It’s fun getting into trouble! (for loki)

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When we first got Loki he was very calm and almost withdrawn at times, but in the past month he’s become increasingly rambunctious. More playful, more affectionate, but also more TROUBLE. While he’s a pretty cool dude in most respects, these are the few main areas we’ve been having trouble in.

1. PEEING. This is the main one that concerns me. When we first got him he seemed to be nearly housebroken – a few accidents here and there but he quickly started whining at the door and running around crazily when he had to go. Lately, he’s been having more accidents, and he barely makes a peep beforehand. He’s a smart guy and he learns FAST, so I almost wonder if he’s just trying to get our attention. Anyway, it’s back to crate/pen training for him. This morning we had to leave him in his pen for hours while we periodically took him out. After a while he started complaining, attacking his crate and eventually climbing up on top if it. It’s looking like we might need a taller pen for him, but at this point we may just leave his crate out, or put him inside it.

2. Biting/nipping people – I’ve noticed that as he becomes more playful, he’s also become more “nippy”. While these little puppy play bites aren’t at all painful, I wouldn’t want them to turn into adult play bites or worse. For a while he would stop when I made a loud yelp, but that’s starting to seem less effective, almost like he sees it as part of the game. What may be necessary is to put him down and ignore him once he starts getting bitey – as one of Shiba’s most valued resources is known to be attention.

3. Dog aggression – This is a bit debatable, but often when Loki meets a more “friendly” dog who’s a little more in his face, he will bark or nip at them. I’m not entirely sure if this is part of his puppy rambunctiousness, or signs of what could be dog aggression later on. We’re going to have to take him to some socialization classes soon and keep exposing him to friendly dogs, while rewarding him when he’s good.

Most of the time Loki is a good dog — friendly, affectionate, smart — but I know with the right training he can be a GREAT dog.

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