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I just wanted to give you all an update on Hoku. I have been working with Hoku all week, and giving her plenty of praise and yummy treats on our walks. Whenever she seems unsure of something, I use a very happy voice and call her to it, if she comes to investigate, I give her a treat. This has been working great in situations where she seems a little nervous.

I took Hoku to a local dog training facility that was recommended by my vet, and that some of my neighbors have used. We had a free evaulation by one of the trainers. I thought it would only be a 20 minute session, however we ended up meeting with the trainer for over 1.5 hours. We talked about Hoku and we took her for a walk to show her the big scary things outside. The facility has a large field with items dogs are frequently frightened of, for example man hole covers, fire hydrants and more. The trainer gave me some great advice on how to deal with Hoku when she demonstrates "unsure" behavior. The trainer said Hoku's reaction was not true fear aggression, but did demonstrate that she was feeling unsure/scared. At one point, Hoku's hackles did go up, but the trainer said that the rest of her body language was not presenting fear aggression, as Hoku jumped back and only the hackles above her neck were elevated. After the initial moment of fear (1/2 second), Hoku approached the fearful item (manhole cover) and happily walked on it after eating some cheese off of it.

Hoku absolutely loves everyone she meets and dogs, so were just going to continue to socialize her as much as possible and give her positive rewards for being brave.

The trainer did recommend the book "Cautious Canine" by Patricia Mcconnell, and she said that at this point, we should continue to socialize Hoku to people, animals and places. She felt Hoku did not need their dog "CAMP", but would be well served by their puppy obediance class.
 

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That is wonderful! Confidence building takes a lot of work but, the payoff is huge. You're going to have a great relationship!
 

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Darn! Sucked in again...no ants. :(

That's great news about Hoku. It's fortunate you found someone who could give you some sound advice. Sounds like you'll really make progress!
 

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Yay! Not only am I glad that you are making progress, but it looks like you've found yourself a wonderful trainer for information and assistance. This can help you more than you know.
Good luck and keep up the good work!
 
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