Jimmy Gets out of His Cage on a Leash

Yes, that is correct.  We weren't sure what to expect, and so I wasn't planning on having my camera in the kennel with Bert and him out of the cage.  But Jimmy did so well, the first time,  that I decided to shoot the video below.  And it didn't go as smoothly as the first, as Bert started barking and growling at him,  but he did well.  I was quite proud of him.  We might try outside in a day or two. 

But first, let's back up to the end of last week-

You've seen Jimmy eating out of people's hands, and eating out of his bowl, if it was placed in the back of his cage. So last Wednesday, no one was here but me, so I decided to try and coax him into eating out of the bowl, when it was up near the front of the cage, with me sitting close by.  He was reluctant to do that and that was one thing we've been working on for the past few days.

Last Thursday, he had a visitor, and he was less scared than Ginger.  Jimmy came up to the front of the cage, sniffed her hand through the door.  He seemed to be more concerned with what else was going on in the kennel, than the new person being there.   I was quite surprised. Shocked actually.  Because a few days before, when he had another visitor, he did his "I see dead people" thing from the corner.

We also moved Bert next door as Jimmy seemed interested in the other dogs.  This was also on Thursday, I think.   We were also able to slip a collar on him.  You can see it in this video -

So when I got back home from a family Christmas function yesterday afternoon, I hooked a chain leash on Jimmy's collar, and he didn't freak out about it. He let me pull him around the cage and ate with it hanging from his collar. So today I decided to try him out of his cage, with Bert on a leash as well. Thinking that would make Jimmy less anxious. We moved Rosie as we knew she would be barking. But things didn't go as planned. Jimmy was slightly interested in Bert, but Bert wasn't very supportive. He wanted to growl at Jimmy, and act liked he wanted to start a fight, so Bert had to go back in the cage, and Jimmy got out by himself. And that seemed to be a better arrangement from Jimmy. Jimmy did really well with just me in the kennel and him walking in front of the other dog's cages. Initially I wasn't gonna film this, as I didn't want my camera in the kennel area with Jimmy and Bert out. But he did so well, that I asked Carrie to videotape Jimmy with my camera. Things didn't go as smooth the second time, but he still did good. My camera was cold from being in the truck all night, so the lens kept fogging up. You see Carrie wiping it off a few times. Bert was fine in his cage the first time, but when the camera was rolling, he started growling and barking and wouldn't stop.  I could tell it was bothering Jimmy. In the beginning, you can see him hanging his head out of the cage with the door open. This is really what he was most comfortable with. So I made him get out of his cage. You'll notice that he tries to go behind or under the cages. But he sat in front of Bert's cage for a few seconds, and then I got him to walk down in front of the cages of Daisy, Ginger, and Tasha, a patient who is boarding. Then we went back,and he was happy to get back in his cage. Didn't have to ask him twice. He did try to chew on the leash one little time, but I thought he did quite well. The leash doesn't seem to bother him as much as being outside of his cage. I thought it might be the other way around.

Next time, we'll try this without Bert or Rosie in the back. And in a day or so, if he seems up for it, we might go to the outside door, and see if he wants to try and go out.


Preserve Jewelry Studio said...

I have been following the jimmy story. It is great to see him progress and trust. I missed along the past few weeks where he came from?

Andy Mathis said...

Go back to the 11/20 post- The Pardoned Pooches. Ginger, Bert, Rosie and Jimmy came from the animal shelter in Macon (middle Georgia) when they pardoned all the pound dogs and cats for a week.

Miccosukee said...

Dr. Andy,
Wow, what progress you have made with Jimmy. He is starting to be a dog, at least for a little while.

Have you considered using a different leash on him? I have seen that harness and leash that Caesar and the woman dog trainer on TV (Me or the Dog)use which goes more around the top of the front legs. I even saw it on a couple dogs in the Bergdorf-Goodman "Holiday Hounds" video on "Life with Dogs."

Using that might make a difference from the regular collar and leash. Just a thought.

From your fan in Tallahassee,

Linda Betz said...

oh sweet Jimmy... i think without Bert barking at him he would have done great. It's interesting, to me, that Jimmy has come to trust you so quickly. You would think, by his backround, that he would be more fearfull of humans or even show agression. But is seems, from the videos and from your postings, that Jimmy really isnt agressive to man or dog. Just scared, basically of life itself. His face and smile are just so sweet and innocent looking. Have u been able to figure out how old you think he might be? i know u prolly havent been able to examine his teeth or do anykind of "indepth" exam on him yet. thanks for all the updates. There is just something about Jimmy that has touched my heart, ever since i saw the pics of him at MAC. I thank God, that he is with you. Like u have said before, no way was he ready for a "home" environment or to be a pet, yet.. But i have faith, that Jimmy's day will come.. thank you Dr. Andy.

Andy Mathis said...

Trisha- Premiere makes a harness called the Easy Walk Harness that hooks in front of the dogs chest. It is made for dogs that are very strong and have a tendency to pull a lot on a collar or harness.

I don't think that Jimmy is quite ready to let anyone put one of those on him yet.

Linda- I can glance at the side of Jimmy's mouth and he doesn't seem to have much tartar on the sides. So I think he is a young adult.

He doesn't seem aggressive but it is fascinating to watch him as some things spook him, and other things don't. If I am playing with Bert and a rope toy, next door, Jimmy starts barking like he wants to play too.

Last night, I moved both Rosie and Bert, and tried to let Jimmy out again. And he freaked out a little. Pulling on the leash, urinating on the floor out of fear, and wanted back in his cage. I tried to get him to walk down in front of Daisy and Ginger's cage, thinking seeing them might calm him down. He got over next to the washing machine and wanted to hide behind it, so he went backwards a little. So today, I am going to might try leaving Bert and Rosie both in the kennel and see how Jimmy does. Maybe their presence is more calming than their absence. Despite their barking. We shall see.

I do have to get another collar that isn't adjustable- as he almost slipped out of this one as it slides just a little if he pulls on the leash very much.

Andy Mathis said...

oh, and I think that description is correct- Jimmy is more scared of everything in general, than of people or other dogs.

It'll be interesting to see how he does today with both Bert and Rosie in the kennel. I also keeping replaying Bert's reaction the other day, and I wonder if something I was doing was setting him off, as he was barking and growling at both of us- I had a chain in my hand, I had a glove on, etc.

As it was sort of out of character for Bert.

Linda Betz said...

Merry Christmas, Dr. Andy... just read your latest post about Jimmy, wetting himself from fear, it breaks my heart more.... What kind of hell has this poor guy gone thru...Please give Jimmy an extra scratch, for me. He really NEEDS a big HUG, but i know, right now, he cant handle that...
Bless you and your family.. You are truely Jimmy's "Gaurdian Angel"....

Andy Mathis said...

Merry Christmas to you too, Linda.

I don't think Jimmy has been abused as much as he hasn't been petted and handled.

He has done better the past 2 days. Partly because I started a routine with him. Sit in front of the cage with him on my left, move and let him sit on the right. He prefers the left. Then I sit in the floor with him still in the cage. I make him get out, but now I am sitting between him and Bert and Rosie. Before he was right up next to their cage. Last night, he stayed out for 3-5 minutes sitting or laying next to me. and he didnt freak out. Then I let him back in the cage and we end back on the left, as that is where he is most comfortable.

There was one time yesterday morning, he was sniffing my ear from behind on his own accord. And that was the first time he's done that. I say it was on his own accord. It is entirely possible I had cat food there from fixing George's (17 year old diabetic cat) food in the other room, haha.


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