Archive for the ‘dog ownership’ Category
We have a recent update from Jubilee‘s owners:
Everyone here is great. D is 20 months already and just loves animals. She loves the dogs and is always calling out their names followed by “Where are you?” Its really funny. D and Jubilee have really started to bond…….the table food might have something to do with it. Jubilee brings her toys now so she can throw them for her. Jubilee has done an amazing job knowing the difference between her toys & D’s. Even when they are offered to her from D she will not take them. We need to start working with D on stranger dogs. She is too comfortable with dogs at this point and loves to give hugs and kisses. It’s cute and sweet with our dogs because we know how good they are but unfortunately that’s not the case with all dogs.
Jubilee has been great and healthy, she loves her walks and if for some reason we can’t go on one you can always tell she is bummed. Shena “The old Lab” is hagging in there. She will be 16 in a few weeks (Crazy!) but she still seems extremely happy by wagging her tail all the time and still loves to eat. She too loves D but once again I know it’s food driven.
We recently received this note from a reader in response to our post How to Introduce Two Dogs and thought it deserved it’s own post:
I recently got a Chow Chow (a week ago), they don’t seem to get on quite well. I believe I introduced them incorrectly as I read somewhere on the web saying we should let them affirm their ranking system and allow them to have small fights. After first two days, I noticed something seems amiss as the fight just got more aggressive. Which I decided to do more research and fought an alternative suggestion which is to stop such dominance fight should it occur.
I have the chow chow restricted by a fencing in a small area (Toilet train)and allow my other dog, an 11 month old Japanese Spitz to roam the house as it is toilet trained. My Spitz tends to start a fight with the 4 month old chow chow whenever i let it out of the confined area. I remain calm and assertive throughout hoping to correct my spitz but it doesn’t seem to be effective. Out of this one week, there was only one occasion where the two of them were peacefully roaming around the apartment for 10 mins. However, everything was back to square one again.
I bring them for walk daily, side by side (Chow on my left, Spitz on my right). My spitz gets along quite well when out of the house, however, there were occasion where my Chow started biting, unsure if it was play biting my Spitz during walks.
I’m hoping to get some advices on how to introduce two properly and get them to live harmony in my apartment.
Thank you, and your advise is greatly appreciated.
Your dogs are both young so there is that going for you. It seems that you have done a fair bit of research on your own, good for you! It will help you to be educated on how to read dog’s body language so you can be more confident in knowing what you are seeing – aggression or dominance display, play or fighting, how to know when things are getting tense and you need to intervene.
First thing I would do is this: (more…)
Buddy is a 3 year old Shih Tzu-Poodle mix that’s been with us a week. He bears an uncanny resemblance to my childhood dog, Ginger. So much so that I have actually been contemplating keeping him. However, Lollie our pitbull mix doesn’t like strange dogs. So far she’s been easy to manage but the reality is that we have to keep them separate. And anyone who has two dogs in their home who don’t get along understands when I say that it is really stressful making sure everyone is safe. I don’t like it. Maybe with work it would work out, but at this point, I don’t think I’m up for that challenge.
So, for now, we consider Buddy a visitor. He was an owner surrender, directly to H.E.L.P, His previous owners said he was just too much to deal with, given that there were children in the home. You look at his little face and think, “how can that be?” but don’t let his fluffy good looks fool you – inside that cute suit is a type-A, big dog. Knowing what I know now, after just one week, I can see how someone who doesn’t really know dogs, who didn’t really want a big dog, and who didn’t have the time to work with him would find him a nightmare. He literally needs HOURS of exercise each day just to be calm. But today I think we over did it…as I let him out tonight he struggled coming up the stairs. I guess we have found his limit – a three mile walk and 3 hours of fetch is it. That’s good at least.
So, other than his ball obsessiveness and his need for large amounts of exercise for a small dog, he is great!! Here is Buddy on PetFinder.com - where you can fill out an application to adopt him!
A few more pictures of Buddy: (more…)
The Question: I want to know what the proper way to handle jumping on visitors is. I have been holding him down with his collar, using the other hand in front of his nose and saying “OFF” and it’s not working too well.
I just hate when he jumps on my clients coming in……….
The Answer: I would handle this one of two ways – if you have a client who is ok with it, I would have your dog on leash when they come over. Tell them that he is in training and use that experience to teach him that the right way to great is to sit nicely. Only if he is seated does he get any attention. If he isn’t sitting you have to get him into a sit (or a down is fine) and make him hold that position until you are ready for him to be greeted. And he should hold his sit throughout the greeting. In fact, this is a skill that is tested in the canine good citizen test – sitting nicely while greeted…so it is considered a somewhat advanced skill. If you aren’t sure your client would be ok with part of your attention on your dog, or if you don’t want to do that, then I would crate or somehow separate him during these encounters. Just keep in mind – every time he engages in a behavior you don’t like, he is practicing that behavior. If you can’t get him to practice other ones, then at least stop him from the opportunity to engage in the unwanted behavior.
We received a lovely note from Boomer’s (formerly Moonlight) family…
Boomer has been a delight since the first moment he ran into our home and ran straight to the “toy box”! He has never met a toy he does not like or want to play with!
He is now 11 months and if we had a nickel for every time someone asked us what kind he is we could retire and play with Boomer and Bella all day! Since he is 60 pounds we figure he has something else in his mix beyond German Shepherd and Black Lab. We affectionately call it his “secret sauce”. We think his secret sauce may be Basenji as he has this sweet wrinkle on his forehead, does not really bark, is black with white markings and looks a lot like the Basenji on the main page of one of those dog breed web sites. : )
We have enjoyed taking Boomer to “Dogs Best Friend” for training classes. He is in his fourth 6 week class series! He had two puppy classes, basic obedience and now we are in Advanced Obedience. I think we will take the “Off Leash” class in the spring, too. He is incredibly bright and has been the best or near the best behaved, trained and smartest of all the dogs in all of the classes we have taken. His latest accomplishment this week at class was “a flying lie down”! With him off leash and running away from me I can get him to lie down and stay as he is running away from me. My classmates and instructors consistently comment on what a great dog he is. : )
The small dogs in our classes also love Boomer because he adjusts his “game” to the size of his play partner! We find this charmer as do the instructors and the owners of the small dogs he plays with. The instructors have pulled us from the “big dog play group” a couple of times to have Boomer play with a small dog that was having trouble with some of the other small dogs. He is also wonderful with our rescue house bunny, Kooper!
Boomer has gone on many adventures with us including several boating adventures, a week “up north” at a cabin with Grandma and a trip to the Christmas tree farm to cut our Christmas tree – where he met and played with his first Mastiff! We are looking forward to taking him snow shoeing with us on our property now that we have so much snow! Boy, he can’t get enough of the snow and being outside! He just sits on “his” hill side and watches all of the wildlife off in the farmers field and runs in the deep snow.
We think the world of our Boomer Moonlight and can’t thank all of the people at H.E.L.P. enough – especially Kristin and family. I think what all of you do is absolutely amazing. You all gave Boomer a great start to life that is so evident in his demeanor and happy, laid back approach to everything and everyone. Bella, our Puggle and Boomer’s sister, was rescued from a shelter and has issues that we continue to work on. I wonder if she had been fostered like Boomer if she would be as balanced as Boomer.
Anyway, perhaps this was more information on your sweet Moonlight than you were seeking! :> We adore him and could go on and on ….
My response: Thank you for this wonderful email! Thanks also for the warm words for what our family does for our fosters. It means a lot to me. I am grateful that you’ve given him such a wonderful, full, and happy life. Have a great holiday season.
Remember these tips to make your transition go well:
* Limit the space in the house where the puppy gets to go. Expand it over the next few weeks.
* Walk the dog (not carry) to the door and show where they should potty.
* Potty the pup after every transition – after eating, drinking, playing, sleeping – potty them!
* Withhold food and water after 8 pm, do the final potty around 11pm, and wake yourself (and the puppy) up around 2am to potty again, and then again at 6am. That should do it! You will need to keep this up until the pup isn’t pottying at the 2am time.
* If there is a potty accident in the house DO NOT correct the puppy unless you see it happening! Pups only relate a consequence to the behavior that happened 3 seconds prior. So if you see a puddle, call the pup to you and scold it, you are in essence, scolding the puppy for coming to you.
* Remember this rule – any talking, comforting, and removing from the crate will reinforce the behavior that happened right before (usually crying, whining or scratching at the crate). If you don’t what those behaviors, don’t reinforce them!
* Keep the energy low for the first two weeks. It will feel like you are ignoring the puppy but it is the nicest thing you can do to give them the time they need to acclimate. If you have kids, limit the amount of time they get to interact with the pup.
* Keep the crate open and accessible during the periods of the day where the pup isn’t confined – that way when she/he needs comfort or respite, she/he can retreat there.
* Try to match the energy of the puppy – when they’re quiet do quiet activities (cuddling) and when they’re active do more active things (playing and not cuddling).
* Remember to give them access to food four times a day for the first two months home. Then move to three until 5 or 6 months old and then to twice a day. Feed amount suggested on bag.
* DO NOT keep a collar on a young pup who is confined to a crate – it is a strangulation hazard.
* DO teach leash manners, inside, after the first few days home – just let the leash drag for a day, then pick it up and encourage the pup to follow you, do not tug or reel them in.
* Do consider signing up for a puppy class anytime after the pup is 2 months old.
AND MOST importantly …
Good luck!! Trust your instincts and you’ll do fine.
Here’s an exchange with a person who I’ve been working with recently to get their dog ready to take the American Kennel Club‘s Canine Good Citizen (CGC) test.
I’m really frustrated with where we are right now with S’s walking. As long as there are no distractions, he does fairly well. It’s something we could continue to work with. But if there are distractions, it all goes out the window. Last night he saw a squirrel within the first 100 yards and from then on he was pulling at the leash the whole time looking for the next squirrel or rabbit. I had been hoping to have a pleasant walk so I didn’t have any treats with me. But it really wouldn’t have mattered. You can get his attention with a “watch”, depending on how far away the distraction is, but as soon as you reward him for it, he’s back to the distraction.
I’m really torn. I’d like to not have to be in training mode every time we go for a walk. Plus, to really do it right, I would need a whole bag of treats and would have to eliminate a meal. But if I don’t work with him, then I feel I’m reinforcing negative actions on his part. And my arm gets tired.
Plus I have no idea how you trained your dogs not to pee or poop on walks. It takes him less than a stride to get all four feet planted and he’s almost immovable then. Any ideas?
And my response:
Not being next to you on the walk makes it hard for me to really get what’s going on. Maybe one of these nice late summer days we could do just that…? But, what you have to do is to keep up with the walking. I agree, treats aren’t really the answer. It is sort of about respect in my opinion…he believes his “work” (hunting critters – his job that he’s assigned himself in lieu of anything else to do) is more important than anything you have to tell him. So, somehow, we’ve got to get across that we have a different job in mind for him, a better one. But until he gets this, really understands this on his doggy level, he just doesn’t see the point in not doing it.
So, sometimes a harsher correction tool can help – a prong/pinch collar helps communicate in no uncertain terms that his behavior isn’t appreciated. The correction makes sense to him and is aversive enough (without being cruel) to get through to him that you want him to stop. Other options include giving him another job while on walks. That’s where a good back pack comes in handy. I recommend dog back packs from RuffWear. They make packs that I’ve seen and used and are acceptable. Fill the pack with up to 20% of S’s body weight and then go for the walk. It is amazing how this can change a dog. Plus, it’s hard to pee with a pack on.
So, try those things. However, your comment about not wanting to be in training mode with each walk is also a clue that you are losing your patience. I hope you come to accept that you kind of do need to always be in training mode when out with your dog. The training gets easier with time, but you can never just check out. It’s sort of like parenting – you’re always on, no matter how old they get. The older they get, the easier and less intensive the work is, but you still are the dad, always. So, try to find a place of acceptance with that fact. So, try to find a place of acceptance with that fact. This doesn’t mean that you have to tolerate a sore arm and a disrespectful dog, but you do have to continue training him his whole life.
Let me know if this helps.
We live with killers. Did you know that? Likely all of you reading this are sharing your home and possibly your beds with a known assassin. Even the sweetest among them are lethal and don’t you forget it for a second.
Today I saw first hand, the violence in action. My sweetest of all dogs, Bella is ruthless when her prey drive is in 5th gear. She has been hunting a nest of bunnies in our big yard for a week now. Well, actually, she hunted for a day and then has spent the rest of the week inside. I had hoped that the bunnies would be old enough by now to get away, but I was wrong. I heard the squeaking while I was moving large rocks. I started running while holding a rock, didn’t get far, stopped to drop the rock carefully and ran to her, the whole time yelling at the top of my lungs “LEAVE IT!!!” (which didn’t work, even for me, by the way). I thought I had saved it, it looked unharmed and wiggled in my hand, but then slowly, I saw it’s neck moving strangely and, well, I’ll save you the details. The bunny just slowly died. I stood there for some time, marveling at the beauty that goes so largely unnoticed by us – those velvety ears, the tiny nose, the beautiful fur, the perfect little face. It made me so sad, so very very sad, the waste of it, the loss of such a young life. I walked with it to the edge of the yard and gently slid it to the other side of the fence. Maybe some wild thing will eat a meal today. Maybe the life won’t be lost for nothing.
But then I realized the hypocrisy in me – I nearly rejoice when they kill chipmunks – the critters that ruin my gardens and my morning sleep – why do I have such an arbitrary view on the value of life? And as I turned to walk back to the house, Hermes joined me with a low head, sweeping tail and a smile that said clearly, “wasn’t that COOL? Dude, SO cool!” And I saw Bella in the distance, looking for more. They do what they do without all the stories in mind – they just do what they know to do – chase little furry things that move fast, but not fast enough.