12/22/2016: Abe’s abilities and challenges

Honestly, this post is mainly for me. I would like to make an honest list of things that Abe is capable of doing without a lot of anxiety, and what I need to work on with him.

No anxiety (ears up, happy):

  • Sit
  • Down
  • Walk on leash outdoors without pulling
  • Sit close to me for cuddles if I’m by myself or with my brother in the room
  • Be petted by me if I’m by myself or with my brother
  • Playing with the cats

Mild anxiety (ears slightly back, no shaking, easily distracted, functional):

  • Walk on leash in pet-friendly stores
  • Stand on grooming table and be petted by me (alone in room)
  • Being left alone or tied out of my reach (at the barn while I feed horses)
  • Being upstairs on a leash with my mom in the room and ignoring him

Mild anxiety that sometimes increases to a growl or bark (ears back, might shake, hard to distract):

  • Being upstairs on a leash with my mom in the room and talking to him
  • Sitting with me downstairs (smaller area, more confined) with my mom in the room and ignoring him
  • Being upstairs with my dad in the room, ignoring him and talking normally

Anxiety that always results in a growl or bark (hard to distract, obviously uncomfortable, wants to hide):

  • Being upstairs with my dad in the room and talking to him directly at close range
  • Small children at close range (I always have him on a leash when children could be present)

Shut-down anxiety (frozen, eyes glazed over, no vocalization, won’t take food, will progress to bite if pushed):

  • Getting a bath (has not bitten, will sometimes eat peanut butter while getting bathed, is improving)
  • Careless handling for too long (roughly putting on his collar and taking forever, manhandling him into a harness, etc)
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