Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Dolce does agility!

I made a separate training website that also has a blog.  Visit my posts here.

Today, Dolce and I did our first little mini course!  I made it up in my living room/kitchen area, and we did a loop around my kitchen island.  He had 2 jumps, and a pause table.  We did lead-outs, front-crosses, and "follow the finger" instead of "follow me."  I must say, he's a natural!  I made a fake tunnel as best I could with a dog bed over open drawers between my kitchen cabinets and island.  He showed no hesitation going through that, so I'm optimistic he won't mind a tunnel when the time comes.  I already know he'll jump up on anything I point to, so I'm not too worried about the A-frame or dogwalk.  That just leaves a teeter.  No idea how to replicate that with at-home materials yet.  We shall see!

True to the NILIF system, kibble was the reward for today's activities/training.  A good old fashioned chase-the-stuffy game afterward didn't hurt. :)  The greys also did some jumping.  JoJo is very enthusiastic!  Kibeth is aloof, but willing once she starts to feel left out.

I need to be better about their teeth-brushing.  I'm only getting to it a few times a week.  I swear.  Every. Day. From. Now.  On!

Dolce and I also had a wonderful bike ride this morning.  Tremendous fun, and I think the little guy might actually be tired after all this work!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

My Training Website

I've decided to keep track of Dolce, Kibeth, and JoJo's training on its own website.  That site is Pawsitive Training Tails.  We'd love comments on the blog. :)

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Kibeth & JoJo Excited to Train!

Tonight, as usual, I trained Dolce some drills on his basics: sit, front, down, paw, rollover, touch, shake, stand, sit up... All while the grey girls were eating their dinner on the patio, as usual.

When the girls finished and came in, guess who wanted to train with Dolce? Kibeth! Shortly thereafter, JoJo was pretty eager to show off her tricks, too! So all three dogs had fun training tonight. It was really great. Makes me so happy when the girls want to go to work.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Dolce has frustration reactivity!

Thanks to The Spotted Tongue blog, I am able to classify Dolce's reactivity as frustrated.

"1. Fear. Dogs that lack socialization often react to every little noise, every little thing they see. That tall guy in the hat? They've never seen something like that before, they get scared, and so lash out. Barking and lunging will make the scary thing go away! That dog who is easily twice their size? They've never met a dog that big, they get scared, and lash out at that. To the laymen it looks like aggression and while it's a form of aggression, the root cause of it is fear.

2. Frustration. Some dogs have little frustration tolerance and so when they see something they want to get to but can't (because they're on leash or behind a fence), they lash out in frustration. I liken it to a toddler throwing a temper tantrum. They lose all control of themselves and bark and lunge. It looks nearly the same as the fear response, but isn't.

The body language for the two is different, especially in the ear set (back for fear, forward for frustration) and tail set (down much further for a fearful dog)."

We made good progress again today with several close encounters on our hike, but were surprised by an Aussie shepherd from close behind and had an episode at the end. However, Dolce needed far fewer treats today, and has started working for a mix of treats and kibble. I am an avid fan of NILIF and it's very appealing to have Dolce happily work for nothing more than his breakfast. :)

Our proudest discovery of the day was when Dolce played, "Look, a dog!" with an oncoming dog without me standing between him an the other dog. We passed with nothing more than a split rail fence and some short shrubs between us and no great shakes multiple times. I'm a proud Mama. :)

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Tooth Brushing

Ever since watching Never Say Never Greyhounds' video about successfully brushing her needle nose hounds' teeth and avoiding denials, I've been breathing a sigh of relief. Although I believe a raw diet is far more nutritious than a commercial diet, I am squeamish. I do not enjoy handling raw meat. I do not enjoy packaging every week. I do not enjoy worrying about poisoning, disinfecting. I'm lazy, I suppose. I have done it for a few years for the good of my dogs, because I love them. Primarily, though, it has been dental hygiene inspired. With the glorious news that is not the only way, I'm just fine with finding a high quality can and kibble diet for my dogs. Dolce lives on training treats anyway, LOL.

JoJo still has to have a hybrid diet as her kidneys do not tolerate the higher levels of phosphorus. As JoJo must have raw, Kibeth can, too. However, both of them are having kibble and can in the morning now. It's so much more convenient. I put Dolce's kibble in a Kong Wobbler and he has a blast working the kibble out for breakfast and dinner.

The girls have always been nice and tolerant of having their teeth brushed. I got Petrodex toothpaste, per the aforementioned video, and they are even more agreeable. Dolce was the wildcard. He's a wiggle worm for nail trims, and the beginning stages of toothbrushing proved to be no different. Since watching me do the girls, however, he's learning how to sit nicely, or even lay down for his brushing session. He's eager now, gets very excited, because he loves the taste! If I let him just gnaw on the toothbrush, he'd do so.

I have the girls on Canidae grain-free Pure Elements formula can + kibble, and Dolce on Taste of the Wild, the purple bag... Lamb and something, also grain-free. All is going well so far.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Goals for Dolce & Hybrid Diet

We really can't rush his reactivity rehabilitation. Determination isn't enough. We have to take it at his pace. Unfortunately, it's much slower than I would like.

There is steady improvement, but I've decided to take the pressure off. For now, he's just going to be my hyper, goofy, adorable pup. No goals of agility classes, passing the CGC or PAT. If and when he overcomes his canine reactivity we will reconsider at that time. :-/

I've got the greys on a hybrid diet again. Since watching a video of effective tooth brushing, I feel we can make this work. Dolce is strictly on kibble, though most of his diet comes treats on walks when we encounter strange dogs. ;-P