It's the fifth day with Stark home and I wanted to post about his socialization so far. We have done a lot, we've met a ton of people as we live with teenagers who constantly have friends coming and going. He meets everyone with a calm approach and a wagging tail and will gladly engage in some romping play time if they are up for it. He seems to love kids, he is always watching the neighbor kids and if they get close he acts like he wants to chase them but doesn't, because he still isn't too comfortable going anywhere without me. We have been to the vets, which went very well. He has one of those stuffing-less toy foxes which he loves, we bring it everywhere. It is kind of like a security blanket and keeps him distracted and happy in new places. The vet techs absolutely loved him and were impressed how calm and friendly he was.
I work at an assisted living facility and we visited there also. He did so well with wheelchairs and walkers and housekeeping carts, he made me look so good. He loves the elderly, he licked everyone he met.
With new dogs he is somewhat timid, which worries me. Our first encounter was with a chihuahua and it did not go well. Stark ended up between my legs when the tiny thing looked our way. I admit (embarrassed) that I comforted him for being afraid, which I know better. But, I decided I needed to fix this. So, I set up a play date with my good friend and her very calm, uninterested Shiba Inu for the next day. I boiled up some chicken breast and used bite sized pieces for high value rewards. We let the dogs meet outside and Stark was yet again quite nervous. I used the chicken breast to lure him closer to the dog and it still didnt work. So, I treid a different approach. The Shiba Inu knows and likes me, so I went to him and gave him an outpouring of affection and treats while my Starky watched close by. It didnt take long for him not to enjoy me giving this other dog so much attention, he slowly made his way towards me and the other dog. Im pround to say that by the end of the night he was sharing toys with his new friend, trotting around with some new-found confidence.
Since then he has made a couple other safe adult dog friends. I am so proud of him and I feel like we are working towards becoming the dog he was meant to be.
He had such a good time today playing with the BFs grandmas dog, which is a pomeranian/chihuahua mix, that I had to start teaching the "be nice" command. I wish I had brought my camera, my 15 pound baby decided to try to fit into this 2 pound dogs doggie bed. Cutest thing.
Anyways, sorry this post was so long. I just wanted to brag about my little guy to people who I know would appreciate it and understand.