Canine Personality

Online quizzes are always fun.

According to
Loki is a

SBH - Adventurer

Your dog is a Spontaneous, Beta and High Activity type which we call the Adventurer. The Adventurer regularly challenges the social order, routine and environmental orderliness. It constantly searches for new social and environmental standards. It is highly competitive with plenty of energy and a playful spirit but not great at group activities.

Problem Solving Part 2

As another mental challenge, Yun tossed Loki's green squeaky ball on top of his exercise pen. Would Loki be able to figure out how to get it?

Problem Solving

Most dog owners are familiar with Kong toys as a good mental challenge for dogs. When we first gave Loki a puppy Kong, he didn't quite know what to do with it. Well, he was only like 8 weeks old at the time. Eventually, he caught on and now it isn't much of a challenge anymore.

For a new challenge, I put some kibble in a water bottle and see if he could figure how to get it out. It took him a day or two to figure out. The first day, he didn't know what to do with it and gave up quickly. But I just left the bottle on the floor for him. Then one evening without any coaxing, he figured it out. He actually got pretty good at getting all of the kibble out. However, it didn't take long before he just decided to start to chew the entire bottle up! At that point, I had to take the bottle away from him lest he eat bits of plastic. Yum yum plastic!

Where to bury?

I gave Loki a new piece of rawhide the other day. He took it and whined softly. Then paced around the room with the rawhide in his mouth. He went into his exercise pen and proceeded to bury the rawhide in his blanket.


I hate people who have their dogs off-leash at our apartment complex. Even if these dogs do stay by their owners given minimal distractions, at the first sight of Loki, they come running. They are usually not friendly. Usually they come charging with owner in tow frantically yelling. And I just calmly walk away with Loki, but if the other dog isn't on a leash, then he (or she) just follows us barking up a storm. And mind you, there are numerous cars around this complex. What is wrong with people?

Bold Moves

I was sitting at my laptop this afternoon when I heard a sort of watery sound. Was Loki peeing? It's been about 2 months since his last accident? I figured he was already potty trained. Besides, I just took him out to pee two hours ago.

I step out out of the den and into the living room and catch Loki red-handed drinking water out of my water glass! I was shocked by his boldness. His hind legs were on the couch and his front paws were on the coffee table. He's not even allowed on the couch without an invitation.

His water bowl was full and I even give him the same bottled water that I have. What gives?!

Shiba Puppies

Through a Shiba email list, I've come across numerous Shiba lovers (owners, breeders, rescue workers, etc.)

One breeder in the Netherlands is sharing the birth of Shiba puppies with the world on a webcam. Shiba puppies should be born any day now. Right now, I just see the mother sleeping. Hopefully soon, we'll see little bundles of cuteness.

Humping at the Dog Park

Despite being neutered, Loki is now starting to hump. Over 6 months of age, starting to hump. Isn't that a bit early? Especially for a neutered dog? We sure got a dominant dog on our hands. He's really testing his boundaries and being quite bold. I don't have much more to say, because it was Yun who took Loki to the dog park this time.

Graduation Day

After 8 weeks of Puppy Class, today was Graduation! Graduation was lots of fun. Today we had 3 dogs in class. Actually, we normally had only three dogs in class: Bailey, Kimber, and Loki. But Kimber couldn't make it to graduation and another dog, Gunter, from the Tuesday classes joined us this Saturday morning.

We started with a review of basic commands: sit, down, stay, target, heel, let's go, and recall.

Here is Loki, obviously, not paying attention to Yun.

Here is Gunter, a Golden Retriever puppy... approximately 8 months old.

Ooh! Look at Loki in a perfect heel position.

After a review session, Loki & Bailey competed in a bunch of games. Bailey beat out Loki on quickest down, but Loki won on longest stay and most targets in a row.

Then we played Simon Says. I failed miserably! Yun tried to help me out by yelling at me every time that Simon didn't say so. But still, I was pretty pathetic. In fact, I think there was only one time that I caught myself in time. All other times I either messed up or I relied on Yun to yell at me.

Since I failed so miserably at Simon Says, I handed the leash over to Yun for the next game - Red light, Green light. Here is the Puppy Class instructor, Heather O'Neill, giving the signals. Obviously, you go forward on green light, and stop on red. But the trick was your dog had to sit within 3 seconds of a red light. You got a prize once you reached the end line, but if your dog didn't sit within 3 seconds of a red light, you had to go all the way back to the starting line. Yun decided to be really smart and go super fast on the green light, accidentally spilling all of the dog treats from his treat bag along the way. This meant, there was no way Loki was going to sit on a red light! With all those yummy treats on the ground, Loki had to sniff all of those out.

Ooh! Here we go! Both dogs are in a beautiful sit!

Look at all the goodies!

Here's Loki's pile of goodies. Actually, we got more stuff than this picture. This was his pile of prizes.
At the end of class, we got a chance to redeem our Bonus Bones. Bonus Bones was a point system used throughout the 8 week course to promote class participation from the humans. With our 85 Bonus Bones, we selected two 14 oz. bags of Natural Balance treats, two plush/squeaky toys, and a pig skin bone.

Today was so much fun! I love free stuff! And I certainly wasn't expecting to be getting this much. Now, we don't have to buy treats for Loki for quite a long time! And we have more toys now to rotate for him. (He only gets around 4-6 toys at a time, and we try to rotate the toys every few weeks.)

What a fun morning!

Ewww.... Gross...

The other evening, I was freaking out over a spider (I hate spiders). It looked like a Daddy-Long-Legs, so it wasn't really scary, like other spiders that you see in Southern Cali. I crushed it with a tissue box (my usual weapon of choice) and was going to get the vacuum to suck it up.

When I got back to the spider with the vacuum, Loki was eating it!!! Eww... gross...

A few weeks ago, there was a Dogster thread about the grossest thing your dog has eaten. I was surprised to read about how many dogs ate poop, either their own or others. While I'm grossed out by the bug eating, I think it's probably normal. The poop eating really seems abnormal & strange.

Heel & Loose Leash Walking

Walks with Loki have improved so much since learning Heel that I decided to write up some training tips based on our experience.

The idea of heel is to keep your dog immediately to your left (or right) side when you walk, and more importantly, to keep your dog's attention on you. I used to think that this was too restrictive - that a dog's walk shouldn't be so strict. But having tried walks letting Loki sniff and do whatever he wants to the length of our four foot leash and having tried walks in a heel, I have to say I much prefer heel. Loki is so much better behaved and I have so much more control.

I keep Loki on my left side on a very short leash - short, but loose. Clicker in my left hand along with the leash and treat bag on my right. Some training texts would say that I should give treats with my left hand, since the dog is on my left side, but I am so much clumsier using my left-hand.

I usually start the walk with just his name and treat him for paying attention to me. Then I say "Let's Go" (a command that Loki knows) and walk forward. If he's doing well (looking straight ahead or at me and walking forward), then I will click & treat or say "good boy". In the beginning you want to give more treats, but you can transition to less treats and more verbal praise. I think it really helps to give feedback literally every two to three steps. Furthermore, I say "Eh" as negative feedback whenever Loki is doing anything that he's not supposed to be doing (pulling, lagging behind, sniffing the ground, paying attention to something other than me). I think that this part is key and too many trainers fail to mention it. Trainers don't like to ever mention anything negative. The instructor of my puppy class never talked about using a verbal correction in her teaching sessions, but I noticed that she used it when working with a dog. I find the combination of both positive and negative feedback very effective.

Now, I am at the stage where the frequency of my positive feedback varies between every 3 steps to every 50 steps. If we're in a high distraction zone (kids around), I will say Loki's name and treat just for his attention and provide either treats or verbal praise every 2-3 steps. If we're in a low distraction zone, then I can drag it out to 50 steps.

If he is pulling or getting ahead of me, I use the verbal correction, "Eh," and then make a 180 turn into Loki and walk in the opposite direction. Turning into your dog works really well for me. Dogs understand body language so much more than our spoken sounds. If your dog is pulling to be out front, then the dog will have to pass you to be out front again. The moment that he is in the correct position, click & treat, so that your dog knows what position is acceptable and what is not. If he pulls out front again, then make another 180 turn into your dog.

The opposite problem is lagging behind. This tends to be Loki's problem more so than pulling ahead. To correct this, I usually give Loki one or two chances to respond to "Let's Go" before I tug at the leash. Perhaps, he has learned that I give him these chances, so he tends to take advantage and lag behind. I think I will try giving the command "Let's Go", and if he doesn't respond, then give him a verbal correction. Then by the second "Let's Go", I tug at the leash. We'll see. We're still working on this one.

About every ten minutes, I stop and let Loki sniff around for fun. I know that sniffing is what dogs love to do and I'm not about to deprive him of that joy. But sniffing times are separate from walking times. I just stand still, relax, and say "At ease". Now, I'm not sure if he knows what that means yet, but I try to make my body language very relaxed. That way, he can differentiate me standing still for him to sniff (very relaxed) from me standing still at a red light (still alert).

Honestly, I never thought that Loki could be so well-behaved on a walk until I saw it with my own eyes when the instructor of our Puppy Class demonstrated Heel with him.

To sum up what really helped me:
  • Short leash
  • Constant feedback, both positive and negative
  • Use of body language
To correct for pulling behavior, you should make a U-turn and walk in the opposite direction.
There are 2 types of U-turns: away from your dog and into your dog. If your dog is just slightly getting ahead of you, you should turn into your dog 180 degrees. This way, you are cutting your dog off. However, if your dog is too far ahead of you, then you should turn away from your dog 180 degrees. When your dog is too far ahead of you, if you tried to turn into your dog, you'd just turn into the leash.


What a day to forget the camera!
We went for a quick trip to the dog park and found that there was a Mastiff Meetup there. Those are some large creatures. I tried to steer Loki away from the group of them. It wasn't so much their sheer size that intimidated me, but rather their drool. One small white dog was covered in drool after it hung out with the group of Mastiffs. Eww... gross.


Loki usually doesn't hang out under our desks, but that's where he was this morning. Typically, he hangs out anywhere in our apartment, sleeping on the carpet in open areas.

I tried to capture this scene as best I could with a camera. I love how it's just his little nose that pokes out.

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