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About KevTheDog

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  1. Thank you everyone for these super insightful answers! It's not really too cold here; it hasn't been much cooler than the mid-30s this winter, so certainly not as chilly as some of our midwestern US and Canadian counterparts. But we appreciate the reality check that these walks are just too long for him - we have had successful 40 minute walks without a breakdown - or where the breakdown comes like half a block from home. I suppose it's worth saying that we are out for 40 minutes, we're not walking the whole time; this includes time for greeting people, greeting dogs, and occasionally sitting on a bench or stopping for training sessions. However... we totally acknowledge that this still means tons of stimulation, so we've definitely decided we're going to cut our walks down to 20 minutes and aim for prevention rather than treatment! I'll report back on how it goes Kev can't see us from his kitchen timeout space, but he can hear us. I was super shocked to learn that crate training is illegal here - and for about 4 minutes thought oh my gosh, how do people even have dogs if they don't crate train!? But of course there are other solutions, and we quickly realized that we would be able to have a puppy proofed room. I don't reckon pens are illegal, and that does seem like a fine option as well. My husband is able to pick up Kev and pop him in the kitchen or carry him on a walk if he's being a pain; I have to strap on a leash and do some tugging because an old back injury prevents me from being able to pick him up now that he's 25 pounds. I try to do it with as much finesse and speed as possible but he acts like a kid and just goes totally limp ("I don't wanna go in the kitchen and you can't make me!"), so it is often hubs taking him into the kitchen rather than me since he can do it so swiftly (ah, to have a healthy back). Anyway, thank you to everyone for these ideas - we feel like we're semi on the right track and we're really glad to have a concrete adjustment we can make in an effort to stop this behavior on walks. Go team!
  2. Hi all! I've read through some old posts about people's experiences with puppies and bitey-ness - but I'm not quite certain on something, and that is this: at what point is it concerning if a puppy still brings out his teeth? Example: on a 40ish minute walk today, Kevin kind of fell apart in the middle of it; he started going at the leash and my shoes/laces, and getting his mouth/teeth on my calves a bit. When this happens, I do my best to stay calm; I usually try to get down on his level and do some quick sit/down/look-at-me's to break him out of the "I'm going to eat your legs" mode. It's a little embarrassing when this happens in public (I imagine passersby thinking I should get my puppy under control, but what're you gonna do other than the best you can?). My questions: is it ok that he's still doing this at 4.5 months? Am I handling it correctly? At home, when his teeth lightly/accidentally get on us during playtime for example - when grabbing at a toy, say - then we'll make the "yelp" sound. If he becomes rambunctious and goes at us with his mouth, which is usually aimed at our calves, then we will pop him into the puppy-proofed kitchen for a few minutes and let him out when he's quiet again, lather rinse repeat until he gets the picture (side note, we live in Sweden, where crate training isn't legal, so a crate isn't an option for us - but we have our puppy proofed room, hallelujah!). Kevin is 18 weeks; he is very much still a puppy. But I just want to make sure this isn't a behavior that is lingering longer than it should, or that we are in some way accidentally permitting it. Thoughts and ideas much appreciated, thank you kindly in advance! Edit: a quick edit to add that I did mention this a little in my "hello we're new!" post, but I wanted to get a little more detailed here. Hope that's ok!
  3. KevTheDog

    Training a relaxed "cafe dog"

    Yes, wise! We have practiced this a little bit at home, actually using the cue "cafe" (cause why not?) when he settles at my feet under the table. We're hoping that hearing that enough will help at the actual cafe!
  4. KevTheDog

    My sweet Kit

    Very sorry for your loss, D'Elle; it is such a hard thing. Wishing you well.
  5. KevTheDog

    Training a relaxed "cafe dog"

    This is great - we were discussing whether or not we would be wiser to "wait it out" and see if he gets better after a longer period, or if we ought to do a shorter time and this confirms the shorter period idea. Kevin's new cafe lessons shall begin this weekend!
  6. Hi all! I work "from home" which preferably means from cafes, and there are a lot of dog friendly places in my city. When I first got Kevin at 8 weeks (starting about a week later - we spent the first week at home) he would fall asleep at my feet in cafes, no problem, and would sleep for a good 2 hours or so. But now at nearly 4.5 months, he is too excitable and easily stimulated to fall asleep in a cafe environment. I have stopped trying, apart from on weekends when I don't bring my laptop, but rather just a pocket full of treats and a toy or bone to keep him "focused". We don't stay for as long as I would for work and I find that I'm constantly trying to get his attention on me or to figure out ways to soothe him. He doesn't bark constantly, but he is super alert (you know that alert BC look) and will eventually get a little barky, for example if he sees people he wants to greet. Beyond that, people want to say hi to him fairly regularly so even if he had the chance to start relaxing, it causes him to get keenly alert and stimulated again when people stop to pet him. I'm wondering what the step 1, step 2, step 3 (and so forth) would be for training him to be able to relax at my feet in a cafe, or if my expectations are too high for a puppy his age? I know that if I want him to be able to do this as a grownup, we have to start somewhere, but I'm not really certain where/how to start. Any thoughts/experiences? Thanks!
  7. KevTheDog

    Meet Kevin; we're new!

    Thank you for the book tip! I have seen the title pop up here and there on these forums and was considering getting it - though I am curious if people feel generally like it's good for all dogs, or if it is more for 'problem dogs' (though perhaps by virtue of their puppy-esque nature, one might consider all puppies to be problem dogs if viewed through the lens of adult expectations, ha) - thoughts on that? Kevin doesn't tend to bark at traditional triggers per se, he barks when 1) We are preparing his food and he wants it. He gets a "shh" and when he's been quiet, while waiting for his kibble to soak, we may toss a few pieces on the floor for a 'search' game; 2) Frequently when we are training, especially with "Stay" lately. 3) Randomly on walks - it's more like "Hello world!" rather than "I want that squirrel!" So we may need to be creative about our application of the protocol - though I can *totally* see how this could be useful! Thank you to everyone else as well! I am really, really excited to be engaging with this kind of resource.
  8. Hi all! I wanted to introduce myself, after a few weeks of lurking. I'm Amanda, Kevin is my pup! He's a 17 week merle. I've had two rescue border collies in my life in the past, both phenomenal guys. This is my first puppy and now my only dog. Kevin is mostly wonderful - he's quick (naturally) and ready for anything. He very much has great days and ghastly days: sometimes we take him for a walk through our neighborhood in Stockholm and he is a dream; other times he is a barky monster, barking at seemingly nothing, stopping to chomp on my snow boots or pull at my sneaker laces, pulling incessantly or refusing to walk at all (that only happens if we started off as a "pack" and then my husband or I depart; he is not a big fan of that). Or, blessedly, he walks along, pauses when we pause, doesn't pull *too* much (nowhere remotely near perfect yet, but fully tolerable), and it's like hey - we have a dog! How 'bout that! He loves absolutely everyone he meets and is convinced everyone wants to meet him; 80% of the time he is correct so it's hard to train him that not everyone wants to say hi. He hasn't had a ton of opportunities to actively play with other dogs, but he has a very lovely dog-greeting way about him (gentle, a little shy but not fearful, quick to show his tummy, not a barker at other dogs). In general: we are thrilled, Kevin is great. Our main concerns at the moment: the continued toothiness and the random barking. Will it stop? Both of the borders I have known were pretty quiet guys; it was a surprise to hear a bark unless there were deer present. Kevin barks when we train (Me: "stay" Kevin: "Arf, arf"); he barks at unfamiliar new toys (we remove them if he doesn't stop); he barks when he wants to be let out of the puppy-proofed kitchen (we don't let him out until he's been quiet for at least a minute, but that can be a tall ask). We tend to respond with a quick, sharp "shhh" and that works 50% of the time (albeit momentarily), and we always try to follow up with praise at the very least; we need to be better about having treats on hand at every possible moment. I'm wondering if anyone has had a barky puppy who grew into a quiet adult or if barky pups are necessarily always barky grownups? Here is Kevin:
  9. Hello hello! We're just a few weeks ahead of you - Kevin is 17 weeks, and I'm new to the boards too - but I really feel for you here. I had him on my own for one week over Thanksgiving and it was super tough. But the difference between now and 11 weeks is already quite significant. We're in Sweden and people aren't as strict here about keeping dogs inside until all their shots are done here (plus, we completed his shots at 12 weeks), so we were going on (super short) walks at that point in time. We didn't have to deal with the cooped up feelings as much. And already now, he can entertain himself a little better than he could then. A thought: I think much of our own tension was relieved with some attitude adjustments in our own minds. We (and I bet you, too) don't want to have a grownup dog who requires our attention all the time; we want a grownup dog who can entertain himself. That means he has to get used to entertaining himself for certain periods already now. This relieves some of the guilt of not paying attention to him - although we have a fully puppy proofed room in our home, which makes that possible. Another thought: when it's time for him to chill on his own, have something you say Every. Single. Time. I work from home on my computer, and every time I sit down to work (and he has to be on his own mentally), I say "Time to work." Yesterday after about 30 minutes of squeaky toy craziness, I said "time to work" and he lay down on his blanket and went to sleep almost immediately, no joke (I was super impressed and relieved!). So hang in there! It sounds like you care and you're doing awesome!