Fall Afternoon Lessons… with Otis!

We love parallel walks. A dog can benefit so much from a walk with another dog. It gives them the opportunity to be around another dog without the pressure to interact, which can also help them learn to be calm in the presence of other dogs/people.  Sometimes I don’t always feel comfortable letting my fosters play off-leash with other dogs, but I’m always up for a fun leash walk!

The day after Thanksgiving was totally wide open for us. It was me, Charlie Bear, and a gorgeous Fall day, which obviously meant scoping out the best place to take him hiking.  I decided tocall up R to see if he and Otis wanted to join so that Charlie could practice walking nicely with another dog.  The four of us headed out to the C & O Canal, one of my absolute favorite spots to go for a nice long walk.

Charlie and Otis immediately hit it off.  In addition to getting practice walking with each other, both dogs got to work on staying calm when bikers, joggers, walkers and other dogs passed by.  With the help of treats and some distraction with the “sit” command, both boys pretty quickly began ignoring the passing company.

It can be helpful to take young dogs (or any age, really) to low-key places like this for a controlled amount of positive interactions (if and ONLY if they can handle it and aren’t reactive, etc.). What you want to avoid is introducing them to too much, causing them to become overstimulated where they might learn negative behavior or bad associations.  Socialization does not mean blasting your dog with every experience under the sun – it means controlled, positive situations where they can grow and learn in a positive way.  It also means knowing when to call it quits. We never reached that point with Charlie (or Otis, for that matter) because he’s pretty great in new situations, but I was constantly watching his body language for signs of stress.

As you can tell, the boys seemed pretty too cool for school during their hike.  After all the learning, practicing, and perfecting, both Charlie and Otis enjoyed some relaxing time lounging around for photos – which quickly turned into attempted play time! Ha!

I am proud of Charlie Bear for doing so awesome and for proving to me yet again what a great dog he will make for someone.  To top off our fun afternoon, Char plopped down when we got home from that walk and didn’t get up again until dinner.  Thanks to the basic obedience practice and the physical exercise, Charlie was tired and happy.

If you’re interested in adding Charlie to your family, email me at peacelovefoster@gmail.com, or fill out an application on the Jasmine’s House website.


Baxter the Outdoorsman + Kibble for [FB] Comments

For every person who “Likes” Peace, Love, & Fostering’s Facebook page* and then leaves a comment (say hi! say whatever you’d like!) between now and midnight on Dec 21, Baxter & I will donate 1 lb of kibble to the Montgomery County Humane Society!! Share with your friends so we can spread the news about adoptable Baxter while helping needy shelter dogs. Thanks so much! We are only a handful away from our maximum of 200 lbs with less than four days to go!

This weekends cold, crisp, and dry weather was the perfect invitation to take a long adventure through the woods that back up to my house. Comeback Kid Baxter absolutely loves to go on walks. He loves all the sniffs and the fun new things there are to do and see. Equipped with cold weather gear for everyone, we set off on our journey Saturday morning. It was a blast! Check it out:

This is his “nanny nanny boo boo, you can’t catch me” face.

But he was just kidding… he is actually a very good boy about coming when he is supposed to.

Another reason he likes the trail is because sometimes he even gets to stretch his legs a little and get in a quick zoomie when he is being extra good.

At one point, I was impressed he hopped right up on this log when I asked him to. He is really starting to trust me when I introduce him to new situations. It’s so fun to watch him come out of his shell and be excited about things that might have once upon a time scared him. Now he is my little adventure monkey!

We had a blast. Next thing to look forward to? Snow! Or a forever home….

For more information on adopting Comeback Kid Baxter and making him your very own hiking partner, click here or email peacelovefoster@gmail.com.

*Up to 200 lbs of kibble. Multiple comments from the same contributor will only be counted once. If you already “Like” the page, just leave a comment and you will still be counted!