|Shiver Me- Timbers- "Charlie"|
My Little Dog, a- heartbeat at my- feet.<3
|Barked: Mon Jan 21, '13 6:43pm PST |
|Charlie is extremely trusting and tolerant of a lot of different things. Particularly when it comes to me. He KNOWS that if he's uncomfortable with something and gives me even the subtle signals, I'll immediately react by making that situation better in any way I can(example, if a child is harassing him to play and he doesn't want to anymore, he'll look away, walk away, sit on my feet, etc, and I'll immediately end that session of 'play' with that child and explain to the child why he needs a break).
Charlie STILL hates nail clipping.. If I do it, he'll lick me to show his discomfort, or simply try pulling his paws away, but for the most part, he's pretty good. The ONE and ONLY time I had a groomer do it, he attempted to bite her. Grooming, he loves it, his sweater, he loves it because he knows it keeps him warm. His booties, not so much, but he tolerates them and doesn't try to pull them off or anything - he just doesn't enjoy them being put on his paws. Once they're on, he could care less. He'll tolerate his Halti without issue and even my twelve year old sister can walk him with that on(supervised ONLY and only after I showed her how to properly and safely walk him on it). He trusts that if Ria is harassing him too much, I'll step in too and call an end to her antics. He knows that he can trust me in almost all situations.
One time, we were on a walk through a field and before we realized it, we were in a MASSIVE patch of thorns. Charlie's paws were getting pricked and I couldn't pick him up because of the steep hill we were on and an injury at the time, so I held his leash really close to his collar, and guided him very very slowly, around the thorny plants. Not only did he NOT pull at all, but he stayed RIGHT by my side, trusted me to guide him out and listened to everything I said. He'll go into situations that would have make him uncomfortable as a puppy when I first got him too. I can have him go across a wobbly bridge on a playground and he won't think twice about it and handles it with a wagging tail because he's just happy to be doing something with me. If he's in pain or gets hurt in any way, he'll seek me out to help him with it because if it's something like a pulled muscle(happens frequently when he jumps baby gates in my house), he knows I'll massage it out for him and help him get past it. He trusts me to pick him up, he trusts me to step in for him where needed, he trusts me with pain.. Most of all, he trusts me with his seizures. When he starts going into a seizure, he's almost always next to me(coincidence, he's just naturally a velcro dog), and if not, he'll try to get to me before it fully hits. As soon as he feels abnormal, can't keep his balance, etc, he seeks me out. And he alerts me to things too.
When my foster dog, Beau, had escaped my yard, Charlie, instead of following him(the hole Beau had created was LARGE enough for Charlie to have followed, easily), barked and barked until I came and got Beau back again. If I walk him at night and he spots someone he doesn't recognize, he'll growl under his breath and stay in front of me, unless I give him the okay that they're safe and welcome to be near us.
I want a dog to be able to tolerate things and trust me so well as Charlie does and can. But it took YEARS of us learning one another's body language, and gaining one another's trust to this level. It took a lot of consistency in me reading him properly and stepping in when needed, to be the best owner possible to keep him comfortable and safe in all situations.
He really dislikes his nails being trimmed, and will try to pull his paws away, will back away, will sit pretty to try to convince you that it's cruel, and will lick you constantly(instead of bite) to show you he's uncomfortable and doesn't like it. It can get frustrating at times, but with the help of my fiance and string cheese, it's been getting easier. Ideally, he would tolerate it better, but I understand his issues with it.
With Charlie, his reactions to situations were a combination of things - him learning I would step in when he needed me to, learning to read one another's body language, and he's naturally a very complacent dog. He was already very naturally complacent and tolerant of children. I just chose to step in when needed to prevent any issues from cropping up. You hear about dogs biting children all the time, or nipping at them - I don't want my dog to EVER feel he has to resort to that. I want my dogs to all know I will step in and settle a situation. With things like people/other dogs around his food, bones, toys, etc, it was a trained and conditioned response. He'll let me take anything from him, any child can, any adult can. Dogs, he'll allow to take any bone or toy from him, but will keep an eye on his food, so I've learned to keep other dogs away and keep him feeling he doesn't have to guard it. His tolerance and trust in situations like with that thorn patch were learned over time.
With the nail trim, I work on it weekly. I work on it with the help of my fiance and string cheese. The cheese comes if the nail clippers/dremel do, and the cheese goes away as soon as those stop and we make a big deal out of all of it. We also make a point of teaching him that 'touch' with the dremel and clippers = rewards. It's a slow going process, but we're working on it.
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