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About KevTheDog

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  1. Hey hello! I feel you! Kevin is a little older than Tama but his issues are similar and I definitely feel your pain. I started doing something recently that has helped: we've practiced an off-leash side-by-side walk inside (I guess a heel) where I just treat him constantly: good boy, treat, good boy, treat, as we are walking in circles through the kitchen, living room, bedroom, hall, over and over. We did this inside a handful of times before I took him out into the courtyard and we started doing it there - walking in zigzags; it's a bit harder for him to stick with me here but such is the nature of the fun outdoors. I did both of these exercises about 3 times each per day (first 3 times inside, then 3 times outside) for not very long each time - 3 minutes each maybe, for a few days in a row, throughout the course of the day. But now when I use the same command to start us off outside on leash ("Let's walk") - he is much more responsive and he truly has been pulling less. Kev is almost 7 months and I'm not sure if his responsiveness to this method would have been the same two months ago (Tama is 5 months? Is that right?) but on the other hand, maybe he would have done way better sooner if I had started this approach earlier. For your own sanity: set yourself a little time-limited challenge. Like: We're going to do this every day for 5 days and then reassess! Then it doesn't feel like this endless wall of never getting to do anything fun like go for proper walks. Good luck!
  2. Brilliant, I love this advice - thank you! I just received Control Unleashed and I'm about to start incorporating "look at that" (and more) - and it's such a fair point that intersections are super stimulating. I'm feeling optimistic, it's been about a week since the behavior has had a chance to manifest. Progress! We'll keep at it
  3. Thank you again for these tips! I really like the idea of practicing on all intersections, even the ones that don't trigger the behavior - we will start doing that. Yesterday I used one workaround and one treat session - we walked on a path that did not involve any intersections at all, and so avoided the behavior. And in the other direction, we went into training mode at the large intersection and he was definitely too distracted by the notion of treats to be bothered with my ankles. Train an incompatible behavior - this shall be my new mantra... thanks!
  4. Hi guys! Thanks for these tips. I just want to reiterate: this can happen (though does not necessarily happen) even at the very, very beginning of our walks, so again, I don't think it's just tiredness related. But that said, I acknowledge that he's still a puppy and perhaps we're still going too long, when it happens at the end of walks. Follow-up questions: if we limit ever crossing big streets, how do we teach him the right way to cross them when he feels compelled to do this behavior? Or is the idea that if he never gets to practice the behavior then he will forget he ever did it at all?
  5. Hi all! A while ago I posted about Kevin getting a bit tantrum-y in the middle of longer walks. This was 7 or 8 weeks ago, and we were going out for 40ish minute walks with him at 4 months, and the wise posters here helped me realize that it was just too long for a puppy his age. So fast forward to 6 months (today! Happy birthday Kevvo) and we're back at 40-45-ish minute walks. The behavior I described before still happens on occasion, but now only at specific places: when we are about to cross a bigger street - either kind of big or quite big - and he is either overstimulated by the traffic/humans around, OR if it is toward the end of the walk and he is getting tired, Kevin will - as we enter the street to cross - start jumping to get the leash and/or start biting at my ankles. He doesn't do this to my husband, and he doesn't do it every time we cross a big street, but perhaps about half the time. If my husband has the leash, Kev will go for my ankles. If I have the leash, he will also go for my ankles. Fun for me! :/ I've just realized in the last 2-3 days that it only happens while crossing big(ish) intersections. My plan moving forward is to get an ultra high-currency treat that he ONLY gets when he and I are crossing big streets - I plan to sit/treat, and then treat him as we cross the street as long as he's not being an ankle biter. My question is a two-parter: 1) Why do you think he's doing this? I've thought maybe he's thinking "Oh no, it's dangerous, we gotta get you out of here!" or something like that, but I'm really not sure. I wonder if I know the reason, if it might help how I deal with the behavior. And 2) Do you reckon my high-currency treat idea is a good one or is there a smarter way to go about dealing with this? It happens even if we are at the very start of a walk, so I know it's not just tiredness related. And also...sometimes it doesn't happen at all! Looking forward to reading what folks have to say
  6. Ah, those tantrums sound so familiar - we're still working with Kevin on that. He is 6 months and I think a biiiiiig realization for me (simple yet mind-blowing) is that you have to meet him where he is. It's frustrating not to be able to just go out into the world and take nice, non-stressy walks - but these guys are still pretty young for our expectations to be so mighty as (ha) a pull-free walk! I agree with leash training being its own exercise - and work on it a ton. Because I've grown tired of the tantrums you described, which were a staple of the end of longer walks with him, I've limited our leash walking to only out on the 4ish blocks around our home - that way we can just practice, practice, practice, without the pressure of "oh-no-you're-falling-apart-and-we're-half-a-mile-from-home". Luckily we have a big, closed off courtyard so we can get physical exercise right outside our door. Meanwhile, leash practice is just that: practice. Also: look at that cutie pup!!!!
  7. Hi Rooze! You've gotten tons of awesome and practical advice above, and I'm not the expert that a lot of these other great posters are. However, I am about to throw my froofroo/hippie dippie, but perhaps useful, two cents into the mix: along with the conscious decision to love your pup as he is today, I would add that I think dogs and especially border collies are super sensitive to our emotions and attitudes. So I would also think about (prepare for hippie dippie advice in 3, 2, 1...) consciously cultivating within yourself a mindful sense of "this is where we are right now and that's ok!" optimism. It will take some of the pressure off of you to fix it all now-now-now, and if you feel less pressure/stressy, Max might too. Celebrate every little win you get! Wishing you all the good things!
  8. Maybe it would be possible to have some interactions with 1 or 2 other puppies? Unless you're frequenting super busy dog parks, I don't see a huge need for a dog to absolutely be comfortable with 20 (!! which is a lot) dogs at once, but maybe you can work slowly with a couple other dogs so that he's comfortable with one or two. Sometimes I pet the dogs we meet out in the world to show Kevin that they're nice guys and he can think so too. Also, two of the three borders I've had in my life have really had a positive thing for dachshunds, maybe because they're kind of petite. Perhaps you can make friends with someone with a dachshund! As for your 24/7 issue, I hear you on this one - I work from home too and I'm with Kevin all the livelong day. But! From the age of about 12 weeks, we've made sure that Kevin has at least 2 hours (well, only 2 hours at that age; now at 6 months he has up to 3ish) of home alone time a day. I think this is really important because eventually, you're going to want puppy to be comfortable while you aren't there. Don't feel guilty! Consider it part of his training. I also am accused of being a coddler so I feel you on that front too! But hey, they're our babies Trust your intuition!
  9. We're keeping it up with shutting ourselves into a space away from him for now - this seems to be, if not fully working yet to keep his teeth off us (again, to clarify: I'm not talking scary biting, I'm talking "we are playing, whoops got my teeth on you" OR "air bite, air bite, stop fiddling with my paws"), it at least has an affect in the moment ("Where'd you go, ma?"). I would say this: no obvious effects yet, but it's been about 3 days of this protocol so I imagine it'll take some time. As far as his nail goes: we've been trucking along with the sneak attack method. Unfortunately though, while giving him a shower last night we got a really good look at it (poor guy was too disturbed by being in the shower to be concerned about us looking at his toe) and it doesn't look great. So my husband is taking him back to the vet on Monday for a follow up, sigh. And doggy boot shopping this weekend. May this snow melt and begone! Our streets are just disgusting right now, I feel bad for all the dogs.
  10. Around this age, we started playing hide and seek with Kevin. Our place isn't huge, so here's how it would work: if Kevin is with me, Joey will go hide. I say to pup, "Kevin, where's Joey? Go find Joey!" and then Joey would say "Kevin, come!" and Kevin has to go find him and when he does he gets a treat. Then Joey says "Ok, where's Amanda? Go find Amanda!" and when he finds me, he gets a treat, and repeat. Now when we play, we no longer include the "Kevin, come!" part - he knows what "Go find Joey/Amanda" means -- so much so that it's become an excellent way to distract him from biting his leash when we're outside, even if we're a few blocks away from home. Now I can say "We have to go find Joey!" and the response is instant work mode (in as much as an easily distracted 5 month old can slip into work mode, ha). Another fun thing to do is what are called "contact exercises" here in Sweden (maybe that's an English term too? Not sure). This is where Kev gets rewarded for eye contact in various contexts. For example, I hold two toys (or two treats) out in a T with my arms, and when I get eye contact, he gets the treat/toy. We've now turned this into a whole process of 1) "down" (from standing!! I'm so impressed), 2) "look at me" - and then when I get that eye contact, he gets the toy thrown. Also, teaching names of toys is great, we incorporate "Where is Phyllis" or "Where is rope toy" with this (half of his toys have human names. They may be inspired by The Office. Why not ) Good luck!!
  11. Also a positive update! During our training this morning, about 3 times Kevin's teeth got on me (no pressure at all, just general excitement about his toys and getting at them) and each time, I swiftly gathered up the two toys and my treat jar, and popped myself into the bedroom and closed the door. I waited there for a good minute or so, during which Kevin waited just outside the door, barked once or twice...when he was quiet again, I came back out and said "Ok, this time without teeth." While we certainly didn't have a teeth-free training session, I do think that my leaving made him think, "Hey, this sucks, I was having a good time." I think this is good!
  12. Fine ideas indeed! We do have a bathroom (phew, amiright? ) where he could be confined, but we've never used it for this purpose - he's only been in there for shower time, which he hates (he whimpers and is mr. pathetic the whole time); otherwise, he stays out of the bathroom even if the door is wide open. So could the bathroom be just the trick, or would it be kind of cruel? The other consideration is this: while my husband can scoop up Kevin and pop him into any space, for me, moving Kevin requires clipping on his leash and luring or dragging him to a space, which is often quite cumbersome because, as I said above, he goes totally limp and floppy and has to be dragged along; it takes time (I have an old back injury that prevents me from being able to pick him up). So the question is: does the amount of time the process of moving him takes make it less effective - has he forgotten why he's being dragged into a confinement area by the time he gets there? Compare this with the speed with which I can simply get up and walk away from him.
  13. What a lovely topic! I got a little teary reading this because it reminds me of my family's bc Pelle, who passed away as an old man a few years ago. He was one of those very special dogs, soulful and kind. Now I have Kevin, the young man, and he does things that remind me of Pelle, along with having his own way about him of course. I love, first of all, the fact that I'm sure I laugh *significantly* more since bringing Kevin home than before I had him. I love the early morning sweetness he has, when he's not quite fully awake yet but wants all the snuggles and belly rubs. Relatively speaking, I feel like his personality is only just beginning to really come out since he's still pretty young at 5 months and a week or so, but he definitely has humor and quirkiness and kindness to basically everyone (which Pelle struggled with when it came to strangers, having been abused in his life before my family). It's nice, when we can sometimes be so worried about all the things there are to worry about, to come back and focus on the things that are good
  14. Our issue is that crate training is illegal in Sweden, where we live, so we don't have that as an option. What we do have is our puppy-proofed kitchen, but when I pop on his leash to take him there for a timeout, he goes totally floppy like a noodle and I have to drag him all the way there (he's too heavy for me to lift, unfortunately, although my husband can lift him). So we have to work within the legal confines of our no-crate-training-allowed country. When I first learned that it was not permitted, about a week before we went to pick up Kevin, I freaked out - how do people have dogs without crate training!? But of course you adapt. It just isn't ideal; I would love to be able to do this. Thanks to everyone for these awesome suggestions - we'll start hunting for a good pair of pup booties, and we're already working on desensitizing him to having his feet and ears touched in general.
  15. Mandy what a funny thing! Kevin is like this too; he recently caught on to the fact that when he's in one of our laps eating treats, the other one is going to clip his claws (or what have you) and would have none of it (after tolerating it quite well when he was a younger puppy). But at the vet, particularly once she took him out of the room and away from us, he totally let her clip his claws without making a huge fuss.
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