You may be wondering how Jake, the dog known to police, is doing these days. I’m happy to say he is not looking mournfully out from behind bars. After our call from the Humane Society officer, I did indeed take steps that will weigh in his favour should someone need to lodge another complaint.
I bought a harness for him and use it faithfully, with a bribe to make it all worthwhile. I also met with an animal training expert, or as I like to think of the job, a dog whisperer.
She guessed, as I did, that Jake’s issues stem from fear and he’s taking the ol’ preemptive strike when he lunges and barks at other dogs. She gave us homework that includes a pocketful of smelly jerky treats that I dispense in bits when we see a dog coming. We still cross the street too, but the whole idea is to make it a very GOOD thing when he sees a dog coming towards us.
Jake is a very food-oriented dog and it seems to be working, somewhat. I just have to worry about coming away with all my fingers, because the only way he can get those treats in his mouth fast enough is to gobble.
For a description of what this is like, read Quinn Cummings’ QC Report. I can’t remember what treasure hunt led me to her blog but I regularly laugh out loud. In the scheme of things, the jerky treats are probably less stinky than Quinn’s salmon goodies, but I too have to wipe my hand after the slobbering is over.