Loki greeting Yun

Here's a clip of Loki greeting Yun after a long day of work. Notice that Loki's ears flap up and down. I refer to this as him "flying".

The Sound of Loki

I finally caught on video the wonderfully unique sound that Loki makes! Be sure to listen carefully.


Today began as a very typical morning. I woke up, took Loki out of his crate, fed him breakfast and then put him outside on the balcony so that he could poop/pee as usual. I sat at my laptop checking my email as he was outside. Then all of a sudden, I hear him scream! I wasn't sure if this was the infamous Shiba scream, but it was a pretty horrifying screech full of panic and terror. He hardly makes a peep when he's given shots! What could cause such a horrific scream?

I ran to open the balcony door and to see what happened.

Did he hurt himself?
Did he get a splinter?
Did he break a bone somehow?
He came inside, but was running in circles, chasing his tail. What?! Finally, I spotted it. There was a small clump of poop hanging off of his butt. After I removed it, he promptly resumed being his perfectly happy self.

Is a terrifying scream really necessary for a small clump of poop?

The Daily Puppy!

Yay! I just got an email saying that Loki is going to be featured on The Daily Puppy on Tuesday, April 24, 2007. So be sure to check it out =)

Unfortunately for those who actually follow this blog, the pictures I submitted are the same as the ones on this blog. So there aren't any new pictures for you. But anyways, I'm happy that more people can revel in Loki's cuteness on The Daily Puppy.

Dirty Puppy Gets a Bath

Today was Loki's second bath with us. The first one was too traumatizing for pictures.

Big head on a tiny body!
Look at all that dirty water. Funny thing is that he went to go drink it as we were washing him. Then as I rinsed him off, he also went to drink some of that water too. Silly puppy!

Who's that in the mirror?

I blow dried him a little bit. But it takes a really long time and he doesn't like it that much. But he put up with us washing and drying him; we did feed him lots of treats along the way. He's a good puppy =)

A month with us

I just realized that Loki has been with us for an entire month now. He arrived in our home on St. Patty's Day - March 17, 2007. In the past month,
  • He's had his first bath with us. Terrifying experience I'm sure, but he survived.
  • He's gone to the vet twice. The first time was his initial exam and the second was for shots. He was well-behaved and calm both times.
  • He's only ever had one pooping accident. That occurred when I had to leave him home alone for too long, because I had jury duty. Pretty amazing if you ask me.
  • It's been well over a week since he last peed on the carpet, but we did have one accident on his blanket this past Sunday. Still, he's been fairly easy to potty train.
  • He's peed on Mike when he first met him.
  • He's learned to accept the collar and leash, albeit begrudgingly.
  • He's learned to stop whining.
  • He's met Mr. Vacuum Cleaner twice. The first meeting went better than the second.
  • He's fantastic on car rides, since he goes on a car ride almost ever other day.
  • Among the dogs that he's met, he's growled at one white fluffy dog, he's growled at another Shiba puppy, been indifferent to a Shih Tzu puppy, and was a bit puzzled by the behavior of a hyperactive Chihuahua.
  • He loves meeting people. And people love meeting him! This makes walks with him very time-consuming.
  • He's become more comfortable in our den and bedroom, but has yet to be comfortable with the kitchen. He loves to walk underneath our desks in the den.
  • He experienced his first taste of off-leash fun in the fenced backyard of my auntie's home.
  • He barks in his sleep sometimes. And also wiggles his limbs in his sleep.
  • He loves to stretch.
  • He really loves to lick our legs after we've showered. Why? We haven't figured it out yet. Maybe it's the soap?
  • Most of the time, he understand exactly what you want him to do, he just doesn't want to do it.
  • He loves to chase things blowing in the wind.
  • He's my funny & silly puppy =)

Twelve Weeks Old

Silly puppy! He likes to sleep right by the step in our den area. One time, as he was sleeping just like this with his head hanging off the step, his body twitched in his sleep and then he promptly fell off the step.

Awake and startled, he was so confused about what happened and what woke him up.

Aside from sleeping, another one of Loki's pastimes is to destroy the sod. Here you can see he is going at it with full force. He'll bark at the sod, attack it, and pounce on it. Being that the sod is where he poops and pees, it's not really sanitary. But it's better than him attacking other things - like the balcony itself, the carpet, furniture, or humans.

And lastly, here are some peaceful pictures.

I love how his front paw is curled under. How cute is that!

Fetching for a Treat

Like most Shibas, Loki is very treat motivated. If you have a treat, he'll obey your commands and if you don't, he'll ignore you. Many trainers and some really great dog books recommend getting your dog to obey without food, but I'm at a loss on how to achieve that with Loki. He cares for praise and affection about as much as I care for a gold star sticker.

The other day, I was doing a quick training session with him, reviewing old commands and trying to introduce a new one - stay. Loki has little patience for the command stay. He has to wait too long to get a treat. He starts scratching and whining. Then all of a sudden in the middle of my training session, I see a light bulb go off in his head. He darts across the room, picks up his toy, brings it to me, and politely sits in front of me. I laughed so much at his ingenuity that I gave him a treat.

You see, I've been trying to train him to play fetch, as that is not something he naturally does. And in training him to play fetch, I give him a treat for fetching his toy. This time, he decided to fetch for a treat without being told to do so.

All About Loki

Things I Love about Loki:
  • He makes the cutest, most unique sound ever when he yawns! It's like a sweet high-pitched "ahh."
  • He flaps his ears when he's excited! It's the funniest thing ever!
  • He walks backwards in the tiny space between the exercise pen and the wall.
  • Loud noises don't really phase him. He was pretty mellow when introduced to the vacuum cleaner. He can tolerate it when I use the hair dryer on him.
  • Yun loves it when Loki cocks his head to the side.
Loki's Yummy Food:
Loki's Favorite Treats:

Loki's Favorite Toys:
  • All of them!
Loki's Pet Peeves:
  • Having his hair brushed
  • Being on a leash (but he's getting better at it)
Loki's List of Tricks (in order of learning):
  • Come - This one means come get a treat!
  • Sit - One of the easiest tricks, because he sits around a lot anyways.
  • Circle - Useless, but amusing trick that Yun taught him.
  • Drop - This means open mouth and trade item in mouth for a treat.
  • Down - This is what Loki does after sit.
  • Pen - This means be locked up in pen in exchange for a treat or food.
  • Out - To Loki, this means go out, get a treat, and quickly come back inside so that Vi can say "out" again and then get yet another treat!
  • Stay - we're still working on this one...

He barks!

Some friends and family have commented that Loki is really quiet. And he is. He doesn't bark much. Sure, he whines for attention, and occasionally, he'll bark at passerbys, but for the most part, he is a very quiet dog. And that is pretty typical of Shibas - they are not barkers.

Here, I got a video of him barking (34 seconds). Typically, he barks at new and unfamiliar things. We went to PetSmart today and bought him a ball. Here he is being introduced to the ball for the first time.

Loki playing with toy

Here's another video of Loki. He is playing with a new squeaky toy. The video is 1:07 min. long. You will notice that he doesn't really play fetch. I'm trying to train him to fetch.

But when I throw the toy, I feel like he's thinking,
"You get it! You're the one who threw it away!"

Leaders Initiate. Followers React

Everyday I wake up and wonder, "What kind of dog day will I have today?"

Loki changes daily. When we first got him, he was fairly mellow, kept to his comfort zones, and was easy to discipline. He also had no issues with separation anxiety. Now, he is bolder, likes to explore, and is no longer easy to discipline. He has also developed separation anxiety when we leave the apartment.

In order to try to nip some of the undesirable behaviors in the bud, it is necessary to establish ourselves as the pack leaders. Now while being dominant comes much more easily to Yun, it is pretty much foreign to me. I've spent my life being a strict rule follower and an obedient daughter.

So how does a petite, obedient girl establish herself as a pack leader?
Leaders Initiate. Followers React.
This has become my new mantra in dealing with the little willful critter. Before today, I was overly concerned with what Loki wanted.
Did he want to go out on the balcony? Was he lonely? Did he want to play?
He whined! Oh, did he need to go potty? Was he thirsty?
Oh, he's scratching at the door! He wants to be let inside.
Wait a minute! How did I become a servant to a dog? I always intended on establishing myself as the pack leader, but where did my efforts go wrong?

Today was a new day for me. I established a schedule for Loki and I am the one dictating everything he does. Most importantly, I am initiating all playtime and attention. All whines, scratches at the door, and whimpering must be ignored (not even a look). He does not get let inside until he is calm. He does not get let outside until he is calm. He walks on the leash at my pace and he stops when I want to stop, not when he finds a new scent.

Of course, all of this
is much easier said than done. But I'm going to stick with this concept and see if his behavior improves. Being the leader does not mean aggressive tactics and instilling fear, being the leader means leading.


Inquisitive puppy

Dogs lick pretty much anything and Loki is no exception. In particular, he really loves to lick Yun's chin. I'm not exactly sure why, but I think it's because of the stubble. I tell Yun that his chin is just Loki's tongue cleaner. Here's a picture of some toe licking. Yummy! And ticklish too!

He's starting to become more curious and starting to explore more. Before, he was much more timid and had certain comfort zones. There were places (like the dining area, kitchen, and den) that were impossible to lure him into, even with real yummy treats like chicken. But today, he sniffed the entire dining area... I'm sure he found some yummy smells on the carpet there. And he even put his first paw into the kitchen. So is it a good thing or a bad one that he is now starting to explore more and be less timid?
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