Spencer seems to be on a positive spiral of confidence.
Our walks are getting longer and longer because he keeps asking to go down new streets. While he is somewhat stressed in these new environments, he mostly seems curious. I’m guessing that the stress he feels at these times is a bit like us on a roller coaster: it’s stressing and exhilarating at the same time.
I wasn’t sure how things would be after the Chihuahua Attack yesterday, but he doesn’t seem phased. He was dying to get out for a second walk yesterday, and this morning, he was happy as could be on his morning walk, even when we passed very near the Chihuahua’s house.
He’s getting closer and closer to strangers. Three examples jump out at me from this morning’s walk:
- Spencer likes looking in people’s gardens. He peered into one open gate today and there was a guy just 1-2 metres away watering his plants. I kept moving, told Spencer to let the guy be, and he followed me without reacting.
- Later as I was walking him passed a line of parked cars, with him in front of me, I suddenly realized there was a man sitting on a divider just the other side of a car. Spencer could practically touch him with his nose. I gently pulled on the leash and calmly asked him to turn around, which he did. We went around the car and passed the guy with a slightly wider berth.
- Finally, as we were nearing the house, a man came down the sidewalk in front of us. I could have backed up and stepped to the side to put Spencer between parked cars while the guy passed, but I decided to do a test. I asked him to stay by my side, shortened the leash while trying not to tighten it, asked him to let the guy pass and gave him treats as we passed. Easy peasy. Spencer walked right by the guy without even blinking!
We are definitely making progress, even if there are still highs and lows. Yay!