Cole’s major accomplishment this month has been that he has gotten much better around other dogs. Our instructor at obedience school suggested a very simple intervention – give him a special treat every time he sees another dog. We’re using cheese, so we take sticks of string cheese with us whenever we go out and he gets to eat the cheese as long as another dog is present. If we need to pass another dog, we just hold the cheese in front of his nose and he follows it right past the other dog. Within a week, this had a huge effect. He’s never going to be friendly with dogs, but now we’re the ones looking sympathetic as other dog-owners drag their snarling, lunging dogs away. He’s already made the connection between dogs and cheese. When other dogs walk by the house, now, he just barks once and then rushes to the fridge to get his treat. We can now comfortable pass about 5 feet from another dog. I hope that in a few weeks, we’ll be able to share a sidewalk.
Despite all the cheese he’s eating, Cole’s continuing to lose weight. He’s eating a mix of weight management and regular food which he seems to like fine. He’s doing a lot of walking and jogging. On Mondays, Cole goes out to play Frisbee during the day and comes back exhausted.
It’s a little hard to type this since Cole is crawling in my lap and asking to be petted. He’s a very affectionate dog who just can’t get enough attention. He’s been a wonderful addition to our family.