Friday, August 24, 2012

Settling in

Kona has some timidity/defensiveness issues. Things that startle or confuse can make him raise his hackles and bark or growl. He has done this in several different situations now: if one of my daughters is swinging on the swingset or playing in an excited way (high, loud voices), people on bicycles, people in hats (?), another dog on the park path. I believe most of this is familiarity issues and getting settled in.

I was able to extinguish most of his swingset barking with the help of my 9 yo. I held Kona on lead as she would sit still on the swing, then walk over to pet him. Back and forth until he figured out she was the same person whether she was on the swing or not. Then she swung gently a few times between "visits." Eventually she could swing several times and he would ignore her, lying in the grass and just looking around.

I take this as a good sign that this could be overcome so easily, but I can't do this for every  contingency. He needs to develop more confidence. Hopefully as he grows more accustomed to his new home, that confidence will build.

A wubba is a Good Thing!

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