2020-04-06 – My dog Rebe seems afraid when I walk her past certain spots. She cowers or even lays down to avoid continuing. I’m not sure what she’s afraid of. But if I can coax her past the spots, she is fine.
How to coax her is the question. My first thought (really, it was Kit’s first thought) was to offer treats. This didn’t work out well because, sometimes I didn’t have treats with me. And even with treats, I didn’t get very far.
The next tactic was to build up some speed as I approached the fear zone and hope I could slip past the spot before Rebe started to resist. I seem to have a higher degree of success with that method. I ought to start combining the two approaches and maybe Rebe will let go of the fear.
These are all “nice” tactics. But there is a not-so-nice tactic that I have had to resort to on occasion: dragging her. By “dragging,” I don’t mean a kind of enhanced coaxing. When I say “dragging,” I’m describing a situation where she is lying on her back.
How does this occur?
There are two situations (though they are similar). In the first, Rebe spots a patch of grass or mud that she wants to roll around in. She takes a dive. I’m fairly patient with this to start with. She rolls around for maybe 30 seconds, gets up, and then shakes the debris off. So far so good.
But sometimes, she can’t walk away. We take two steps and she dives again and rolls around again. The second time is also fine. But after three or four iterations of this, I start to get impatient. That’s when the dragging begins. If I can get her to some pavement, she stands up right away.
The second dragging situation is in snow. It’s essentially the same thing. She throws herself down and rolls around on her back. Again, I’m patient for the first couple rolls, but then I’ll drag her to the nearest cleared pavement.
I mention the snow scenario because it was in the snow that I realized what is going on. Rebe actually likes when I drag her. It’s like a sled ride for her. (This is true in the grass, too, because the grass is always smooth where we do this.)
I don’t remember what I wanted you to learn from this. I shouldn’t have stopped writing this in the middle. Maybe I’m just rolling around in the grass here.
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