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tamapup

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  1. Hello all! I just gave Tama (my now 1 year old BC) a bath, and it went very, very badly. Last time he got a bath was about 5/6 months ago -- he's been quite clean and I really didn't see a need for it until now. He's gotten a few baths in the past since I've had him and we never had a problem. It started off alright -- I got a small pitcher and was using it to wet his back and then start shampooing it. He wasn't calm but he wasn't too freaked out, kind of just like "what's going on?". When I started putting water on his chest and legs, however, he went totally berserk. His pupils dilated, he pulled back his lips and started snapping and snarling at me. He let out high-pitched yelps and seemed, well, downright scary. I ended up getting most of the shampoo out with a wet towel, not without struggle. He's never ever had a problem with me petting his chest and legs before, or with bathing... what could have gotten into him? I was actually afraid of him when he was yelping and biting and snarling like that his bites didn't actually break the skin, just left a few light red marks (he seemed more like he wanted to "grab" my arm with his teeth, but it was still quite scary nonetheless). Not a good experience of either of us...
  2. Thank you both! Glad to hear that I'm not alone in this. I'm going to be looking into BAT, and also love the idea of letting sniff around as much as possible. I also did consider getting a head collar but I'm a little scared that he'll hurt himself with it, he pulls so recklessly and I'm scared it would jerk his head... Yes, having him in the city is a huge challenge -- there are triggers EVERY where we go, from skateboarders to strollers to people pulling around carts and moving boxes, etc... for now, our walk routes are not so much planned ahead as they are just an avoidance of every trigger that we come across
  3. Hey everyone! Tama is now just over a year old and I'm doing my best with his training... a friend who has an older dog has suggested the "shaping" method of getting him to walk nicely on a leash. That is, not expecting perfection from him, but rather keeping him close to me and taking him everyone on leash (despite his pulling, which is futile because we still only go where I want us to go), and then rewarding him the INSTANT he loosens the leash, or looks at me, or whatever. We've been doing this and I think he's getting the idea more this way. Previously, we spent about a month only on our block, doing short walks and I wouldn't let him pull at ALL, so we'd get absolutely nowhere. Ended up being frustrating for both of us. He was getting very little time outside and very little exercise this way, too, since we don't have a car (live in a city) and he's too heavy for me to carry. Now, I take him out for an hour every morning and we go to the park. The park is a block away, so as soon as we get there, get gets put on a long leash I exercise him until he's tired and more cooperative on leash. Then we walk and yes, there is pulling, but he gets rewarded every single time he slows or looks at me. Here are our issues now: - he CHOKES himself to get the to park. I have him in a martingale collar because A - I could not find a harness that I felt confident he could not slip out of (I've tried six) and B - I made sure I didn't get a slip leash because I was scared he'd actually suffocate himself in one of those. With a martingale collar, I know that he can't slip out and he can't suffocate himself; however, it's painful to see him choking himself on it as we walk. - he's gotten WAY more reactive. It used to be bicycles and skateboards. In the past two days, he's started barking and lunging at cars, completely losing his mind. Obviously this can't work because we live in a city and we cannot even leave our house without seeing dozens of cars. He will also lunge and try to attack people that he categorizes as "odd" - elderly people, people with canes, people with jingling keys, people who walk strangely. Other items include strollers and rolling bins. What I started doing the moment he started getting reactive was keep him FAR from his triggers to keep him under threshold. I now reward him every time he sees a trigger and doesn't bark and generally just steer clear. If I see a stroller appearing three blocks away from us, we're gone before he can even know it's there. However, he's been getting much, much worse. The funny thing is, also, that his reactivity seems to be selective. He doesn't always reactive the way that he does even to these same triggers. Oftentimes he lets a bike go by and doesn't care too much. Same with cars. Then, out of the blue, he snaps -- and once he snaps at one thing, he will snap at EVERYTHING because he just seems to be in a "snappish" mood. Another concerning thing -- when I place myself between him and the trigger to stop his lunging and barking, and drag him away from it, he bites my arm. He's never actually injured me but he definitely snaps at me. Not sure what to do about this.
  4. Thank you for the tips! I've since removed his toys (a couple days ago) and Tama's currently lying down next to me, just relaxing. Can't believe how quickly he's starting to settle down
  5. Hey everyone, quick question. Ever since Tama was a puppy, we played with him a lot indoors, variations of fetch and tug and hide and seek. Now he's 1 year old and settles wonderfully in his crate, but our issue is that when he's outside of his crate he EXPECTS playtime and attention non-stop. Obviously I can't crate him the whole day, so we're looking for a way to wean him off of this and teach him an off-switch for when he's not in his crate. My question is, should we stop playing with him indoors? It's a bit hard to do this because we're leash training now, so his energy outlet is somewhat limited since we can't even walk to the park yet. When I put all of his toys away and let him out of his crate, he starts barking, chewing, digging... and then gets crated for it, rinse and repeat. Am I going about this the right way?
  6. A little update for you guys -- I think we're doing better. He's started to get it (slooowly)... I should have done this a long time ago, but we have an absolutely zero tolerance policy for pulling now. He still does it whenever he's excited (which is a lot of the time) but since he never gets his way I'm hoping that eventually it'll sink in that it just doesn't work. My only regret right now is that we can't go anywhere together and all of our walks take place on the same block. I'm hoping that in time though, this will pass and the work will pay off. Thanks everyone again for your help on this, I'll keep updating as time goes on!
  7. Thanks guys! Upping treat currency is a great idea - we may upgrade to hot dogs for very special occasions An update - I think we're actually making progress.... he's starting to look at me more and more outside. I've begun using a clicker and take it with me every single time we go out, and click and treat every single time he looks at me. We're working on a few steps of "heel" at a time, with the release "ok go sniff!!" and every time he gets distracted I try to redirect his attention back to me. It's incredible to be making little bits of progress and seeing him improve... I'll be keeping you all updated! Thank you so much again for your advice and if you have more then keep it coming!
  8. This is exactly what our fetch sessions look like
  9. Thank you both for the insight and encouraging words. It's actually very comforting and makes me hopeful that it is, in fact, just a matter of time and consistence. Pat P - yes, thinking what he wants to do might help... I should mention that he is exceptionally well behaved when we get to the park and I take the ball out. Once the ball is in my hand, is it as though he becomes an entirely different dog. He actively tries to figure out what I want him to do and ignores everything else. Nothing bothers him any longer - no bicycles, no passers-by, not even dogs get paid any attention to if I'm holding the ball in my hand. He walks at a PERFECT heel even... we can be walking together and I can say "sit" very quietly while moving and he'll sit immediately and stay until I call him to join me again at the wave of my hand. It's like the ball is a magic wand, and he does what I want him to do almost before I have time to ask him to do it. It's amazing. Now, if only there were a way to get him to pay attention like this whenever I need him to... On a side note -- I just took him out to the park and he ran around on a long lead for 30 minutes. Since the park is across the street from where I live, I didn't bring water (although I probably should have). I just gave him water before and after. While at the park, a woman approached me, claimed to be a vet, and accused me (quite unpleasantly) of giving him WAY too much exercise, said that he was shaking all over from thirst and fatigue, and that this amount of running was horrible because he's still growing. I understand it's better to bring water (and will next time), but 30 minutes of fetch for a 10 month old pup in a given day surely isn't damaging... right?
  10. Thank you all for the replies! We have kept at it with training since I first made this post (almost two weeks now), and I'm sad to say that we've only regressed. I'm not quite sure why this is and am really disheartened. To detail what we have been doing: short training sessions throughout the day, in which we do not walk to any destination but stay right by the front of the house so that he can just go potty. He gets a treat and praise every time he looks at me (the command is "look at me"). He is very easily distracted as soon as we step outside the building (but up until that point, in the lobby, he's composed and quite focused on me), so we stay close by and I give him small tasks to keep his attention on me (i.e. sit, paw, stay, down) - and he completes these tasks for me usually, unless he is being distracted by something. If he is distracted by something (this is ANYTHING - a person walking by, a dog walking by, anything rolling by) it is as if I am not there. I try to get his attention by calling him but get ignored. Then I stay quiet until he looks at me and then treat and reward. It's been two weeks of this and nothing. Not progress. He seems more distracted than ever and less willing to notice me than ever. I thought maybe he wasn't getting enough exercise, so I carried him to the park across the street and let him run on a long lead and play ball. This he really enjoyed and was very tired and very focused on me on our way back. He seems to need this exercise to be at this calmest self, so he's been getting about an hour of it a day. He has plenty of time outside the crate, has chews to keep him occupied, and training like I mentioned. I don't believe that a lack of exercise, mental or physical, is the problem. He barks and howls every time I leave the room. I don't come back inside until he's quiet again. No progress here. He barks every time he hears something from outside the window. I calmly reassure him and put him in his crate if it continues. No progress here. He snaps at my hands and at me when I do something he really doesn't like (put him in the crate, take something away from him) and this gets a firm NO and he gets put inside his crate. No progress here. He has started to become reactive and will pick out certain individuals on the street who he finds "provocative" and lunges at them with wild snaps, barks, yelps. This is extremely alarming and all I can do at this point is hold him back until the individual is out of sight. It only happens with a handful of people and I try to predict when it will happen and take him away before it does, but it's getting worse. He doesn't seem to want to pay any attention to me. I know that he's also 10 months and it's a difficult age, but I really don't know what to do. I'm trying to be as consistent as possible and even an OUNCE of progress would encourage me so much at this point, but I haven't seen it. I know that training is meant to be a lengthy process and require lots of patience, but isn't it meant to come with progress as well? I only see that we are getting worse, not better. He's yelping violently in his crate right now and I'm ignoring him and it's breaking my heart to see him like this. What can I do? EDIT - would like to add that I just ordered "Click to Calm" and "Fired Up, Frantic and Freaked Out..." dog training books. They should arrive this Friday and I'm eager to start reading them. In the meantime, however, any input you all have would be really appreciated.
  11. Thank you so much D'Elle! Yes that's right, he goes over threshold once we're outside.. pays really great attention inside the house though. I've trained him on the leash indoors and he walks at a heel and looks up at me the entire time. No backyard, but I'll start by working with him in the lobby of the building, as that's where he starts getting distracted. Trick is getting him out to go potty - but if I take him outside strictly for that purpose, and then back to training in the building lobby until he's paying attention... that should work right? He loves cheese so I'll try switching to that.
  12. Thank you! I might try that, since that's kind of where we are in the process anyway. He is too distracted outside to even look at me much - we've been staying within a 10-foot radius of our front door (just enough for him to go potty) and I've just been trying to get him to look at me and focus on me before we walk forwards. He is instantly distracted by cars, people, bikes, bins, anything... Even with treats, he isn't paying them much attention. Can anyone please advise what my steps should be here? Should I be standing still until he is looking at me? Should I be using treats at all if he's super distracted?
  13. Thank you for for the suggestions!! @KevTheDog I just checked out the site and I might consider doing the course! I'll try training him in short 5-minute bursts on my own for now, and if that goes no where then I think a course might we worth it if it means we can walk places Tama and I just had our morning walk and instead of trying to go out for a long walk, we did a short one with training, and as a result had a muchhh happier and more peaceful morning than we've been having lately.. I'll keep you all updated on how everything goes. I previously thought that getting him exposed to as many new sounds and sights would be a good thing, but now with this new method I'll be holding off on taking him anywhere - farmers markets, busy streets, stores, etc. He's completely out of control in those places anyway, and I'd thought that maybe he would "get used to them" - but I'm seeing now that a better approach may be to build up slowly to these places and only go when he's walking well on leash... Does that sound right? Even if takes us awhile?
  14. I'm going to try this.. thank you! Here's some pictures as well. IMG_4065 (1).HEIC
  15. Thank you D'Elle! It's really good to know that he doesn't *need* the exercise to get the training done right. I was feeling very guilty for not being able to let him run, and worrying that training would be futile if he wasn't exercised enough. I always hear about how border collies absolutely must get their time to run every day or else they will become wild and difficult to control. However, if it's okay for me to withhold this kind of activity for a few weeks (or however long it takes) and focus only on leash training (going out for 5 minute walks 10 times a day) then I think that will make my job much, much easier.
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