Max “Peanut”: Anxiety in Motion

Max practicing “sit-stay”

Remember Max “Peanut”, the little Chinese Crested/Chihuahua cross? He’s guesting with us this weekend to have some play time with canine and feline friends Glimmer and Violet, and to get help with some problem behaviors he’s been exhibiting for several months.

Max handled the car ride to our house really well. He just laid down and eventually dozed off. When we arrived, he immediately became very excited and tried to push his way out of the carrier instead of waiting for me to lift him out. But, he remembered fairly quickly that he must be calm and he went into a nice sit position and waited for me to get his leash on. Once that was done, I got him out so he could do his business.

Glimmer met us at the door. It was pretty chilly outside, so we had to speed her up a bit. But, although it was chilly, Max did a great job of respecting her while she gave him a thorough sniffing before allowing him into the house. Max has little to no impulse control, no respect for personal space, and he practices relentless mounting behavior. So, once inside, I kept Max on the leash to show him he had boundaries, and to help him start learning some self control.

Max did attempt to mark my husband’s jackets, but I caught and stopped him before he could get out more than a couple of drops. But, while it was not acceptable behavior, the marking attempt was understandable; little Max has been through several major life changes in the past 8 months that have caused him to become extremely insecure and anxious. I can’t resolve those issues in only two days, but I can certainly get him started on his recovery.

Today, I am going to introduce him to the treadmill. Glimmer will be assisting me, as Max has shown that he learns better, easier, and more quickly by watching and then mimicking her than he does without her help. The treadmill is a very important tool that will help him drain out all of the stress, anxiety, and mental and physical energy he’s been struggling to cope with. Once he gets some relief from that and he’s able to become calmer and stay that way, I’ll try to feed him again. He was so overly excited at breakfast that he couldn’t eat anything. He just wanted to be with Glimmer and Violet.

Have a great day, and remember: Stay calm and lead on.

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