things like that on a walk with her. If you are in a similar position don’t worry, with work, it will get better! 

   On another note we have spent much time hanging outside. Her allergies seem to be controlled and she’s been very relaxed when people pass. She also is calmer around the neighbor’s dogs. Oreo can now lay down, relax, and ignore them if they are at a safe distance. Distance is key.