Okay, let’s compare Pixie’s big list of fears, now we’re nine weeks in 🙂
The thing that inspired this post was our fantastic walk tonight. We walked Pixie into town at 9.30pm, in the dark, so we could grab some food before the shop shut (I say town, it’s more like a large village).
Pixie was entirely happy and confident walking along the narrow pavements to town, we crossed to the other side of the road to avoid two people (men, one with shopping bags) and she didn’t cower or huff at any of them.
At the shops whilst my partner rushed in we walked nearby, around town. We looped around the square, along a side street, and by the train station. Pixie saw a lot of people, about double a road width away, and watched them. She watched them with something bordering on confidence – no paw lifts, cowering, or trembling.
She followed direction, moved away from things she was scared of (ie. people) when asked, and just did great. One person came out of a pub on the opposite side of the road, and Pixie was startled then suspicious as the man was standing still. She stood and watched, had two huffs, then carried on almost calmly!
However the best thing was when a woman came out of Co-op (we were round the side in the car park), and Pixie went to the end of the longline to watch. The woman was kindly saying “awww” and “bless” as she walked past but, upon seeing the NERVOUS lead, she ignored Pixie – no talking AT her, no staring, stroking etc.
The woman looped the long way round us, smiling, and Pixie followed within a foot of her, looking like she wanted to say hello and being very polite and intrigued! Yessssssss!!
She’d obviously had her fill of stressful events on the way back, as was more jumpy at things she’s normally fine with (traffic lights, traffic cone, a brick in a wall hahaha) but again she coped wonderfully, didn’t need carrying once, and was just a star 🙂
Without further ado here is Pixie’s list of fears, you can check out the last list here, although I have tried to mention which fears have moved!
Red fears = extremely scary, blue fears = very sad and scared, amber fears = significantly uncomfortable.
- Having Sudocrem put on or being wiped with a damp flannel after walks (new fear)
- People walking past on the pavement
- Men walking within 20ft of us
- Other dogs within 30ft
- Old women within 20ft
- ‘Unusual’ people, eg. walking with a cane, hoods, drunk etc
- People coming into the house (probably her biggest fear but hasn’t needed to happen yet)
- Being picked up out on walks
- Very large or noisy vehicles going past
- Loud knocking at the door
- Us answering the door
- The vets
- Having her lead clipped on (was a red fear)
- Walks when it’s windy (was a red fear)
- Children close by
- My partner sometimes coming into the house
- Moving furniture
- Getting forced to move on lead (eg. if she wants to walk on the road and I have to hold the lead tight on a narrow pavement)
- Sirens when we’re outside
- Cars driving past on our side of the road when it’s dark
- Having her harness put on (was a red fear)
- Leaving the house when it’s dark (was a red fear)
- People talking that she can’t see, eg. in gardens or houses with open windows (was a red fear)
- Walking in the dark (was a red fear)
- Dogs barking, including if she can’t see them (was a red fear)
- Any more than two people together, of any age (used to be a blue fear)
- Children playing or walking over the road from us
- Certain routes / roads
- Taking treats from my partner sometimes
- Responding to certain cues, initial fearful reaction or hesitation
- Vans or smaller lorries going past
- New things appearing, eg. road signs, tape tied to fences etc
- Litter or bags blowing
(these are things that you would either expect Pixie to be scared of, or that she was once scared of, but she is now fine with!)
- The vacuum
- Firework noises on TV
- Our cats
- Rey and to a lesser extent Kasper
- Being carried in the baby sling
- Fine being talked to, played with, and cuddled by me
- Being played with and cuddled by my partner
- Being picked up in the house (was a red fear)
- My partner initiating contact or talking to her (was a blue fear)
- Walking down narrow paths, eg stairs or alleys (was a blue fear)
- Having her name called or asked to come here (was originally a red fear, on the last list was an amber fear)
- Asking her what she’s doing, in a happy tone (was an amber fear)
- Leaving the house for walks (was an amber fear)
- Seeing / walking by cats on walks (was an amber fear)
As you can see this is a drastically different list to what it was 🙂
I’m very proud of how far she’s come, and if I’m having a rotten day I love to sit and think about how different she is now. It’s hard to even associate her with that shadow of a dog she was for the first few weeks, it feels like it has to be a different dog!
I’m most pleased with her and my partner’s realtionship.
They are REALLY bonded now, with Pixie giving him good morning kisses, asking for fuss, asking to play with him and cuddling on his lap. She still has moments where she is unsure or fearful of him, but there’s been soooo much improvement 🙂
When we let her off lead in her happy place (aka her favourite field and where she can go totally off lead) she has a special chase game that she will play with only her daddy!!
We’ve noticed there are a few things that trigger her to go back to being very scared of my partner. Coming through from the kitchen (NO idea why!), carrying large objects and, strangely, when his hair is tied up.
She bounces back from these fears faster than she used to, but we have realised if one thing goes ‘wrong’ her comfort level drops right back to ‘aaagh!’
A few days ago for example my partner had his hair tied back and she’d just befriended him and was getting cautious fuss, playing and wanting to jump onto his lap – only she couldn’t find a way to jump up and balance on his knees, and that fact was enough ‘wrong’ to reduce her to backing away and barking at him again XD
I apologise if you find my ‘list of fears’ posts dull…they’re just one of my most enjoyable posts to write, and I LOVE to watch Pixie’s progress ^__^