10 February 2010

{09feb2010: crackhead}

Darwin must be on crack.
Three hours at the park for her party on Sunday, and hour speed walk last night, and even play session in the garage, and yet all night she was a nut.
Here she is with her flamingo toy from Remi and her fancy new collar from Greenbelts on Etsy.

All night long she had to find the most squeaky toys she has and squeak them in our face.
She also did a round of zoomies and flipped her bed over (and its a heavy big round papasan cushion bed).
Maybe she should've been entered in the Insane Cracker Dog Terriers group in Mango Minster instead!

On another note, I have a question for all you more knowledgeable than me about training dogs.  What is the best way to help Darwin be less scared of things she's unfamiliar with.
Example one: I was taking her for one of our walks at night and we walked down a street we don't usually walk on, and in front of a row of townhouses was a big metal box of mailboxes.  She stopped a few houses down and was totally scared to continue walking towards it.  I tried to use treats to get her to keep walking and it eventually worked, but she hid on the side of me putting me between her and the scary mailboxes.
Example two: I was taking her for one of our walks last night and we walked down a street we don't usually walk on, and in one of the yards on one corner there was a big rock.  As we were in the middle of the street approaching it she stopped and bark, scaring me, and did the same thing of walking as far away from it as she could.
Is it just a matter of walking down those streets more often to get her used to it?
She seems to be a big panty at night especially.  Like people walking across the street, or boxes in front of someones house, or any random noise.
She also gets scared when other dogs bark at her... she's not really one to bark at other dogs, and when they bark at her, she jumps back and tries to hide.  Is that normal?!


  1. LOL she sure does like that squeaky toy! About being scared - Duchess is a big chicken too sometimes. Try putting new obstacles in your front yard (like a trash can) and then going out to investigate it. Might even hide a treat under it that you can let her have once you feel she's gotten to it and is comfortable.

    One thing I did was when we would be walking and she'd hear/see something she was unsure of, I made sure to keep walking without even acknowledging that she was concerned. I wouldn't let her stop or anything - just kept on moving because we were in "go mode" so to speak.

  2. HI Brooke and Darwin. Lexi loves to squeak toys in our face as well!

    About Darwin being scared of things...with the letter boxes your on the right track -

    - Getting her to go close to them with food is the right way about it.
    - Make sure you aren't giving her any reason to be fearful, no comforting her or anything
    - You can touch and lean on the letter boxes to show her they aren't scary
    -keep luring her closer with food she really loves (remember stand next to the letter boxs)
    -Give her lots of praise when she does come towards them.
    -Keep going with it, keep going until she is willing to take food off the letter boxes or from your hand when it is touching them. And when she is happy to just chill out around them.

    This is the process we use for the service dogs when they show fearful behaviour. You would use it for any situation where she was scared of an object or person. Just keep exposing her to new things.

    If she gets scared of a noise....
    - Ignore her, show her that you don't care about the noise, so why should she.
    -Round the home be nisey, make random loud/strange noises - she'll sure learn there is nothing to worry about, cos they happen all the time.

    Key thing to remember is to not react!!! :)

    Quite a few dogs go thorugh a fearful stage around the age Darwin is. Just keep exposing her to things and building her confidence up so when she comes out the other side she's nice and confident.

    Hope that helps, let me know if you need help on anything else or explaining what I wrote a bit better.


  3. oh Darwin, you and me sound a lot alike! I love love love my squeaky toy, and there are some things (especially in the early evening or night time) that kinda spook me.

    Mom is always silly about it. She'll usually give me lots of yummy treats to encourage me to come up and investigate the scary object (or person). She also talks to the object! (what a nut she is!). Things like "what a nice mailbox you are! Good mailbox! Sweet Mailbox!" and she'll even pet the object as if it were a doggie! I'm sure most people think she's crazy, but it usually makes me curious enough to go investigate and when I get close...I can see there's nothing to be scared of.

    wags, wiggles & slobbers

  4. Jack doesn't appear to be scared of anything - which is scary in and of itself. I look forward to reading how other people handle this.

  5. Hi Darwin,

    You sure look like you are having fun with that pink flamingo...I love toys (yes even at my advanced age). I really love a pink elephant squeaky that Murphy Dog sent to me...it's one of my favorites.

    AARF Kasha the Dainty Great Dane

    P.S. Mom said sorry she can't help you with the being scared issue as I'm not really afraid of anything but Santa Claus...HA Roo!

  6. Does Darwin have a best canine friend? Kiska was a real challenge with her fears, but she can face anything with Natasha by her side (who really should develop some fears about something - anything). Natasha's calm attitude really helps Kiska relax and face "dangers."

  7. My sissie, Frankie acts like Darwin. They're pups and they should outgrow it with lots of socialization. I can't wait for it to be over though.
    I bet it we got those two together, they'd be running in opposite directions for their lives BOL

  8. So glad Darwin likes the flamingo. Remi used to freak out and run the opposite direction when I would pull the garbage bins up the driveway. I think he's just gotten used to seeing me do that every week, so now he's pretty calm about it. But, he's had exposure to a lot of stuff since I take him to work with me. Lots of construction vehicles, ambulances, etc. That helps.

  9. Hey! I can't help you, but I can offer my sympathy. I get spooked by things too. All those little doggies tell you to just keep going, but that is not always easy with big dogs like us because once we plant our feet we are very hard to move. One time when momma was walking Raja, a big truck went by and scared Raja and she pulled momma right over when she tried to run away.

    Just between us, I have what you call a personal trainer coming in a couple of weeks to try and help me with my walkie worries. When I get scared I will not be coaxed out of it by any stupid hot dogs or cheese foodables.