Some people may be surprised to read this, but not all dogs naturally love walks. Or the outdoors.
Yes, I have an otaku dog.
Milk Tea’s fear of the outside was so bad that she used to start trembling the moment I brought her near the door that leads to the balcony. Not even to the balcony. To the DOOR of the balcony. We’re still standing inside the house! But the fact that she can see and hear the outside is enough to make her freeze in place and cause her claws to all come out (yes, like a cat!) She also has zero interest in her favorite treats and even turns her nose at them! She eats it the moment we step away from the door and back in the “safe” zone though.
It took twice daily trips to the balcony door for more than a week before she finally warmed up to it and understood that it’s not going to eat her up (or whatever crazy thing it is that dogs imagine).
I’m dead envious very time I see someone with their dog walking beside them. I have this crazy urge to ask them “How old was your dog when it started to walk? How did it learn to walk? How long did it take for it to walk?!!!” ;___;
For the past week, we’ve been bringing her out the front door – literally just standing right outside the door – and she’ll start shaking like a leaf.
In the interest of making things fun for her, we brought her to a park today! I mean, it must not be not very exciting for her, just standing in the cold having the wind pummel her face. She must be thinking, “Hell no. I’m not going out. Why on earth are they doing this to me? No more invisible, insanely strong cold blowy thing in my face (that’ll be the wind) or trapping me in that box that makes strange sounds with things keep moving all around!” (that’ll be the car)
Right, I guess I can see why she doesn’t like the outside.
So… to the park!
Confession: this photo is a lie.
I took it in that split second when she looked like she was walking normally.
(Aha! Don’t believe everything you see online!)
Truth is, she rarely walked properly, running this way and that, being distracted by every smell, every sound, every sight. A stone on the ground, a fallen blade of leaf, her own leash…
And more often than not, it was actually like that:
Here’s a short video I took, for me to fondly look back upon in future when she finally walks like a non-crazy dog (ahhh, when will that day come?) Btw, potential dizziness alert.
I had hoped that she would find it fun because she can run freely in a big, open space, unlike in our apartment where she can cover the length of the living room in like, five strides. We did sprints together as I screamed “RUUNNNNN!!!” and laughed and ran as if a zombie horde was upon us lol. She looked like she was running happily (and the only time she moved forward properly) but man, who can really tell what dogs are thinking?
Because when I set her down on the stair and then took a seat beside her, she very quickly crawled into my lap and stayed there, trembling. I’m pretty sure it’s not the cold, because she has a fleece vest and the vet said dogs are quite resilient to the cold. Besides, her trembling stops the moment – and I literally mean the INSTANT – we step into the house. It would take longer than that for her to warm up.
We’ll be doing it again, because the best way for her to get used to it is repeated exposure and conditioning, right? But we’ll probably backtrack and start with just below the block. Jumping right to the park might have been too overwhelming for her
I’ll have to make booties for her though; wiping her paws after today’s walk was a huge shocker. More than 5 wet wipes later, the same paw was still leaving dirt marks! I ended up having to wash her paws when we reached home. Of course, she was kind enough not to make things easy for me, struggling throughout the shampooing and drying -_- #AndThatsHowAnOCDPersonKeepsADog
Oh, another milestone to mention: she learned how to climb stairs today! She was confounded at first, but after showing her how to do it, she quickly picked it up! Next: learn how to go down stairs.
Ok, all the puppy talk must have been boring for some of you, so here’s a cute picture of her! NAH!
I made this vest too! It’s the first I ever made, but it was a bit too small and I had to squeeze her fatty tummy a bit for the velcro to meet at the veeeerry edges. Will have to make another for her!
This is parenthood haha
The first steps are a monumental moment for your little one — so make a big deal out of it. Walking is all about confidence so everything leading up to those first steps need plenty of praise and encouragement.