Saturday, November 21, 2009

Miko's First Walk

While she was boarded in the Taiwan vet office, Miko worked with a volunteer who trained her to walk on leash. Robin, Miko's original fosterer, helped to get Miko more comfortable walking in a new environment.

The result was that Miko was fantastic on leash when we walked her for the first time, together with Boomer & Phoebe. Miko does a great heel, virtually never pulls, and follows whoever is holding the leash without hesitation. Even when she's scared of that person. It's almost like it's been ingrained in her that she must follow the leash-holder no matter what.

See all that pink she is swathed in? Since she's a fearful dog and a high flight risk (and I have already dealt with way too many dogs who have bolted when startled), Miko wears both a harness and a martingale collar, with a separate leash attached to each. I've heard too many stories of people saying, "They slipped out of their collar" or "They got out of their harness." One of those stories ended tragically with the dog being fatally hit by a car.

(That's not a happy face, that's a panting "I'm still anxious" face.)

During the walk, Miko had to walk past strangers and endure a radio blaring. She did not spook at all, though I think a part of that had to do with the fact that she was walking within a calm pack.


Wild Dingo said...

i think it totally helps to have a calm and confident pack. i wish I had worked with Loki a LONG time before I got a 2nd dog... BUT it doesn't matter, Juno turned out to be much more confident and calm than him and she's been complimented many times over for her "breed" at the hospital. I'm really lucky that way. but I've also worked her a lot too... she did have her fears. even today i was working on one fear both dogs have, which is stepping over a grated drain in our driveway. Loki learned/overcame it while she was hospitalized. i worked with her today and she's making baby steps! but working on EVERY fear you see in a dog, always builds their overall confidence. some people would shrug and say "who cares she doesn't want to walk over the drain, she can step around it?" I say, conquer every fear from now until their last day on earth. Even if its something you may never see again, it's worth trying to work them through it. every time a fear is overcome builds their overall confidence and trust that you will never ask them to do something that will hurt them.

way to go Miko! I would do the same thing with the collar/leash. good thinking! that's why you're an awesome foster. (can you foster me?)
wild dingo

Khyra The Siberian Husky And Sometimes Her Mom said...

Tank woo fur sharing that!

I sooooo understand the slipping thing!

I wear two khollars (used to be three) fur some of that same reason -

I know Miko will khonkhwer the issues and make some lukhky hooman a grrrrreat furever furiend!