Puppy reactivity & seaside trip!

Mojo is this awesome dog who has been a dream to socialise and train, other than one thing…

He HATES other dogs :/

This goes way beyond normal puppy unease, and is true fear. I can only imagine it’s due to his first home, as there was definitely at least one other dog in the house with him, and the dog/s were completely unsupervised (hence why he came to us, because he was having continuous accidents and things were been destroyed!).

Mojo is doing heaps better with other dogs after weeks of training, but at 15 weeks old he still can’t meet an unknown dog as he’s too scared.

If I know the dog won’t run over to him (maybe the other dog is on lead, or only interested in fetch) Mojo can be on the ground, and we will work on LAT, engage disengage, and general confidence boosting behaviour.

If there is a dog within about 8 feet, Mojo will climb onto my lap for safety. He might do little huffs, but usually he’s happy to sit and watch as I feed treats.

Anything closer than 4ft is in the danger zone. Mojo will back off my lap, growl, and try move away from the dog.

Previously he barked at all dogs, regardless of distance, and trembled. So progress has certainly been made. I can now carry him whilst other dogs are by my feet, and he will do engage disengage. It’s VERY rare he barks in my arms now, unless the other dog is reacting.

The main issue is that he’s 15 weeks old as of this Monday, and not met any strange dogs. I struggled with the idea of ‘throwing him in at the deep end’ and forcing him to meet dogs on walks before his socialisation window closed, but let’s be honest, flooding would just set him up for further failure and much future fear.

So I guess we’ll go slow and steady, and I’ll accept that he will most likely always be reactive, may never be able to meet unknown dogs well, but we can get him more confident around dogs and show him they’re not scary.

If there were ANY decent puppy/training classes nearby, I would give that a shot. Classes can actually be great for reactive dogs as long as they’re well planned, and it could really help him…unfortunately the classes near to us are TERRIBLE. About as bad as it gets. And I’ve not found good classes within 30 miles.

So I can’t go that route and I also don’t know anybody who has a dog that would be good to train around, and even if I did I doubt the owner would understand / help.

Just yesterday there was an interfering old busybody walking two dogs on the beach, one ‘not very nice’ and one supposedly friendly.

After I explained Mojo was a rescue and scared of dogs, she asked “Shall I hold my dog’s bum up to your dog so he can smell it?” (this as Mojo is backing off my lap growling at her dog a few feet away).

Me: *trying to hide a smile at this idea* No thanks, he’s fine just watching for now. He’s learning dogs aren’t scary, so we can’t throw too much at him.

Woman: It’s best if you don’t baby him though, you know. Isn’t it? You can’t treat him like a baby.

Me: (silently) Oh she’s one of those morons. Well, time to completely ignore her

Woman: It’s probably best if you just put him on the ground, stand up, and just ignore him. That’ll be the best for him. So he learns his place. You should probably do that.

Me: *continues to not even look at her whilst reassuring and treating Mojo, who’s doing really well* XD

Eventually she walked off. What an idiot.

Other than that, and some people stupidly interacting with Mojo (saying “oh naughty me, I’m distracting you from training aren’t I!” and reaching for his head when Mojo was focusing on me, a woman who grabbed at his head as she walked past and just carried on walking, etc etc) we had a really nice day πŸ™‚

Train ride on the way there!

Yay seaside πŸ˜€

Mojo’s first experience of a proper beach – of course he loved it!!

So much to sniff, so many new things to experience! Seaweed was a huge hit πŸ˜€

We walked along the beach and all of a sudden this end-of-the-world siren started. It was SO LOUD!! We were all a little bit freaked, I scooped Mojo up and cuddled him, he was dealing well with it, nobody else seemed panicked…turns out it was to announce the bloody tide coming in!! Really?!

It was at this point we met the stupid woman with the two Lhasa’s. Once they’d gone there was a Lab playing fetch ahead, clearly with no interest in me or Mojo, and so I sat the little guy down and we did some engage disengage.

We couldn’t get a photo fast enough to get the Lab in it (two throws of a ball from the slipway was apparently enough for the dog, then it was back into the car), but you can see Mojo volunteering focus and the edge of the slipway where the Lab was running from!

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After beach fun and saying hello to some people, we carried Mojo around a few shops and then we sat outside whilst my partner ran in to get some drinks and some fish and chips. We found half of a bird’s egg that had hatched, and Mojo decided it was very nice to chew on and mostly eat πŸ˜›

We then pootled back to the train station, and just behind there’s two picnic benches so we sat and ate our grub!

Before eating:

After I’d finished eating hahaha!

Working on him tucking out the way in small spaces πŸ˜€ ❀

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One quick pootle as my partner drank his cider…

…then it was time to sleep all the way home πŸ™‚

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I was utterly out of spoons after this trip. The rest of the night was spent feeling crummy and napping πŸ˜›

I had someone comment on FB asking why Mojo was the only one who got the seaside trip, so though I may as well preempt that and explain here too!

Sasha is too fearful; she couldn’t manage the train journeys and wouldn’t enjoy walking through the small town. Kasper is slightly too nervy, but also just too wild and frantic. And Tolly would get tired very quickly, doesn’t like riding trains or buses, and missed out on so much socialisation it would all be a bit much for her.

 

 

My take on socialisation

Several times recently I’ve seen others advising that people don’t socialise their puppy “too much”, an example being that a pet shop visit was too much for a 10-12 week old puppy. I even read once that puppies under 5 months shouldn’t be socialised or taken out much.

In my opinion, this is all total and utter bulls**t πŸ˜‰

Puppies are born as fairly blank slates. Sure, they all have individual temperaments, but for the most part they are confident, neutral about new experiences, and want to make friends with EVERYTHING.

When we used to run puppy classes, I would tell owners that if they had a “nervous” puppy, it was a sign they would need to step up their game and really work hard to show their pup that the world and everything in it is a fun place.

Puppies are supposed to be confident.Β 

As soon as your puppy comes home, they can begin to be socialised. Because they won’t be fully vaccinated at 8 weeks, there are two options:

1) Concentrate on socialisation in the home; invite guests over, introduce to pets, vacuums, the washing machine, garden, play noises on YouTube etc etc.

(handling and dremel socialisation, some easy ‘at home’ socialisation)

2) Take them outside but carry them everywhere until they are vaccinated. The risk of them catching anything is so, so small, and this way you can socialise them with everything!

We carry puppies about from the day after we bring them home.

At first the walks are very short. This is to not overwhelm them, so we can observe their confidence, and judge how well they can hold their tiny bladders!! (eg. Mojo at 10 weeks could easily hold his bladder for 90-120 minutes, Raiden at the same age could only manage 20 minutes!!)

There is one huge thing you always need to remember when socialising a puppy –

You must take it at their pace!!

With confident puppies, by their second week home we are carrying them everywhere.

They join us on dog walks, which exposes them to roads, people, dogs, birds, cows, sheep, and many more things.

We carry them into town and into pet-friendly shops; this is a great way for them to meet strangers whilst with us (as we know very few people in this area), and also exposes them to busy roads, busy shops, new smells, new lighting etc.

We also sit outside supermarkets with them, which is great as they get to watch people push trolleys, here the clatter, and they have exposure to dozens of people in one sitting.

These are from when Mojo was older, but at his youngest he would just sleep through all this or lie and watch! πŸ™‚

 

If you have an extremely confident puppy (terrier puppies tend to fall into this bracket) you often won’t have anything holding socialisation trips back – pupper will be happy to go anywhere, see anything, and fall asleep in your arms when tired.

Mojo has had dozens and dozens of socialisation trips in the few weeks he has been with us, and until he was old enough to go down on the ground, he mainly slept on them all. I’m talking heaving traffic and air horns on the road RIGHT NEXT TO HIM, and he would sleep through it. When we went into a charity shop he would briefly pop up to see if anyone would fuss him, then it was back to sleeping!!

However, if you have a fearful puppy, you need to socialise themΒ as much as possible BUTΒ at *their* pace.

Read up on calming signals, stressed behaviour, and get to know your little one really well. You need to be aware of the tiniest sign of unease in your puppy. If someone wants to pet them, does your puppy want that to happen? A normal puppy will be desperately squirmy to say hi; an obviously fearful pup may turn away, lick their lips and tremble, but an uninterested puppy is often fearful too.

You can’t socialise a puppy too much, but you can rush a puppy and put it in situations it is not comfortable with.

12 week old Mojo could go literally anyway and be fine; 12 weeks old Sasha was fearful of many things and terrified of strangers, she wouldn’t have done well in a lot of situations!

You NEED to get puppies out into the world and expose them to as much as possible, at the speed that is right for them. The socialisation window for a puppy closes at 14-16 weeks old, and before that happens they need to have been taught that everything they have seen is positive.

After 16 weeks, they start to greet new things with caution, so before they reach that age they need to have enjoyed many, many things.If you teach a young puppy that experiencing new things is exciting and positive, this confidence carries across to experiencing new things as adults.

Raiden was a perfect example of this; he was well socialised and a confident little pup, and as an adult anything he stumbled across he wanted to explore and befriend!

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If you wait until after 5 months to socialise your puppy, you will most likely end up with a very fearful pup. Or it could swing the other way, and you could have a puppy that becomes madly excited about everything because it’s their first time experiencing it!

Imagine locking a child inside a house until they were about 8-10 years old, and not exposing them to anything…

Socialisation isn’t just rushing out and thrusting your puppy into every situation (and I’ve seen that, where well-intentioned owners pass their trembling puppy into strangers’ arms for ‘socialisation’, or drag them on lead to an unknown dog to ‘play’), it’s about exposing your dog to the world and making sure they’re happy with it πŸ™‚

Also, another hard concept for a lot of people to understand, puppies can be trained immediately upon coming home, and most of them REALLY ENJOY IT!! πŸ˜‰

Training is a great way to bond with a puppy, it teaches them how to learn and use their brain, and there’s no better way to set your pup up for success than to practice training when they’re young and want to work for you!

 

Puppy socialisation & training

 

Mojo is 12 weeks old, and at that marvelous stage where all he really wants is to focus on me and make me happy.

This obviously works in my favour for training πŸ˜‰

The great thing about this guy is that he LOVES training. Whilst it’s a huge farce to have a 12 week old puppy that needs socialising and training, he’ll hopefully be placed with our friend in less than a month, as soon as our friend’s moved into his flat. It does make things stupid difficult with training Sasha and walking Pudder everyday, but we’re managing. Just about.

At 12 weeks I’ve taught Mojo

  • Sit
  • Down
  • Wait
  • Touch
  • Recall

You should have seen him today, in the middle of a HEAVING town centre walking about completely focused and sitting on cue. It was great, and made even better by people walking past with their mouths hanging open, exclaiming “he’s so small and can SIT!”

It makes me laugh that people don’t realise you can start teaching puppies as young as 6 weeks old πŸ™‚

Here we were waiting outside a supermarket – look at that focus!

His first walk – coming away from poop, sitting in a new environment, and emergency recall from Sasha πŸ™‚

First heeling outdoors

Off lead exploring and recall

Mojo’s socialisation has involved him being carried EVERYWHERE.

He’s been up a mountain, in charity shops, in a pet shop, sat outside half a dozen shops, sat in the square, been to the beach and the forest and the play park…he’s been a busy little bee πŸ˜›

He’s seen cats and cows and sheep and guinea pigs

Here he is checking out new surfaces at 12 weeks old

Today he had his first solo walk, just him and us! This was also his first time wearing a harness, as our smallest finally fits him!!

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We went into town and he walked up the main street, walked outside two different supermarkets, and got to greet half a dozen people. He was confident with everything (toddlers on push bikes, prams, every person, loud lorries going past, trolleys etc) and his focus was immense.

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He hasn’t met any unknown dogs yet.

Today we bumped into a dog we met the two times we were at puppy class with Sasha, 6 months back…and whilst it *should* have been a good fit (the dog’s a JRT and it was with a Cocker), unfortunately the dog is now rude, reactive and snappy. So no meeting for Mojo, he’s reactive enough as it is XD

It was also incredibly annoying as I had to keep Sasha on lead around them, otherwise she might have accidentally hurt them in play, but the other dog’s owner didn’t see her dog as doing anything wrong. This meantΒ it was Sasha on a 6ft lead whilst this other dog bothered her. Ugh.

However Mojo has had exposure to our dogs (who all love him), which is fab!

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I’m knuckling down with grooming training too.

When this goof got dropped in our laps he wasn’t in the best state – he had a belly full of worms (which we cleared out) and two rear dew claws with curled nails, meaning the nail had grown all the way round and grown INTO his flesh. This meant we had to introduce him to nail trims asap, with both clippers and the dremel – thankfully he’s a huge foodie so it was easy.

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Wormy belly – it was HUGE!!

On top of that he’s a mild resource guarder (which requires urgent training, if left as a RG’er at 11 weeks he would most likely be terrible as an adult!) AND reactive; he will bark at children or dogs barking that catch him unawares.

He’s a complicated little dude, but very confident (99.9% of the time when he reacts, he was asleep and they woke him up), and thrives on training. He loves cuddles, has zero issues with handling, and is a fab little man.

Our friend has been a bit off-and-on whether he wants him or not (their family dog gets nothing but walks, so our friend is always a little surprised when he comes to ours’ and sees how much we do with our pups!), but hopefully Mojo will be living with him by the end of next month πŸ™‚

So atm juggling everyone is hard. But we’re managing, and it’s not for forever. The main thing is Mojo’s doing great in his training, and he’s happy & healthy.

Look at this fuzzy little nugget though – who WOULDN’T love him?!

Sasha’s a big girl!

Today has been an awful day for seizures 😦

I had a cluster in the morning, one as soon as I woke up, then I had my usuals at night…tonight it was four absence seizures and a biggy, which resulted in hours and hours of spaciness and confusion. I doubt I will remember writing this blog and am still having trouble thinking / concentrating, and I haven’t had a seizure in about three hours now.

One of my biggest and most reliable triggers for seizures is having done a walk in the dark, then coming back to the lights in our village. The difference in light really messes with me, at least I assume that’s what does it, and 99% of the time I’ll have at least one seizure, usually more.

Because we live in such a tiny tiny village, most the places we can walk around here don’t have any streetlights, so we really are walking in the pitch blackness – even the roads don’t have additional lighting!

So annoying -__-

The good news though, Sasha did half a dozen perfect “stops” off lead today!! I did feel bad though because the entire 20 minutes she was off lead she was just walking to heel and offering eye contact…GO HAVE FUN DAMN IT XD

Tonight we put both of Sasha’s “big girl” harnesses on, to see how well she’s growing into them – one fits!! The green one, my favourite, too πŸ˜€

Doesn’t she look beautiful? ^__^

I’m not excited for this harness purely for aesthetics (although that’s a nice bonus!) but more importantly this harness has much more room for patches.

We have SUCH a huge issue with people bothering Sasha whilst we are out.

I don’t just mean looking and smiling at her. Every single walk when we are around people (so if we’re walking just five minutes through town it will happen multiple times) we get at least a few of these happening EVERY WALK:

  • People making kissy noises as they walk past to distract her
  • People walking directly up to her and trying to stroke her head
  • People sticking their hand right in front of her nose, and THEN petting her head
  • People talking to her and calling her to them
  • People staring at her
  • People following us and staring at her

None of this is okay

Sasha is my service dog in training, she is the reason I am able to get out of the house. It is not okay that onΒ every single walk people are distracting her and ruining so much of the effort I am pouring into her.

And on top of that she is people sensitive, by which I mean if people walk directly up to her and reach for her, she will shy away and begin to feel anxious. This is fine and something we are constantly counter conditioning to her, but I CAN’T DO THAT IF ON EVERY WALK SOME IDIOT DOES IT AND REINFORCES THE FACT THAT PEOPLE ARE SCARY!!!

When we use her ‘working’ lead, it repeatedly says ‘Service Dog’ on it. There are two bright red ‘STOP’ patches, one sleeve reading IN TRAINING and another KEEP YOUR DISTANCE. On top of that this harness will have a bright red STOP patch and a bright yellow IGNORE ME patch on each side.

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It really bugs me because if Sasha was a guide dog and I was blind, I honestly believe so few people would approach and bother her, but because my illnesses are invisible people just can’t understand and think they have a right to come distract her 😦

It means I don’t want to go into busy places, I don’t even want to take the side streets through town to get to the canal…and that’s stupid, because I have every right to do so and people should bloody know assistance dog etiquette!

Oh, here’s a story on the kind of moronic people we have to deal with.

We were out a few days ago, I had Sasha and my partner had Tully in the carry bag, Tully was fast asleep. I move Sasha out of an old woman’s way and we go wait for the lights to change so we can cross. The woman is tutting at Sasha and staring at us – no idea why.

I don’t like it, so before Sasha can even think about getting anxious about this woman’s odd behaviour, I walk her in the opposite direction. I then hear the woman ask if she can stroke Tully. My partner quite rightly says no – firstly you were already acting weird, secondly Tully is asleep!

My partner turns to walk after me and Sasha, and the old woman PUTS HER HAND ON MY PARTNER’S SHOULDER!! She grabs onto his shoulder to stop him moving, and with her other hand is reaching for Tully – my partner yanks away as hard as he can and marches off after me and Sash.

Seriously, when did people get so rude and just assume they can do absolutely anything to other people’s dogs?! It really pisses me off!

On that wonderfully positive note (*snort*!) here are some adorable photos of two very differently sized puppies playing πŸ˜‰ ❀

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He’s still a noisy gobshite in his crate btw, but now he always pops in and out looking for treats XD

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Tully has his first vet appt for vaccinations tomorrow. I always get nervous about these things, but what with his size I’m even more nervous – vets use the same dose for a puppy his size as they would for a Great Dane puppy, and that just seems so wrong to me!!

Plus I think my partner’s going in with Tully alone and me and Sash will wait outside together, which makes me nervous as that’s never happened before!

Stop!

Sasha learnt an awesome cue πŸ™‚

You might have guessed already haha, but it’s “stop!”I use this primarily at roadsides, but it can be used as we’re walking too if I see glass ahead, for example. We’ve only been working on it a few days so it’s far from perfect, but she does it 99.99% of the time at roadsides now!

Whilst we’re still working on wait (/stay), “stop!” is useful for more urgent settings – at the moment “wait” involves putting Sasha in a sit, I’m in front of her, giving her a hand signal etc – “stop” is generally done side on, there’s no sit, and it means to instantly freeze. I love it πŸ˜€

We’ve also made fab work on ‘find it’, which is immensely helpful because she often accidentally drops treats out her gob, and this way she knows there’s a treat nearby and finds it so easily.

(random photo of Sasha trying to get in Tully’s crate XD )

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Tonight we had an very late walk along the canal in the pitch black.

Tully spent FOUR HOURS total screaming in his crate last night, so our sleep was rather disturbed, and we had to wait in until 4pm for a food delivery, then I fell asleep and didn’t wake up until 8pm, then my partner had to podcast and I had to eat, so it was 10pm before we headed out on our walk!

Town was busy as it was a Saturday night, which meant lots of drunk people. Sasha is people sensitive (fine if they ignore her, but nobody does, and it’s immensely frustrating) so I was expecting her to be anxious watching the drunk people…because let’s be honest, drunk people suck. They walk weird, they’re loud and they behave weirdly. They suck.

We ducked further away and did some engage-disengage and she was perfect! She watched them then turned to me, and her anxiety was extremely minimal – so cool!

More good socialisation on the canal – joining the canal we had to dodge two separate a-holes who were drunk / stoned and had aggressive dogs, then on the canal we walked in the pitch black which was a good experience for her.

She walked to heel 95% of the time to heel, offering lots of eye contact (yes, even off lead!) – I always feel really guilty about her ‘working’ all the time instead of going off exploring, but I realised something…it’s HER CHOICE, as is most the training I do with her…if she didn’t want to do it, she wouldn’t, because I don’t ask it from her.

Also the book I’m reading (Control Unleashed) talks a lot about allowing the puppies to take breaks during training, to reduce pressure. Well, several of the games the book talks about we already do – allowing Sasha to sniff, scattering treats on the floor for her to sniff out, and sending her away so she chooses to come back and work more.

So really…maybe she finds the training so easy because she’s constantly de-stressing during the session / walk??

Good training walk anyway ^__^

Yesterday I trimmed Tully’s nails for the first time, and Sasha had a very quick trim. Then tonight I trimmed the fluff on all her paws and neatened up all her nails too – they aren’t half growing fast, not really in length but in size!! Gone are the teeny tiny nails, they’re about as big as Kasper’s now, but thankfully without the thickness XD

We had some positive crate training with Tully today – all his meals in there, voluntarily going in to find ‘surprise’ treats, settling in there for 10 minutes chewing a dental stick, 30 minutes sleeping in there after less than 5 minutes strop…we popped him in there 20 minutes ago though as he was overly tired though and he’s still going strong now – he’s got some lungs on him!!!!

He’s an incredibly vocal puppy, but not in the way that Raiden was. Rey whined or barked when he was frustrated or excited. Tully whines as if he’s miserable pretty much all the time XD

His vocalisations are sad noises, whereas Rey’s were primarily from positive emotions. Tully will whine on my lap, so I’ll let him go. He’ll whine when exploring, whine on my partner’s lap…he whines when being carried on walks (unless his asleep!) and he whined taking and eating treats tonight hahaha…he’s just a misery!

He’s learning his name and responding to it now, and today we began actual training (now that he’s more confident and settled) and he learnt sit πŸ™‚

So there you go. Training post over!

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We had…a day out!!

For the first time in about 5 months, today we had a day trip today and left the village πŸ™‚

We traveled by train to a nearby seasidey place, and had a beautiful walk on the beach. This would have been unthinkable – itΒ was unthinkable for the past six months!! – before Sasha.

I know going out for a few hours or going on public transport might not seem like much to anybody else, but for us this was HUGE. This is something we’ve dreamed of being able to do for months and, actually doing it, it was so easy. Any time I felt panicky, I focused on Sasha. She was requiring so much attention anyway, and making us laugh with her antics, that I had zero panic attacks πŸ˜€

I took a ton of photos with my phone, because I was so excited ^__^

The weather forecast was grim and we almost didn’t end up going…but the entire time we were there, we had a few light showers and that was it!! We even had some blue skies and a rainbow ❀

I’ll post pics now and shut up πŸ˜›

The station platform was packed, and Sasha weaved through everybody wonderfully. She sniffed at a few people, but that’s fine by me!

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Sasha was SO GOOD on her first train journey!! We started short with a 10 minute ride, but she could easy do longer ^__^

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After the train ride we carried her along the narrow road into the village – can you tell we’ve had a lot of rain recently?!

And then went immediately onto the beach!

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She was wonderful!

Great recall, she had some on lead times due to other people, and she said hi to a gorgeous Border Terrier πŸ˜€

After a 30 minute walk we carried her back to the station (oh our poor arms >__< ) and found the train was a 40 minute wait. We settled down, cuddled together, talked about how great our day had been and wrapped Sasha in her new coat so she wouldn’t get too cold XD

Also isn’t this cheery XD

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Ten minutes before the train was due we took Sasha on another short adventure just to get some energy and any toileting out, then boarded our train and headed home πŸ™‚

When we got back the other coat we had ordered had arrived (she has one thicker shower proof coat for colder weather, and one waterproof lighter coat for torrential rain!!!)

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Back home my partner enjoyed some alcohol free mulled wine I surprised him with (he hasn’t had mulled wine for two years now so was super excited!!) and we played what is probably the best boardgame ever, known as Poopy Head XD

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He loved it really XD

I’m so overjoyed at what we managed today, and so excited about our future with Sasha πŸ™‚ ❀

We rocked a supermarket!

Stepped up Sasha’s public access training last night and took a trip into our local, fairly large, supermarket πŸ™‚

Sasha really is bloody amazing. When we went through the automatic doors and into the shop itself, she had a look about and was a bit “woah where are we?!” – there were so many new things that she had to adjust to almost instantly!

Within seconds she was heeling, and as ever her focus was totally on me. When I stopped she sat, stayed and stared at me. Great!!

To say that I was extremely anxious, it didn’t seem like she felt that at all, and focusing on her was immensely helpful. I haven’t been inside a supermarket in so long, so it was a huge accomplishment for both of us XD

We didn’t have any access issues, with anybody coming up and saying we couldn’t bring a dog in here. We were using Sasha’s SERVICE DOG lead, two lead sleeves (! DOG IN TRAINING and KEEP YOUR DISTANCE) and her harness does have some small patches on it (Service Dog and IGNORE ME)…even so I was surprised we weren’t bothered.

When we went into the entrance way right at the very beginning, a staff member did come up and stand right next to us (about 1ft away from me) and just stare at Sasha. I completely ignored him, Sasha ignored him, but the guy hung about for about 20 seconds, obviously wanting to interact with Sasha, until my partner just said “Can you ignore her please she’s working.”

In the store we had some staff members watching Sasha, but literally nobody else came over, and I managed to calm down quite a bit as we walked about.

We walked through some aisles and grabbed some sliced chicken because we hadn’t had any more in at home. Sasha didn’t sniff anything at all, but EVEN IN THE MEAT AISLE she just sat and looked at me πŸ˜€

There were also a few other people shopping, but nobody tried to interact with us and Sasha ignored them. My partner went to pay up and me and Sasha went to wait outside, where I got her all riled up and told her how amazing she was ^__^

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On the way back we did unfortunately bump into a well-meaning man.

Sasha is still iffy with people in the dark, men that are standing still especially, and this guy had been standing still.

Anyway, we hung about and were talking, and if he’d done better with Sasha it would have been a GREAT learning experience for her…but every time she would go sniff and explore him, he would bellow “HELLO! GETTING BRAVER ARE WE!” and then try mess with her face (seriously, why does everyone try mess with a bloody dog’s face?!) and would make that bloody awful noise people instinctively make to dogs – really high pitched and squeaky? So she would get uncertain again and come back to my side and sit by me for treats…which is obviously a great reaction when concerned,Β but I was so annoyed with the man.

Oh and he dispensed some wonderful advice – he asked what treats we were using, so I said kibble for easy stuff, cat treats for medium distractions and chicken for when she had to work hard or there were lots of distractions.

He then said “Do you know what treat’s the best of all for a dog? Praise and love. They like it much more than treats.”

Wow, really? HAHAHA, try telling Kasper that. Jesus XD

Why do humansΒ have this idea that training dogs with treats is bad, and that they should work for praise alone?!?! Sure you might get the odd rarity of a dog that *does* enjoy praise more than treats, but it’s very very rare. Like, would you work for your boss for praise alone? No, you want the treats right, you want to be paid!

We were then given a lovely tale about how when his girlfriend asks their dogs to do something, they do it for the treats. But when he asks them to do something, they do it because they know they have to.

Ugh ugh ugh, please stop talking to me and leave my dog alone!!

Ah well.

We have a planned response next time an idiot says something like this – in fact we have two!

The first is the simple: “Sorry we can’t talk now, my partner’s had quite a few seizures and we can’t have Sasha distracted”, and the second (if they decide to give us some lovely training advice) is “Our trainer, who works with assistance dogs, has told us to train this way and so that’s what we’ll be doing, thanks.”

Today Sasha had her first bus ride, just a few minutes from our village to the next.

We had a woman stood staring right at Sasha the five minutes we were at the stop waiting, despite us moving to a bench 8ft away *sigh* My partner body blocked me and Sash in the end, he stood right in front of her line of vision, and we actually heard her tut XD

We then went on a big, lovely walk, and Sashie-bum experienced icy puddles for the first time!

She loved crashing through them, splashing everywhere and doing her I’m-too-big-to-be-quick zoomies hahahaha!

I do have video footage which will be uploaded soon πŸ˜‰

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sunnyday1

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I tell you what though, I can’t wait until Sasha is older and we don’t have to stick to this bloody 5 minutes of walking per 1 month of age rule…I feel so sorry for my partner having to carry this giant 10kg lump so much!!!

And finally, Sasha had her first bath today!

Haha she was awesome! She loved the bubbles and when I was sponging her down all she wanted was to lick the sponge bwahaha. She looked hilarious wet, but now she’s all dry and clean and she smells lovely ^__^

Tonight we have another trip to the supermarket planned. Can’t slack on that training!

I’ve had a couple of days of absence / partial seizures, which sucks as I’d been quite a few days seizure free…in fact I haven’t had a big seizure, where I collapse and lose consciousness, in a week now πŸ˜€