The Zach Diaries: Week 3 and 4 of Behavior Training

Zach has been reacting well to the medicine, so much so we dared to train him to sleep on his own and not on our bed. He responded with stellar results and he has stopped jumping into bed. I do let him nap with me for an hour after sun up and only when I allow it. Small price to pay for getting my bed back.

He has started to see doorbells and door knocks as less of a threat, and only reacts to people walking in through the door. Certain sounds still spook him but leaving music on has helped during the day. We need to continue to condition him so he can tolerate people and other dogs at a closer distance. If all goes well, we can eventually consider weaning him off the meds!

The coolest part of the process is learning about what Z loves and what he doesn’t tolerate. He has a tendency to growl if approached from his left side when you are higher than him. We suspect the abuse may have come in the form of kicks or tricks from this angle. He loves to give and receive hugs and cuddles, and he likes almost every kind of kibble. Treat wise he doesn’t refuse much except peanut butter and cheese crackers, combined, and loves bacon, chicken, salmon, lamb and beef treats. He loves fruits and dental chews, especially bully sticks. If you fill a bone with creamy peanut butter he licks it dry. Nylabones and Kong wobblers are his favorite past time. Recently he discovered plastic bottles and safe rawhide substitutes. New toys excite him and he had a pig squeaker he adored until it broke down.

When he plays fetch, he takes a break and plays with the ball like he was a soccer player. If Pele or Messi were dogs, Zach would be their favorite player. He moves like he had a score to settle playing with his paws and passing the ball to me. He loves to dig to get to his missing balls if they roll underneath the BBQ or house siding, and if it wasn’t for the cement foundation he’d be inside the crawl space in no time.

Protocol for meet and greets jas worked well and he has met yet another new person. My sister is less of a stranger and has been able to skip feeding him treats for him to recognize her, big hair and all. Hopefully by the time we are through with therapy he will be able to meet her dogs D&D or at least ignore them. I can’t wait to move to a new home so he can have more backyard to play in.

Thanks again to all the people that donated to his cause. Zach is home and in no time we will adopt him. A few more car rides and he will be ready for anything. At least we are willing to try to see how far he wants to go, to be the best dog he can be.

Paws crossed!

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