Sometime in the past year Jun started a new OCD habit (you know, in addition to the barking, pacing, and tail chasing). She runs diagonally across the yard from one corner to another, slides to a stop at the fence and barks 2-3 times. Rinse and repeat. I don't know when it started. I didn't even know it was happening until my neighbor mentioned how "funny" it was to watch her run her little pattern every morning.
I used to put Jun outside to potty and go inside and not worry about her. She used to just stand or lay by the door when she was done and was ready to come in. In fact, sometimes I'd put her outside when I just needed a break from her, because she'd just lay there so nicely. When did that stop? I have no idea. But now we have this new OCD habit, that is sometimes triggered by people walking by or cars driving by, but often happens just because I opened the door and let her out.
Before it started snowing the grass in the back corner of my yard was gone due to her sliding to a stop there. I was hoping the snow would deter her. It did not. Then she started wearing through the snow down to the dirt. Not cool.
So two months ago (maybe three, I'm not exactly sure) I drew a line in the sand and set out to stop her. I started going outside WITH her to potty, every. single. time. In the middle of winter, which requires getting on boots and jacket every time, and slogging through the snow. This has been going on for two months now and it WAS going great! For two months she stopped running her pattern. She did her business and ran to me happily and we went inside. I had planned on continuing going outside with her every time for at least a year to make sure the habit was completely erased. And I've been following through with 100% consistency.
Well . . . the habit is back. I cannot even stop her--she runs right past me. If I grab her, she breaks free and finishes her pattern. I can't yell to get her attention. I can't do a damn thing. This is the fun of Jun . . . just when you think you've solved a problem, it comes back with a vengeance. Either that or a new one crops up to take it's place.
And what's more, Elo's started doing the same damn thing.
So what now? I have only one option left . . . take Jun out on leash every. single. time. Strike that--take ALL my dogs out, individually, on leash, one at a time, for the rest of their lives (since I already take Lok out on leash and I may as well fix Elo while I'm at it). I do not know if I have the resolve for this. I own a house with a fenced yard for a reason.
I am just waiting for all our success from the past week to fall apart. And it's started happening already. Jun has discovered that she CAN chase her tail on leash. She's also now guarding me from the other dogs when she is leashed to me, since I can't do what I usually do and just move away from her when I see her lip raise or her body tense or her eyes harden. So instead of leashing her to me, I've been just tethering her to furniture. This is also working. For now. But probably not for long. She's already started chewing on her leash in these situations.