What’s not to like about a CCI puppy cape? They’re a cheery bright yellow, adorned with the iconic blue patch. We’ve seen definite resistance in some of our puppies over the years to the halters that are supposed to go around their muzzles, when they’re on leash. But Kyndall has never balked at the halter. Instead she’s developed an aversion to her cape.
In the past few days, when she has seen us with it in hand, she’s bolted. Yesterday Steve couldn’t corner her; he had to call me in to help trap and dress her. A while later, when I was filling out my Puppy Report, I noticed for the first time that among the Grooming/Handling Problems, there is a box for “Resists putting on the cape.” For the first time, I checked it.
As it happened, last night was also our second Kinderpup class. When Bob, our teacher, asked if anyone was grappling with any “issues,” I mentioned this new, unwelcome development. It immediately became clear that the cape-ophobia is something that happens from time to time — and can even be worse. One veteran recounted having a dog whose personality changed dramatically when it was dressed. That puppy, when naked, was a frisky, happy soul, but as soon as the cape went on, it lay down and looked mournful.
Someone else told about making a puppy wear the cape day and night for weeks — until finally the cape-ophobia melted away. Several people, including Bob, advised us to get Kyndall to associate the cape with happy events — getting delicious treats, for example, or being petted. We came away with plenty of ideas to work on.