Dakota’s Therapy: Session 1

So for those of you who’ve never met Dakota in person, let me tell you a little about him.

  • He’s incredibly handsome (obviously)
  • He’s super loving and loyal.  In fact, anytime I move in my apartment he’s right behind me.  Wants nothing more than to be loved.
  • He’s about 8 years old, and I got him from Carolina Area Rescue and Adoption (or more specifically a fabulously kind woman named Nancy) last February.
  • He is incredibly anxious/sometimes aggressive around other dogs.  It took me a solid week of very purposeful training to get him and Murph to be friends.  Now they love each other so much Murphy spent the entire car ride home yesterday humping him, and Dakota spent it letting him.

Video not appropriate for minors…

As a result of the last bullet (the anxiety, not the humping), walks (and occasionally time in the apartment) is incredibly trying.  I live in a pet-friendly apartment complex, so every time we go on a walk we’re bound to see another dog where he goes into a fit, Murph gets excited and starts attacking Kota, and Kota is worked up for the rest of the walk.

Trust me, being the crazy dog woman is not fun.

SO, I’ve finally decided to invest in dog therapy.  That’s right, Dakota is finally in therapy.  At $100/session (an hour long) it’s understandable why I’ve waited a year to do it.  Today was our first day, and so far I’m totally thrilled.  I’ve discovered it’s going to take a long time (and will also be very expensive), will take a lot of hard work, time commitment and discipline on both our parts, but I think there’s hope 🙂

Homework for this week:

  • Avoid all other dogs.  Completely.  This is going to be interesting, and looks like separate walks for Kota and Murphy.  Sweet!
  • Practice our new trigger phrase.  This one’s fun cause I just get to keep giving him treats.
  • Practice rewarding offered attention and commanded attention (basically teaching him to pay attention to me at all times, cause I’m awesome)
  • Starting a ‘work-for-food’ program.  I no longer can put his bowl down with his food in it, but instead have to make him do tricks and reward him.  This is a bit time consuming…

Overall I’m super excited by how much information she gave me in so little time, and how much Kota gets to do in the next couple weeks.  Bottom line= he’s on his way!!!

That being said, -2 for the cost.  Both of the sessions, and the materials I had to purchase afterwards to block off all my windows to make the avoidance doable.



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