based off of conversations with @hellaghosts about a space boy
side note: josh has hecka moles and i should really be drawing those more
Edit: oH GOD I FORGOT TO MENTION those constellations on his face are the lil dip (cuz lol y not) and the lynx, named as such bc it is so faint you need to see as well as a lynx to make it out (represents josh’s attention to detail and foresight)
This is classic big boy Napa cab, folks! Cassis, slightly macerated blackberries, capsicum, vanilla, cedar, and bourbon notes of charred wood and sweetness on the nose. Rich and round mouthfeel with dark cherries, blackberries, cassis, and vanilla on the palate. Grippy, almost chewy, tannins. DEFINITELY a steak wine!
When I was younger, my mom took my brother and me to this one tenting/cabin place in Northern Arizona. She had made previous reservations and we finally got there at like 10 at night. My mom goes into the check in place and it turns out, someone wrote our reservation down for one adult and two dogs. They thought we were the wrong people!! It was changed, but still was so funny being reserved as a dog.
I got a few questions about socializing Belgian Shepherds, particularly in regards to service dog work, which made me feel that I should just do a post on socializing a more reserved breed of dog and all that in involves.
We all know one of the first rules of proper dog training and ownership is to socialize your pup. You expose them to as much as possible as quickly as possible, in an attempt to get them accustomed to new and loud things and to respond with either enthusiasm or confident indifference.
When socializing a more outgoing breed like a labrador, you’ll find they are much more likely to respond with enthusiasm toward everything new, and treat everyone as a friend and every new smell and sound as something amazing and cool and just generally the very best thing ever.
When dealing with a more reserved breed, however, it is unlikely your dog will respond with buckets of enthusiasm toward strange new people and dogs. They are much more likely to, when well socialized, regard strangers with great apathy.
If my reserved breed ends up being as enthusiastic as a labrador, that’s all fine and dandy, but my main goal when socializing them is to simply prevent a fear of new things. It’s one thing for my dog to be apathetic toward strangers, or even to alert me when they come to visit unannounced, but it is another thing entirely for them to be skittish, timid, and fearful around them. There is a fine line between skepticism and fear when observing your dog’s behavior around strangers, and while skepticism is perfectly acceptable in my opinion, fear is not.
So with a breed that is naturally skeptic of strangers, your greatest priority is exposure, with the goal of desensitizing them toward loud noises and crowds of people. Taking your pup into an incredibly busy city is one of the best ways to go about this. I always take my pups downtown and find a seat outdoors or a bench, and feed them treats as the people go by. If people stop and ask to interact with them, I give them treats and tell them they are welcome to get on the same level as the dog and offer a treat, but not to pursue if they back away, and to just put the treat on the ground and back away again.
Most people are more than willing to participate according to my instruction, and those that aren’t I give an apologetic smile and say, “sorry, we’re working on socialization right now. Maybe next time, when they’re feeling more secure you can say hi.”
The most important part of this, however, is the fact that you are giving them treats throughout the experience. You are their person, and you are the one whose body language they are reading and feeding off of. You need to radiate positivity and confidence during this excursion, and offer many rewards for being out in public.
It’s basic operant conditioning. You put the dog in a situation they may consider anywhere between neutral and negative, and condition them to consider it a positive experience, because of all the good things you give them when it’s happening. It applies to any kind of exposure you’re working on, be it strangers, other dogs, car rides, trips to the vet, the vacuum cleaner, baths, nail trimming… et cetera.
What’s crucial with a reserved breed is that, for one, you yourself are confident and excited about what’s going on, especially with a dog like a Belgian Shepherd, who feeds off a change in your body language, no matter how minuscule.
For another, it’s crucial that you do not push their boundaries or force an interaction. Absolutely never force your pup to accept treats from a stranger, or pick them up and carry them toward the stranger and force them to submit to petting and cuddling. And I mean never. Every reserved dog I’ve ever dealt with has gone up to the stranger on their own volition at some point, as long as they were ignored. We have had people in our yard for as much as three hours before they suddenly looked down and discovered Daenerys sniffing at their legs.
Reserved breeds aren’t necessarily inherently timid or fearful. It’s just up to you to prevent that from happening, by exposing them to new things at a very young age, in a positive and exciting way.
H A W A I I - 114 Days, 5,609 Miles on my truck, 12 broken boards, 14,000 Photos, 650GB of Video, 132 Acai Bowls, 13 different foreigners staying with me, 113 SkyDives (0 reserve🙏), 189 dogs, 1 puppy, 132 Surf sessions, 1248Hours under the sun.. Many amazing new friends, uncountable laughs and smiles & so much raw emotions.. One amazing Place I call Home!
are some of the most highly suggested and easy keepers for beginners! Most come in a huge variety of morphs and have varying species within them, so the sky is the limit! These species are all hardy, stay relatively small, and are known for being good eaters.
Some people say that Ball Pythons are good beginner snakes, but because they tend to go off feed and can get a lot more chunky than the ones listed above, they are better for people who know what they’re getting into.
Whatever you choose, do your research and be responsible!