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Old 06-29-2009, 18:56   #541
Blinky
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First of all, thank you. I just hope I can do Mike justice here.

The roundworms can play a roll here. They can cause diarrhea and vomiting in young animals. How long ago was he treated for that?

As far as expecting too much from him, I'm not to worried about that. From the moment puppies are born, they are taught the rules of the pack from their mother. The main thing that humans have to worry about is not being able to find the balance between being calm and correcting the behavior.

You remember watching the "Set it and forget it!" infomercials? That's the approach you need to take with all corrections "Correct it and forget it!" If you've got him on leash, then a gentle tug coupled with the stern "NO" will be all you need. Remember, the purpose of the correction is not to punish, it is to redirect the dogs attention to you.

Now onto your issue:

First, is there just one spot that he goes in when he's inside? I'm sure you're probably doing this, but you absolutely have to make sure that when you clean up the mess, that it is totally clean. Dogs experience the world with their nose first and you have to make sure that the smell is totally gone.

Second, has he done it in the kennel recently?

Third, Can you think of anything that would link the accidents together? Is he excited? Are you excited? Is it before or after you do an activity? Is it before he gets fed? etc...

Since he's a young, energetic puppy, it would benefit you both to work on training patience. This is going to help his attention span issues, which may, in turn, help the accidents too.

Your job is to create associations for him. You want to start associating everything with relaxation. Starting thinking in his terms, everything has a meaning. Change feeding time to a feeding ritual. The bowl does not get placed on the ground until he is calm and relaxed.

When you get home, he doesn't get acknowledged until you are ready and he is calm and relaxed. I think you can see where I'm going with this. What this will start to create for you is the ability to see changes in behavior easier.

If he is relaxed, then out of the blue he starts to sniff around or whimper, that's a sign that something is going on.

Couple that with keeping him tethered to you should start to see some results.

On some other notes, how well are the walks going?

and also, you broke the cardinal rule! We need pics of the little guy!!
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Old 06-29-2009, 19:26   #542
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Third, Can you think of anything that would link the accidents together? Is he excited? Are you excited? Is it before or after you do an activity? Is it before he gets fed? etc...


and also, you broke the cardinal rule! We need pics of the little guy!!
To emphasize this advice. My Missy is just over 7 months old, and 65 lbs. She will give the signs she needs to go out side. We will be out back sometimes she finds her spot and goes, other times she will just look at me like OK now what?

So I will throw her ball several times. Usually about the 3rd to 4th throw she will go to the ball, stop, sniff and then pee a couple of feet away forgetting all about the ball. I will retrieve it and after 3 to 4 more throws she might all of a sudden forget about the ball again as she squats to poop.

It is all a matter of how bad she needs to go and what other distractions might be around, but it seems like the excitement of chasing the ball breaks everything free. One of her socialization playmates (about 4 months old) pees almost every time they get together. DANCE, DANCE, PEE, Dance in the pee as she strains on her leash with one thing on her mind. PLAY PLAY PLAY.

<a href="http://s230.photobucket.com/albums/ee305/Poppa315/?action=view&current=Missy75Months.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i230.photobucket.com/albums/ee305/Poppa315/Missy75Months.jpg" border="0" alt="Missy 7 1/2 Months old"></a>
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Old 06-29-2009, 23:19   #543
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Hi Blinky,

I was hoping you could share some of your wisdom with a recent rescue dog I saved. He’s a 7yr old Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever…whew! I’ve had him for about 3 days now.

Here’s a little background on him. He was dropped off at a local rescue recently after spending his whole life w/ the same family. A couple kids aged 5-13 and a couple cats. He was garaged for almost 8-10 hours a day with no interaction. He had free roam of the garage. He was given up because the parents just didn’t have enough time for him. He has been to obedience school and is very smart according to his previous trainers and the rescue. Knows 10-12 commands, good on a leash, doesn’t chew (even his toys), etc.

My problem is that he constantly whines/whimpers. Now, from what I was told from the rescue that had him for about a week is that he whines when he needs/wants something. He also understand the command “quiet”, but stops for a few seconds, then commences to whine again.

I’m sure it doesn’t help that he is in his third home in less than a week and was literally dropped off by his previous owners. There’s probably a ton of anxiety and stress being in a new place.

How should I approach this situation to ease his transition? Is there anything I can do? I am able to work from home, so I’m with him 24/7, but don’t want to leave him alone for fear something going wrong. He also has diarrhea, but that’s probably from being in new setting. He’s also vomited a few times. I have a cat as well and he’s good w/ cats….and my cat avoids him. There doesn’t seem to be a problem there.

Man, I need some sleep…..help a brother out!
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Old 06-30-2009, 09:20   #544
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Johnny, the nice thing about your issues is that you have the history of the dog.

The first thing I'm going to tell you is to not to feel sorry or bad about his past. Obviously there was nothing you could do about it and focusing on it now will not help him at all.

You need to give the dog what he's been missing all his life, stability and a routine. The first aspect of that is exercise. Obviously walks are key and should be done at least once a day, but you need to get that guy out in the water! Now, I know doing that everyday is going to be impossible, but you should do it as much as you can. It's in his DNA to get out there and once he starts to wake that part of himself up again, you're going to notice a dog that is going to be more relaxed.

On the walks I suggest getting him a backpack. What you're doing there is giving him a job to do. Now the walks have meaning to him. It's now more than just going outside to sniff around and find a place to potty. It's now about getting that important cargo (a couple of water bottles, or his treats) to it's destination.

What that will accomplish for you, is getting him tired, both physically and mentally. If he is concentrating on carrying is cargo, then when he gets home, he'll be too tired to worry about much else.

After the walk is when you want to feed him. Here we want to use nature to our advantage. Think about it, if you're tired and full, what do you want to do? REST!

I talked about the feeding ritual a little bit before, but you need to make that time a calm and relaxing time for him. Make sure that the bowl isn't put down until he is calm and after 10 minuets the bowl should be pick up and put away.

The walks and feeding need to be done on a consistent schedule. By doing this, you're taking the guess work out of it and eventually your guy is going to understand when things are going to happen.

The other big issue here is learning when to give affection. The key here is to remember that affection will reinforce the specific behavior that your dog is exhibiting. For example, if he is anxious and you pet him, you are rewarding him for being anxious. Always keep that in mind when you're interacting with him. You have to remember that not only does petting equal affection but food does also.
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Old 06-30-2009, 09:38   #545
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Originally Posted by Blinky View Post
First of all, thank you. I just hope I can do Mike justice here.
I am confident that you have succeeded.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blinky View Post
The roundworms can play a roll here. They can cause diarrhea and vomiting in young animals. How long ago was he treated for that?
3.5 weeks ago was his treatment. He was prescribed Interceptor by my vet which evidently is a 1 pill every 30 days treatment.

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Originally Posted by Blinky View Post
As far as expecting too much from him, I'm not to worried about that. From the moment puppies are born, they are taught the rules of the pack from their mother. The main thing that humans have to worry about is not being able to find the balance between being calm and correcting the behavior.

You remember watching the "Set it and forget it!" infomercials? That's the approach you need to take with all corrections "Correct it and forget it!" If you've got him on leash, then a gentle tug coupled with the stern "NO" will be all you need. Remember, the purpose of the correction is not to punish, it is to redirect the dogs attention to you.
I dont have anything to really comment on this but I didnt want you to think I ignored it, so thanks for the advice. I will definitely work on it.

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Originally Posted by Blinky View Post
First, is there just one spot that he goes in when he's inside? I'm sure you're probably doing this, but you absolutely have to make sure that when you clean up the mess, that it is totally clean. Dogs experience the world with their nose first and you have to make sure that the smell is totally gone.
I have been very diligent in cleaning up the messes, both for his benefit and my own. I have been using the Natures Miracle Advanced spray to clean up the smell so he can't smell it anymore, which seems to work really well. He doesn't have a favorite spot where he goes. Basically just wherever he is at when he gets the urge.

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Second, has he done it in the kennel recently?
The last time he has went in his crate was a week ago. I got him a new crate (I was concerned about air flow in his old crate as it gets hotter in the evenings so i got him a wired crate). I think it was a combinatin of too large of a partition that I gave him coupled with "this isn't my den." He has been really good since.


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Originally Posted by Blinky View Post
Third, Can you think of anything that would link the accidents together? Is he excited? Are you excited? Is it before or after you do an activity? Is it before he gets fed? etc...
It tends to be somewhere within 30 minutes of his regular trip outside. Kind of like he hits his point that he can't hold it anymore. So I would cut down his intervals to only 1.5 hours thinking he can't hold it 2 hours just yet. And he will pee within 30 minutes of THAT interval. So I increased it back to 2 hours and watch him like a hawk.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blinky View Post
Since he's a young, energetic puppy, it would benefit you both to work on training patience. This is going to help his attention span issues, which may, in turn, help the accidents too.

Your job is to create associations for him. You want to start associating everything with relaxation. Starting thinking in his terms, everything has a meaning. Change feeding time to a feeding ritual. The bowl does not get placed on the ground until he is calm and relaxed.

When you get home, he doesn't get acknowledged until you are ready and he is calm and relaxed. I think you can see where I'm going with this. What this will start to create for you is the ability to see changes in behavior easier.

If he is relaxed, then out of the blue he starts to sniff around or whimper, that's a sign that something is going on.

Couple that with keeping him tethered to you should start to see some results.
I will definitely work on that. How stubborn do I need to be? We kind of have a battle of wills at times. With it involving feeding time, do I stick it out until he calms down regardless of time frame?

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On some other notes, how well are the walks going?
Walks go really well. He has taken to the leash easily. He has started to pull on the leash recently. I am not using a prong colar, just a buckle colar right now. Which I am definitely open to using if you don't think he is too young for it. His focus on me isn't what I would want but I am not sure if its cause of his age or if its cause of lack of training. Once I get his attention while working with him, I have his attention. But I lose it easily with distractions. The buckle colar really doesnt do much in the area of getting him to redirect his attention to me. But I also didn't want to move too quickly into the prong collar/choke collar and him have a bad experience that'll scar him.

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and also, you broke the cardinal rule! We need pics of the little guy!!
Haha, my apologies. Here you go....I'll give a few extra for my penance:

<a href="http://s79.photobucket.com/albums/j159/bk9360/McBain/?action=view&current=photo_001.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i79.photobucket.com/albums/j159/bk9360/McBain/photo_001.jpg" border="0" alt="6 Weeks"></a>
The night I brought him home.

<a href="http://s79.photobucket.com/albums/j159/bk9360/McBain/?action=view&current=photo.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i79.photobucket.com/albums/j159/bk9360/McBain/photo.jpg" border="0" alt="McBain 7 weeks"></a>
At 7 Weeks down at the office with me.

<a href="http://s79.photobucket.com/albums/j159/bk9360/McBain/?action=view&current=Mcbain_Bob2.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i79.photobucket.com/albums/j159/bk9360/McBain/Mcbain_Bob2.jpg" border="0" alt="McBain and Bob 2"></a>
Playing with Bob, my sister's 3 y/o male lab.

<a href="http://s79.photobucket.com/albums/j159/bk9360/McBain/?action=view&current=photo-1.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i79.photobucket.com/albums/j159/bk9360/McBain/photo-1.jpg" border="0" alt="Mcbain and Bob 1"></a>
Chasing Bob
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Old 06-30-2009, 18:01   #546
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I am confident that you have succeeded.
You're too kind
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3.5 weeks ago was his treatment. He was prescribed Interceptor by my vet which evidently is a 1 pill every 30 days treatment.
OK, that good because it rules that out


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Originally Posted by BigKid View Post
I have been very diligent in cleaning up the messes, both for his benefit and my own. I have been using the Natures Miracle Advanced spray to clean up the smell so he can't smell it anymore, which seems to work really well. He doesn't have a favorite spot where he goes. Basically just wherever he is at when he gets the urge.
That's good too, Natures Miracle is great stuff so I know the odor is gone. This also tells me that he's actually having "accidents" and it's not becoming a learned behavior by continually going on one spot.

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The last time he has went in his crate was a week ago. I got him a new crate (I was concerned about air flow in his old crate as it gets hotter in the evenings so i got him a wired crate). I think it was a combinatin of too large of a partition that I gave him coupled with "this isn't my den." He has been really good since.
The main thing about the crate, as I'm sure you've read in this thread, that it's no bigger than he is. He should have just enough room to turn around and nothing should be in there to be able to soak up anything.

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It tends to be somewhere within 30 minutes of his regular trip outside. Kind of like he hits his point that he can't hold it anymore. So I would cut down his intervals to only 1.5 hours thinking he can't hold it 2 hours just yet. And he will pee within 30 minutes of THAT interval. So I increased it back to 2 hours and watch him like a hawk.
This actually reminds me of something that I forgot in my first post. His he urinating more or is it both? If it is more urinating, do you have water available for him at all times?


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I will definitely work on that. How stubborn do I need to be? We kind of have a battle of wills at times. With it involving feeding time, do I stick it out until he calms down regardless of time frame?
Yes, this part may take some time. After the walk, while you're preparing his food, make sure he gives you some space. If your hands are full, use your feet to gently push him away. Once you've got the food into the bowl, hold it up off of the ground at chest height. Again, if he tries to go for it, a curt "NO" and a body/foot block is OK. This is where you have to wait it out. Since he's young, what you should be looking for is the exact moment he relaxes/sits/stands there looking at you/focuses on something besides the food etc... Pretty soon that will become the routine for him. As he gets older you need to start asking for more, like a down & stay until you're ready. But for now, baby steps is where it's at.

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Walks go really well. He has taken to the leash easily. He has started to pull on the leash recently. I am not using a prong colar, just a buckle colar right now. Which I am definitely open to using if you don't think he is too young for it. His focus on me isn't what I would want but I am not sure if its cause of his age or if its cause of lack of training. Once I get his attention while working with him, I have his attention. But I lose it easily with distractions. The buckle colar really doesnt do much in the area of getting him to redirect his attention to me. But I also didn't want to move too quickly into the prong collar/choke collar and him have a bad experience that'll scar him.
Yeah, a flat buckle collar is good for now. You want to wait a few months before you use a training collar.

When he starts to pull, you need to stop walking and wait it out. Again you are looking for the exact moment that he sits etc... then you continue the walk. You may take 20 minuets to make it out of the driveway, but that is 20 minuets well spent when considering you'll have a great friend for the next 15 years!

Remember one thing though, it's less about the tools then it is about the person using them. When working with him, you need to be in the right mindset. That means you have to be, to steal from Cesar Millan, calm and assertive. The moment you start to get frustrated, end the session ASAP and take your focus off of the dog. When you get frustrated everything you do will no effect besides exciting your dog and further frustrating you.

Since he you did get him at that young age, you do have a little bit of an up hill battle here, but if you are able to relax and work though it (it seems that you are) you'll have a great reward waiting for you in a true friend!
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Old 06-30-2009, 18:13   #547
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This actually reminds me of something that I forgot in my first post. His he urinating more or is it both? If it is more urinating, do you have water available for him at all times?
He is urinating more. I do keep water down for him all the time, is this wrong? I've kept food to regular intervals but I have kept a water bowl (which he drinks a lot) down all the time.

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Remember one thing though, it's less about the tools then it is about the person using them. When working with him, you need to be in the right mindset. That means you have to be, to steal from Cesar Millan, calm and assertive. The moment you start to get frustrated, end the session ASAP and take your focus off of the dog. When you get frustrated everything you do will no effect besides exciting your dog and further frustrating you.
This reminds me of a question (they are addicting). How much crate time is too much crate time? I am fortunate to have a job in which I can bring him to work with me (which I do the majority of the time). But when I get home, sometimes I just want down time without having to chase down a puppy (I know it kind of sounds bad when I type it out) especially if he has been with me all day at work. He is too young to play unsupervised in the backyard and too young to play unsupervised in the house which leaves me with 2 options. Crate him or supervise him until bed time. I dont want to overuse the crate. Though I know that its a happy place for him, I dont want him to get to a point in which it ceases to be a happy place becuase he is there all the time.

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Since he you did get him at that young age, you do have a little bit of an up hill battle here, but if you are able to relax and work though it (it seems that you are) you'll have a great reward waiting for you in a true friend!
Thanks for all your help Blinky. I can read all the books I want but to have a live person to talk with and bounce ideas off of is a great asset. I really appreciate it.
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Old 06-30-2009, 19:53   #548
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He is urinating more. I do keep water down for him all the time, is this wrong? I've kept food to regular intervals but I have kept a water bowl (which he drinks a lot) down all the time.
Yeah, let's ease up on the water. Offer it at feeding time and after walks/long play sessions. Dog's don't need access to water 24/7 like most people think. I mean, do you? Remember food and water are resources. If you control the resources, you control the situation and that is what dominance in the animal world means.

Plus less water in = less pee out!


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This reminds me of a question (they are addicting). How much crate time is too much crate time? I am fortunate to have a job in which I can bring him to work with me (which I do the majority of the time). But when I get home, sometimes I just want down time without having to chase down a puppy (I know it kind of sounds bad when I type it out) especially if he has been with me all day at work. He is too young to play unsupervised in the backyard and too young to play unsupervised in the house which leaves me with 2 options. Crate him or supervise him until bed time. I dont want to overuse the crate. Though I know that its a happy place for him, I dont want him to get to a point in which it ceases to be a happy place becuase he is there all the time.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with feeling that way, even parents have baby sitters!

During the day I would try to keep the kennel time to a minimum. If he sleeps in there, that is fine, but since you said he seems to need to go to the bathroom every few hours, let that be your guide.

My suggestion is to get an(some) old baby gate(s) somewhere and gate off a non carpeted/puppy proofed portion of your house. That way he has some room to romp around while you take an hour or so to wind down and relax. You just have to get comfortable with the fact that if he has an accident in there, all you can do is clean it up and forget about it.

But, trust me, once you start putting the pieces together, he's going to be a joy to be around. Stay in there man!!



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Thanks for all your help Blinky. I can read all the books I want but to have a live person to talk with and bounce ideas off of is a great asset. I really appreciate it.
Not a problem, this is something that I really care about and enjoy doing.
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Old 07-01-2009, 12:52   #549
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Thanks Blinky. He really is a joy to be around now, 90% of the time. He gets into his moods just like I do which makes people around me laugh. He has a great personality and is very expressive. It's just taking time to figure out how to communicate with him what I expect of him. I know I am making mistakes but with yours and Mike's help, I know I'm making a lot fewer of them. Its amazing how much goes into having a companion as opposed to just a dog. A lot of people look at me cross eyed when I tell them all that I work do in working with my pup and whats involved. I have to tell them that I didnt get him to have as a backyard ornament. I got him to be my best friend.
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Old 07-01-2009, 18:45   #550
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He gets into his moods just like I do which makes people around me laugh.
That is so awesome that you recognize that. One of the biggest things that people miss when it comes to interacting with their animals is just how much they have an affect on their mood/personality/behavior.

If someones dog is acting out, people are too quick to wash their hands of the situation and wonder what is wrong with their dog. It becomes a issue of pride and they cannot admit they, ultimately, are the root of the issues.

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It's just taking time to figure out how to communicate with him what I expect of him. I know I am making mistakes but with yours and Mike's help, I know I'm making a lot fewer of them. Its amazing how much goes into having a companion as opposed to just a dog.
And it will take time. If you really think about it, you are learning a second language, it just happens to be more of an unspoken one.

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A lot of people look at me cross eyed when I tell them all that I work do in working with my pup and whats involved. I have to tell them that I didnt get him to have as a backyard ornament. I got him to be my best friend.
Yes, but in time, people are going to rave about how awesome of a dog you have. It is a lot of work now, but in the grand scheme of things, it is a small price to pay for a life time of companionship. Learning how to communicate in way that he'll understand is going to bring about amazing things and you'll have an amazing friend always by your side.
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Old 07-02-2009, 12:15   #551
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Thanks Blinky.

Few small questions, why do a lot of trainers prefer a 6' leash instead of a 4' or 10' even?

Also, my pup has a minor case of constipation. The first few times he tries to go in the morning, its a struggle. Whats a good treatment for that? Its not really serious enough to go to the vet I think. He is still going, just seems to be more of a struggle then it should be.

Oh, and I signed him up for puppy obedience class at PetCo. I thought it would be good for his socialization. Yay/Nay? I dont start him until I am ready to start him. I can get my refund at any point before I start him in the class. Its 4 nights a week for 6 consecutive weeks. I can come to as many or as few as I want. Each session is 45 minutes and the lady really seems to know her stuff (course compared to me, a lot of people seem like experts). She has a lot of GSD experience (use to breed and train Shutzhund in Germany. Moved to the states about 10 years ago and has focused on training as she is in "semi-retirement").
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Old 07-02-2009, 14:54   #552
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Thanks Blinky.

Few small questions, why do a lot of trainers prefer a 6' leash instead of a 4' or 10' even?
Well, the object is to have the dog walking next to you or slightly behind you while there is no tension on the leash.

With a four foot leash, you run out of room too fast and the dog doesn't have as much leeway to walk with you. With the 10 foot, it becomes harder to be able to give fast and accurate corrections. 6 foot leashes do offer the best of both worlds. The dog has some space, but you're not dealing with so much leash that you can't correct if necessary.

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Also, my pup has a minor case of constipation. The first few times he tries to go in the morning, its a struggle. Whats a good treatment for that? Its not really serious enough to go to the vet I think. He is still going, just seems to be more of a struggle then it should be.
Well, you could try a trick like mixing a little bit of canned pumpkin (not pie filling) into the food or moistening it with some milk. Those are both natural laxatives. He's drinking water with no problems right?

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Oh, and I signed him up for puppy obedience class at PetCo. I thought it would be good for his socialization. Yay/Nay? I dont start him until I am ready to start him. I can get my refund at any point before I start him in the class. Its 4 nights a week for 6 consecutive weeks. I can come to as many or as few as I want. Each session is 45 minutes and the lady really seems to know her stuff (course compared to me, a lot of people seem like experts). She has a lot of GSD experience (use to breed and train Shutzhund in Germany. Moved to the states about 10 years ago and has focused on training as she is in "semi-retirement").
I say go for it. But I always give people a warning when they are doing group training like that because I've seen a lot of in store trainers that have made me cringe. Given the fact that they are training for a corporation most of their methods very generic and very hands off. I've talked to a few that have called training collars "inhumane". Also, be very mindful of the use of treats. I see a lot of trainers use treats WAAAAY too much and it becomes a too big of a crutch.

Since you said she has a background in Schutzhund, then I wouldn't be too worried about her though. Schutzhund trainers don't mess around.
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Old 07-02-2009, 15:03   #553
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Well, the object is to have the dog walking next to you or slightly behind you while there is no tension on the leash.

With a four foot leash, you run out of room too fast and the dog doesn't have as much leeway to walk with you. With the 10 foot, it becomes harder to be able to give fast and accurate corrections. 6 foot leashes do offer the best of both worlds. The dog has some space, but you're not dealing with so much leash that you can't correct if necessary.
Makes sense.


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Well, you could try a trick like mixing a little bit of canned pumpkin (not pie filling) into the food or moistening it with some milk. Those are both natural laxatives. He's drinking water with no problems right?
yeah, i've cut him back though like we talked about. But the constipation started before i cut him back. He still loves his water though. Drinks it like there is no tomorrow. Could this be a sign of something a little more serious? Somethign dehydrating him?

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I say go for it. But I always give people a warning when they are doing group training like that because I've seen a lot of in store trainers that have made me cringe. Given the fact that they are training for a corporation most of their methods very generic and very hands off. I've talked to a few that have called training collars "inhumane". Also, be very mindful of the use of treats. I see a lot of trainers use treats WAAAAY too much and it becomes a too big of a crutch.

Since you said she has a background in Schutzhund, then I wouldn't be too worried about her though. Schutzhund trainers don't mess around.
She has already endorsed the use of training collars and she has said a couple of things that made me wonder if you and her were cut from the same mold. I'll let you know how it goes. I think we will start next tuesday time permitting.
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Old 07-02-2009, 16:44   #554
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yeah, i've cut him back though like we talked about. But the constipation started before i cut him back. He still loves his water though. Drinks it like there is no tomorrow. Could this be a sign of something a little more serious? Somethign dehydrating him?
Well, it's probably not a dehydration issue if you noticed it before. I would give your vet a call just to be on the safe side. If they think there could be an issue, they may want to get an x-ray to make sure that everything is OK in the digestive tract.


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She has already endorsed the use of training collars and she has said a couple of things that made me wonder if you and her were cut from the same mold. I'll let you know how it goes. I think we will start next tuesday time permitting.
Awesome! This is why I like Petco and not PetsMart. You'll NEVER hear that come from a PetsMart "trainer".

I think this will be a very positive experience for both of you! I'm looking forward to hearing how it goes.
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Old 07-06-2009, 12:48   #555
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Hey Blinky,

I wanted to give some updates on prior questions. The housestraining is finally making sense to him. He isn't 100% but I can tell he is trying. He isn't just squatting wherever he is. He tells me he needs to go now, so thats definitely a bonus. Thanks for your help.

Saturday (4th of July) I had him with me at a friends house for celebrations. He handled fireworks like they weren't even there. He got a little uneasy about the very first set of "poppers" that went off but after that he didn't pay them any mind. Once I saw he was really ok around them I used the opportunity to work sit/stay and down/stay with him. He was reluctant at first because of all the people around but he was doing really well towards the end of the evening. People were really impressed with how calm and collected he was during the whole evening. My friends dogs were going crazy, scared out of their minds, and a little terrier that came to the party had to be sedated because he was panicking. But my pup was solid as a rock. I was proud. If I can train him to retreive birds I may have a new hunting partner.

His walks are not going so hot. He gets so distracted that I am spending a lot of time saying "No" and correcting him. Any advice? He wants to greet everyone that comes within 50 feet, he wants to sniff every flower, lick every spot on the ground, drink from every puddle of water. So I am constantly having to tug on the leash and say "no". But the buckle collar just moves him, it doesn't really get him to pay attention to me.

I start puppy obedience tomorrow evening, I'll keep you posted.

Thanks for all your help Blinky.
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Old 07-06-2009, 16:02   #556
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Why are you taking him for the walk? If it is exercise for you then keep the leash shorter so he has less time to find the smells. If the exercise is for him, then also give him a chance to categorize the smells in the area.

My Missy gets better with each walk as she learns what the smells are for an area. If there are some new scents she wants to check them out. If nothing has really changed she gets a quick sniff going by and keeps right on walking. If there is a rabbit in the area she will smell it and look directly where it is hiding. I will many times already see the rabbit so I just hold on tight in case it goes running away BEFORE I can tell her to leave it. Most times when I say LEAVE IT, she will ignore it while giving me an Awe Come ON!! You are no fun look.

It all takes time and consistent commands, but it will get better. Age wise your puppy is about kindergarten age, he will be easily distracted by all the smells, sights and sounds as he learns his area.
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Old 07-06-2009, 17:09   #557
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Originally Posted by BigKid View Post
Hey Blinky,

I wanted to give some updates on prior questions. The housestraining is finally making sense to him. He isn't 100% but I can tell he is trying. He isn't just squatting wherever he is. He tells me he needs to go now, so thats definitely a bonus. Thanks for your help.
Good deal. All it takes you you being calm and consistent and he'll do anything you need!

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Saturday (4th of July) I had him with me at a friends house for celebrations. He handled fireworks like they weren't even there. He got a little uneasy about the very first set of "poppers" that went off but after that he didn't pay them any mind. Once I saw he was really ok around them I used the opportunity to work sit/stay and down/stay with him. He was reluctant at first because of all the people around but he was doing really well towards the end of the evening. People were really impressed with how calm and collected he was during the whole evening. My friends dogs were going crazy, scared out of their minds, and a little terrier that came to the party had to be sedated because he was panicking. But my pup was solid as a rock. I was proud. If I can train him to retreive birds I may have a new hunting partner.
OUTSTANDING!!!

Keeping your head about you and taking the opportunity to work on commands with that many distractions is no easy task.

When things like that happen, I like to study the owners more than the dogs. Think back, how many of them were down trying to pet their dogs or telling them it will be OK, in essence rewarding their dogs for their behavior? Or on the other hand, how many of them over reacted and panicked themselves? Think about how their dogs fed off of their "weak" behavior.

You, on the other hand, took charge of the situation and didn't give the dog any reason to feel nervous. You won major points in his book for that. That is true leadership!!

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His walks are not going so hot. He gets so distracted that I am spending a lot of time saying "No" and correcting him. Any advice? He wants to greet everyone that comes within 50 feet, he wants to sniff every flower, lick every spot on the ground, drink from every puddle of water. So I am constantly having to tug on the leash and say "no". But the buckle collar just moves him, it doesn't really get him to pay attention to me.

I start puppy obedience tomorrow evening, I'll keep you posted.

Thanks for all your help Blinky.
Well at this age you're not going to get very long walks out of him, But When he starts to get distracted, you just need to stop and wait it out.

He wants to greet everyone because he gotten positive reinforcement from doing that in the past. It also places him in a dominate position because he controls the interaction. This can be worked on at home to start. Your new house rules for ANYONE that comes over, is "No petting, no talking and no eye contact." Basically, no acknowledgment at all until he calms down. On the walks, go a head and tell people that he's in training and you would appreciate if they ignored him. Most will understand and some will be offended, but who cares? You have to live with your dog, not them.

During the walk, you need to pay attention to what you are doing. You need to remain relaxed, with your shoulders back and your head up. You need to be confident and be the leader. If he wants to stop and sniff, you keep waking. If he wants to run ahead, you stop and wait. Don't get too concerned with leash corrections and even verbal commands. He's still small and there is a slight risk of neck injury. Plus, by stopping and waiting if he starts to run off, he's going to give himself a leash correction.

Another option for correcting him is to use a foot tap. This does require some balance though. Basically, what you're doing is taking the heel of your outside foot behind your inside leg and tapping him in the side. THIS IS NOT A KICK. Just a tap in the side to redirect his attention to you.

Also remember that you must lead 100%. So that means you go out/in doors first etc..

I anticipate that the trainer in the puppy classes will address walking. Obviously, if she doesn't, take some time to talk about your specific issues with her. Since she seems to be a good trainer so far then I'll defer to her on that since she can work with him and you in person.

So far you seem to be head and shoulders above the average dog owner. Keep it up and good luck!!
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Old 07-07-2009, 21:58   #558
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Well we had our first puppy obedience class at petco. We started the class off with a walk around the perimeter of the property as a group in a line. The trainer told me to just hang back and watch and not expect much since this is his first session. Upon observing I noticed he is on par or more advanced then over half the class despite being the youngest by 3 weeks and it being his first session. We then lined up facing the trainer and took turns walking up the line and back down the line. After that, we "went shopping" were we toured the store to teach the pups how to be among strangers (other shoppers) and how to behave in a store (not swiping treats off the shelf).

On the first walk, McBain did ok. He was really pulling trying to catch the dog in front of us. He was a bit reluctant to sit on command because he wasn't paying attention to me. He was too busy watching other dogs.

On the walk up and down the line, he did really good. Watched me the entire time and only broke concentration when another dog lurched at him.

Shopping went well also. This wasn't the first time he had been in a store setting or a public setting. He handled it as I was expecting. Loose leash for the majority of the shopping exercise.

All in all he did really good, especially compared to the other classmates. So much so that I'm wondering if this is worth our time.

The trainer did give us homework. She wants us to work off the leash on walks now. Her theory was that if we do it now and they don't follow, we can chase them down. If we wait till their older, they will not be able to be caught. She said this exersize promotes leadership by me and also allows him to investigate the world within my parameters and then to come when called. I found that to be interesting.

I did not have an opportunity to talk with her about our walking and focus because after class she had a higher priority issue to address with another family and their dog. Hopefully tomorrow night.

That was basically it. Class lasted about an hour. I think the socialization will be good but i don't think her standards of good dog behavior are as high as mine. I figure I will give it a few more sessions before I make any decisions.
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Old 07-08-2009, 09:31   #559
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McBain? sweet..

Honestly, I was kind of expecting your reaction to the class, as far was wondering if it's worth your time. In my opinion, I say stick with it. You actually have an advantage over the other dog owners here. Since you've taken the time to work with him and figure out methods that work for you and him, you're not bound by her methods alone. You can pick and choose what works and what doesn't for you two.

Here is a secret for you, any trainer that says that their method/philosophy is the absolute, 100% best, is full of it. Now, I'm very passionate about what I think, but I do know that there are other ways of dealing with issues. My philosophy has also grown and changed based on the different dogs and different owners that I have worked with. With that in mind, again, I say keep going, because you may learn some things that will really work for you that I don't nessessarly do or teach.

About defining a "good dog". Again, I was thinking you might say that. You have to remember here that she is working with lots of different owners and has to take that into account. Her focus is to try and help the owners get to the point where they can live with their puppies. Obviously you have gone past that stage, but there is always more to learn.

Now on to what I think, personally I don't understand the obsession with off leash walks, especially so early in the relationship. I don't worry about off leash walking until there is there is a very strong leader/follower relationship developed. Even at that age, the puppies are still going to be faster then their owners. There is also the greater risk of the puppy running off and getting hurt or even getting hit by a car. In my opinion off leash walking and loose leash walking are more advanced behaviors.

That said, I still support the idea of you continuing the classes. Many trainers will train loose/off leash walking at this stage, so it's not unheard of. Unless it's creating any financial hardship for you, that is.
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Old 07-08-2009, 09:45   #560
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McBain? sweet..
Yeah, his papered name is McBain Ranier Luftwaffe Wolfcastle. We call him McBain for simplicity. Only a few people have picked up on my reference. Even fewer have picked up on my inaccuracy. "He isn't an Austrian Shepherd"

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Honestly, I was kind of expecting your reaction to the class, as far was wondering if it's worth your time. In my opinion, I say stick with it. You actually have an advantage over the other dog owners here. Since you've taken the time to work with him and figure out methods that work for you and him, you're not bound by her methods alone. You can pick and choose what works and what doesn't for you two.
Thanks, I appreciate that feed back.

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Here is a secret for you, any trainer that says that their method/philosophy is the absolute, 100% best, is full of it. Now, I'm very passionate about what I think, but I do know that there are other ways of dealing with issues. My philosophy has also grown and changed based on the different dogs and different owners that I have worked with. With that in mind, again, I say keep going, because you may learn some things that will really work for you that I don't nessessarly do or teach.
That seems to apply in most professions I have noticed.

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About defining a "good dog". Again, I was thinking you might say that. You have to remember here that she is working with lots of different owners and has to take that into account. Her focus is to try and help the owners get to the point where they can live with their puppies. Obviously you have gone past that stage, but there is always more to learn.
That makes sense. Sort of like public school vs. private tutors I guess. When I talk with her one on one she definitely gives good tips. But in the class it was very watered down. Which, like you were saying, is probably to cater to the average dog owner attending.

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Now on to what I think, personally I don't understand the obsession with off leash walks, especially so early in the relationship. I don't worry about off leash walking until there is there is a very strong leader/follower relationship developed. Even at that age, the puppies are still going to be faster then their owners. There is also the greater risk of the puppy running off and getting hurt or even getting hit by a car. In my opinion off leash walking and loose leash walking are more advanced behaviors.
That was my thought as well. If McBain wants to be chased I already can't catch him. Perhaps if he was a toy poodle or something. I must say that I agree with yours and Mike's approach.

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That said, I still support the idea of you continuing the classes. Many trainers will train loose/off leash walking at this stage, so it's not unheard of. Unless it's creating any financial hardship for you, that is.
I was considering asking the trainer if I could just roll over my fee to the Basic Obedience Class. But I think I'll stick it out and call it good socialization. It'll also give me an opportunity to pick her brain one on one without having to catch her in the store. When I go for class I am not inclined to buy things, when I go to talk with her in the store I walk out with $100 worth of doggy stuff that I didn't need.

Thanks Blinky.
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