Saturday, July 28, 2012

Quick update

Alright, haven't really been online much for anything other then facebook or my course. Not a whole lot has happened in the last few months.
One of the most exciting things was that my mum, myself and Sparky all drove 2 hours to my brothers for a few days, to look after his house and 3 dogs (who Sparky and I will be moving in with next year). Sparky used to HATE driving and was carsick. But with some training, and that much time in the car, he's not to bad now. It was a long trip but we made it (thank doG we had paper bowls in the car to catch his lovely spew...)
Anyway, aside from a few little spats, he ended up getting on fine with the 3 dogs. I made sure to keep him separated a lot and give him alone time, and every day I would take him for short walks with each dog. Hes only issue now is learning how to play properly haha.
Sparky, Tinkabelle and Alonso (Missing: Georgia). This is what my brothers dogs do when you leave the house, they all line up at the window and watch your car drive away. On this particular day, Sparky decided he would join in with them.

Sparky is currently on Science Diet. Don't. Even. Ask. Anyway it's a small bag, and I'll be trying him on Earthborn next week. Deedee is on Holistic Select. She hates it, and Sparky gets itchy from eating it. Ahem, note to self, never but 13kg bags of food that you haven't even tried before.
Now that I have a job though I have told mum I'll be paying for Sparkys food etc. So now I get to choose what he eats, instead of having to argue with her.

Not much training has gotten done. My neice stole my clicker and I have no idea what happened to it, but I ordered another today (and will soon be ordering more...). I got Sparky a front attaching harness, just for incase he pulls towards other dogs. But then I just read on a forum I like to go to (though haven't for a while) that it can be quite damaging on dogs shoulders. As well as that, it just doesn't mesh with me, I don't like it. So I'll probably just either sell it or keep it in case it comes in handy some day.

Both dogs got crates and Deedee doesn't seem to mind hers, Sparky loves his.
He has been so much better with dogs on walks. He may not be a social butterfly, and he still reacts from time to time, but he has gotten a lot better and will usually just ignore the other dog.

Also, they both got cute little matching jumpers because it's winter here :)

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Moving, not reacting to dogs, being awesome

Wow it's been ages since I've posted. Not much has happened though.
FINALLY got a treat bag, now that I don't need it quite so much for Sparky, though i still like doing tricks and stuff outside. He has been great with dogs. Instead of clicking for looking at dogs, I have now just been getting his attention on me and clicking for that, and clicking when he is calm. He hasn't reacted for days now, and today I took dad with me, and actually went a lot closer then usual to all the dogs and he did fantastic! I'm so proud of him. We still have a long road ahead of us, but it's good to see such a big improvement.

Also in about 12-18 months we should be moving in with my brother, his gf and their 3 dogs. My parents will be keeping Deedee and travelling, which I think Deedee would much prefer. I am looking forward to it, but I need to get my brother and his gf to stay at ours with their dogs for a few nights every few months, to give me time to walk them together, train them around each other, and let Sparky warm up to him, as he only properly knows and likes one of the dogs so far, the one we looked after for a week. Once that is sorted out I think he will like it in the city (I know I will). And theres actual postive trainers there, agility, beaches and ohh I can't wait!!

Both dogs are now mostly inside dogs (started as outdoor, then inside-outside dogs, then only really slept inside and came in sometimes during the day, now they basically go out for toilets, and maybe for 2 hours total each day). The improvement in both of their behaviour is great and very obvious.

So we're a happy bunch at the moment :)

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

I hate off leash dogs!! (And a big wall of text)

Ugh. Ok so Sparky had been doing good with walking past other dogs. Yesterday though, while I was to busy looking behind me and Sparky at the three dogs that were walking not to far behind (sparky was doing great with them btw), I failed to look before turning a corner, and BAM there was the dog that Sparky has for some reason, never liked. So he had his first big reaction in months. But hey, whatever, that was my fault right (ahem, if you had asked me just minutes after this reaction, I would of told you I'm giving up and will never be able to train him, and would go on like it's the end of the world. But hey, tomorrows a different day)
So today, we kept a bit further away from dogs then usual. He was doing well. Then we turned onto another street, and at the end of the road, was some bogan family enjoying themselves with their two off leash yappers. They started to run up to us, so I told Sparky "lets go" and turned and started walking, and then encouraged him away with more treats. He had only started learning 'lets go' this morning, and did very well with the cue, considering there were two dogs running at us. The dogs stopped half ways up the street, and I thought we were going to get away safely. Haha, as if. So after they tried calling their dogs back 50 million times (untrained dogs, off leash. duuuuhhhh datz a gud ideaz hai!), they sent their 10 year old kid running for them.  This then made the dogs run away from the kid, and into my dogs face. Sparky ended up biting one of them. I honestly don't even care, maybe it'll teach them to restrain their untrained dogs. I think I will avoid that street for a while though. After biting the dog, Sparky started barking his head off, until I was able to grab his collar which calmed him down. I sort of held it and stood between him and the other dogs for a few seconds, then started pulling him away gently by the collar. I think my hand touching him and guiding him away, while I was right between him and the other dogs help calm him down. But as we walked off in the opposite direction, I saw a bunch of people retreating back to their homes, acting like they hadn't been watching us. Kind of embarrassing, plus I'm sick of the stupid owners on that street. I'm also a bit miffed that none of the large group of adults got up their behinds to come and help the kid. He was like 10, had to catch 2 dogs that did not want to be caught, and he was very close to my dog, who had just bit. Sure, Sparky wasn't going to bite the kid, but they didn't know that. Also I would have picked him up when the dogs started running, but in the past that has made him react even more.

So since we had such a bad reaction, and walking home past the rest of the dogs was a bit of a struggle, I've decided to take a 2 day break from walking with him. I will play lots with him (and tug helps relieve stress with him), take him out behind my property and down the street at night, both to get out of the house and to work on leash training, and will spend lots of time leash training inside and outside.

Obviously I've been doing the third one in that vid, but not the other two. Considering the lets go cue came in handy today, I'd like to work on it more so we might have a better chance of getting away from off leash dogs in the future. I'd also like to work on the exercise where he learns to come back to me when the leash is tense. I will be working hard these next two days and nights on this. Night time is a great time to practice outside, because there are no dogs around, but enough critters to be distracting, and to make him tense on the leash every so often. I'll also be practicing our heel. 
Hopefully after two days or relieving his stress and working hard on leash training (which will be continued after the two days) we can get back into sorting out his dog issue, with out being to set back.

These are the liver treats I made. They are for Sparky, and only to be given in the presence of dogs. They were made by boiling chunks of liver for about 20 minutes, then drained, then put in the oven at 120-150 degrees celsius (250-300 Fahrenheit), and then I cut into small pieces. They a great, they can be eaten fast, as easy to hold onto, and don't crumble, which is good for me as they have to be in my pocket, since I still haven't gotten my treat bag *sigh* maybe next month?

Though his training hasn't been all that bad. I have been working on his handling, and it's been good. After christmas all my siblings were down with their brat packs. Despite me waning him, one of my nephews who likes Sparky but is oblivious to the fact that Sparky can and will bite him, grabbed Sparky on the side, just above his back legs (his most sensitive spot that used to make him growl if you grabbed him there) and pulled Sparky back towards him. I grabbed my nephew straight away and told him he couldn't do that, and he listened, but the thing is, Sparky actually didn't mind. He just looked at my nephew like "Yes? What do you want now silly hooman? Have you got more food!? Oh? No? Ehh..." and walked off.

Also he vomits when riding in the car, so the last few nights while it's cool, I have been getting him in both front seats of the car and feeding treats, clicker training, and hopping out of the car regularly for breaks. Session one of training, and I had to start clicking and feeding outside the car, and then when I put him in, he was only in for a few seconds to get some treats and then I got him out. Session 2 and he would sit in the car, do some tricks, move around a bit. We got out for a break and he wanted to get straight back in. Session 3 he actually tried to jump into the passenger seat, and he then sat there, no nervousness, moved from the passenger side to the drivers side, and we even shut the car door a few times with the window down and I sat with him on my lap, and he was happy as can be. I plan to do several more sessions in the care while it's not moving or turned on, then start over but with the car turned on, and then I will get my dad to help by moving it just a little bit for a few sessions. After all that's done, Dad can take us for drives around the block where Sparky will be fed heaps of treats. Then when he is ok with that, we will drive to Sparkys fav. trail and our block of land that's sitting there waiting to sell, so Sparky can learn that car rides = going some where fun. When he is comfortable with short drives, we will start driving a little further and hoping out at fun places for Sparky, gradually getting further and further as Sparky is comfortable.

Now onto Deedee. She's been great as usual. She's gotten to like water more this summer. On hot days she likes being put into her wading pool and 'fishing' for cat food. She also was lying down in a shallow creek when I walked her to a trail the other day lol.
Training with her is going relatively ok. She is hard to train because she gets really excited about the clicker, but I don't want to make her calm  because it's so cute to see her jumping around and dancing in between tricks lol. She is currently learning to weave through my legs, and jump through my arms. She has gotten into the habit of spinning in a full circle after both the weave and the jump, before receiving her reward lol. 

Friday, December 23, 2011

Oscar's law

This isn't really about my dogs in particular, but I would love it if you would watch this video:
  Oscar's law
It's just some of what happens in puppy mills, though they hardly show any of the horrible things that happen in these hell holes. I am sure most reading this already know, but puppy mills and back yard breeders are horrible places to buy puppies, parents are over bred, puppies are riddled with health problems. I have actually been to my friends, whose family are one of the better back yard breeders. Dogs are still over bred, kept in pens for most of the day and probably wouldn't be walked if it weren't for the kids, one border collie had a litter of puppies, in a garden shed, on dirt, with just a little bed. These are breeders that show their dogs to btw.
Anyway, share the video, spread the word, maybe it will click with somebody and help abolish the puppy mill trade.

Merry christmas! :)

Monday, December 12, 2011

Weight loss, training, and a headache inducing day after christmas

Still haven't gotten that pouch. Though Sparky hasn't been around many dogs lately. He reacted very badly the yesterday because a dog got to close off leash and there was also two barking dogs on either side of us behind fences, and then with all the barking and reacting, the who street ended up being a loud mass of barking. So fun / sarcasm. TODAY, however, he did quite well if I do say so myself.

Deedee needs more training. She isn't responding to my nonsense words anymore, except the cues I have actually trained lol. But seriously, a month ago she was perfect, with no training. She is also 4 kilograms now! Whether you can figure out what that is in pounds etc. or not, basically she is in a healthy weight range. She still could shed a little more, but there is nothing to worry about. 3 years ago she got diagnosed with obesity. Been a long road to thinning her down, especially with the family insisting on feeding her a whole human biscuit loaded with sugar and other stuff she shouldn't have much of, every single day. Took forever to stop my pop feeding her them, stopped just before my grandparents moved out. They are coming back for a few weeks though, so gotta whip up a few batches of peanut butter cookies for the dog, so at least he can feed them something a little more healthier.
Sparky on the other hand, is getting a little more chubby. Still in the healthy weight range, but just saying.... My fault though, neither of my dogs have been getting the exercise they deserve lately due to end of year school stuff, bad weather, and me getting sick. Now though, I have got my walking mojo back and they are being walked daily :)

Teaching Sparky to jump and turn around in the air. Starting to teach him to jump on my back, but I need to get on hands and knees to do it, and need to watch my back posture. I thought he was just jumping off when trying to train it, even if i tried keeping him there with a treat. Then made a video of it, and learned I was all hunched up, my back was like a slippery hill for Sparky, and he was actually falling, not jumping.... eeerrrr woooops.....

Christmas isn't looking promising for the two of them, ended up wasting my money on christmas presents for humans. (how? no clue. no clue at all). So I will make them christmas cookies, and seeing as my pants ripped, I might cut them up into strips and then tie them together, and make a few tug toys for Sparky. Also the day after christmas, all my siblings are coming up with their families. Would be great, but no doubt one of my brothers will bring his 3 dogs (Sparky likes ONE of them, and she doesn't really like him. He tolerates the second, dislikes the third who is terrified of him). Then the other brother might bring his adorable rotti pup. Sparky hates big dogs generally. Although the pup is at that age where a little dog can go off at her, and she doesn't fight back. If she comes up, and is still in that stage, I might consider introducing her and Sparky. She's the type best suited to him, doesn't react when a dog gets snappy, and just wants to play play play, and play rough. Of course there is still the other dogs to worry about. And then my other brother might bring his gf's little dog. Probably won't, it will likely be with the gf's parents, but either way I don't think Sparky would get on with it. Deedee would love it though.
Anyway, dogs, loud kids, lots of people? Not Sparkys thing. Going to have to set my room up with a nice bed, and freeze lots of kongs for him to keep him occupied all day. Might try some training ie. walking him with the dogs, but it is a bit hard to be spending all your time training and introducing the dogs, while you're also being begged to come play by a bunch of your neices and nephews who you don't often get to see. But maybe, just maybe we can get my dog a friend out of this day, which so far sounds like a nightmare to me, because Sparky wouldn't like it very much.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Got ham?

Alright so the last few days, dogs have been out, A LOT. Maybe it's because it is warming up in australia, more people are outside, which means more careless people forgetting to close their gates. Dogs who can get out of their yard no longer need to stay home for warmth, it's nice outside so they will just go for a wander.
Anyway, I am now taking Deedee for a walk first, so we can spot any off leash dogs to make it easier with Sparky. The other day another fox terrier came up to us, I let Deedee off the leash so they could 'play'. Deedee seemed to like it, but because she has no idea how to play and gets nervous about play fighting, they didn't mesh real well. Though there were no fights, and they were both wagging their tails most of the time. The dog was near impossible to catch, tried leading it past it's house, but it wouldn't go there. Then I managed to catch it and take it back to it's home. (yes I knew where it lived). Usually I wouldn't bother catching other peoples dogs for them, but from what I have seen from this dog in the past, it is likely to run across a busy road, or get kicked by cattle, so I decided to be nice. She then met and sniffed two other dogs that were off leash. She is a lot friendlier lately to other dogs. She must be realizing that they aren't all as annoying as Sparky.

And I now HAVE to get a treat pouch around my waist. Because I don't want meat in my pockets, and I can't carry enough meat around in my hand for the walk. Because today we took ham, and Sparky loved it. He did really well today as well. A small white fluffy dog started running out at us, but stopped before it hit the road, and we were in the middle of the road. Usually that would be to much and he would growl and start lunging, this time he didn't quite lunge, but tried going foward, and was letting out excited little whimpers. Managed to get him on the other side of the road with the ham, and did some more counter condition. Then when we were almost home, he could smell where two dogs had walked just minutes ago, and I had to stop a lot because he kept pulling, as he was running along the scent. Then if that wasn't exciting enough (we was even whimpering over the smell), we saw a white dog tied out the front of the house that is there whenever it's owners are out. Usually, that would send him over and he would go nuts. Especially since, I had ran out of treats (was in a hurry when we left). He let out a few whimper/growls, pulled a bit, and since I was treatless, I had to sit him down, make him look at me (we were pretty far away from the dog, and his was sitting facing the dog so he shouldn't have felt to anxious about sitting) and give him some calming signals. Lots of praise, and then I just let him continue following the scent he loved oh so much. I was so proud of him.

His skating is getting much better, I will have to post a video of it soon. Deedee has been enjoying a whole lot of off leash walks lately, and today she even went for a quick swim.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Ok so not much has been happening in the world of Deedee and Sparky. I have been sick and the weather hasn't been great to take them out. Deedee had constipation, I am guessing from the lack of exercise she received (since it was raining, and walking is her only real exercise....). But don't worry, I was right there doing a happy dance with her when she let it all out. She hasn't learned much other then how to really perfect the puppy eye look.

Sparky has been relatively ok with other dogs, haven't gotten much chance to get out though. Have started using a harness with Sparky as I worry about his throat. He has a loose leash and we don't often get into situations where he lunges, but sometimes an unexpected dog does appear out of no where and run up to us, causing him to lunge and that can't be good for his throat. He liked wearing it around home, but didn't really like it out on a walk the first time I tried. He now will walk fine with it on. Also did some training around the chickens today. He is ok around them, but occasionally chases. He always stops when told, but it is better that he doesn't chase them at all. So just used the cues, sit, lie down and relax (Lying on his side) and treating him around them.

And here is a little video