This is a dog post, so suck it.
I only half-watched Idol last night (but I still want Taylor to win!!) because I was too busy researching leash aggression online. See, Corn just can't seem to get along with other people when I tie him up outside the grocery store.
Okay, it's Chachi. The demon seed. His aggressiveness on leash is getting worse, despite everything I tried to do to make him a nice little fellah when he was a puppy. When he sees a dog, he wants to kill it (did you see this on Oprah yesterday? Nate Burkus has the same problem with his pooch). It's embarassing. And makes me sad for him, because ultimately, when a dog acts out like that - they are not enjoying it. They are unhappy and feel they need to 'protect' themselves or their people. Dogs ENJOY being followers. They want to not take the helm....
I bought this thing months ago called the Gentle Leader (looks like a muzzle, but isn't). It just keeps them from pulling on the leash, which he is a big fan of. The idea is - when he is going after a dog, he will naturally pull and the leash self-corrects and closes around his mouth, so he learns that pulling is not the way to success.
Yeah, okay. Actually, I have been getting him slowly used to wearing it around the apartment and he seems alright with it. Yesterday, I brought him for a walk and it was a dream. I can't imagine how I must look to other people..having a 5 lb dog wearing a head harness. But.. no pulling. The walk went so well, I took him out for a second round last night. He saw two dogs. He went crazy each time. And this time, his fear/aggression was compounded by this thing closing on his nose. It was really a murder scene out there. So..yeah, I went home and consulted the internet for a couple of hours.
We have a private trainer coming to see the Chachman in action on Monday. I hope she can help me. Gotta get this under control before it gets even worse!
Flea, on the other hand continues to make leaps and bounds in her walks. She went from an undersocialized, terrified dog (not housetrained, no toys, never saw a leash in her life, sparse fur, ear mites) who lived her life in a cage-- to a healthy, happy dog who loves going for walks and even meeting new people. It's amazing. I have worked really hard with helping her come out of her shell and she's come a long, long way.
Actually, I have this memory of when I first got Flea. She was petrified of everything...so, I used to carry her around in a little bag in the outside world so she could get used to noises/people/different scenery. Can you imagine living your life in one room your whole life with no interaction - then suddenly being thrust into the big bad world? Needless to say, she was afraid, so the whole time she'd shake and try to hide her head. One day, I walked past these girls and one of them said, 'Ugh! I hate those dogs so much..they're always so afraid of everything'. And she was right. But she didn't know about Flea's life before that. So, sometimes I think about that now, every time I see people cooing over Flea on the street and stopping to meet her little waggy tail. I think she will always be a little hestitant, but she is miles away from what she was. And it's further proof that dogs can change their behaviour. Not overnight, but it can happen. So, I am optimistic for Chachi.
In other news..there better be some dang answers on Lost tonight, or I am starting a revolt!