Jump to content
BC Boards

Recommended Posts

It's like suddenly my training is effective. Or he has somehow changed into a more 'normal' dog.

He's now 15 months old.

I just wanted to say it, because I have read these forums back years and followed advice and guidance given both here and elsewhere and attended group classes and private sessions with different people and for so long it has felt like none of it has worked properly. One day I'd think we were making progress, then the next would be worse than ever. People would ask if he was a rescue, sounding full of admiration as they stood too close watching him freaking out, and then their attitudes would change when I admitted I'd had him since a puppy and they'd tell me I should do some training with him. Now everyday I find myself realising that we are doing things that we couldn't have done three months ago.

Obviously we still have a long way to go, but I'm spending less of my nights thinking, worrying, reading, planning. We're not quite a success story yet, but maybe if there are other people with crazy young dogs they'll be reassured to know that it can get better.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Congratulations. I am glad that you are seeing significant progress. Sometimes 'puppy brain' can last a long time. You have come out on the other side.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Congratulations, indeed! The progress, like most things is up, then down, then sideways, then it seems to level out,  then it goes backwards . . .   Those moments, though, when the partnership between you and the dog works ~ one of the best feelings in the world!

Ruth & Gibbs

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Same! We are noticing more things falling into place. As you know our respective dogs share a limited exercise capability although Merlin can cope with more ‘watching and mooching about’ now (still not much road walking or long runs). 

I think we will nickname him ‘fifteen minute Merlin’ as much more and he struggles. He had a 16 minute walk yesterday including some road work. He held it together and then released his stress on the sofas back home by hurling himself from one to the other. When he collapsed in a heap his lips were quivering uncontrollably. Yet with a day on the boat, messing about in the water and as much running and playing in the fenced area of the yard that he wants to do, he’s a happy boy. 

After a typical twelve hour nap in his crate (he doesn’t even ask to come out in the morning) he’s had his ten minute walk through our woods and is now quietly watching wildlife from the deck or snoozing on the sofa. 

His only ‘behaviour’ issues are when his adrenaline is up and he can’t seem to cope with it so we just accept that this is him and we are adjusting life to his needs :) 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ah, our boys are so similar!

Yesterday had the best training session ever. Not reacting to bikes and runners (volunteer helper) passing quite close and even trying to catch us by surprise. He was even wagging his tail the whole time of 'look at that' and not reacting. Then further tested (and passed with flying colours and a wagging tail) with a real cyclist passing quite close. Got home and had the zoomies :lol: followed by half an hour of very vigorous chewing of his chew toy.

We are now going with off lead walk/run/training only on alternate nights. He gets plenty of fetch and playing at home through the day so while he doesn't get loads of physical exercise compared to others I feel he's getting enough. Then on the other nights he gets quite challenging lead training (traffic, bikes, new place, etc).

It's like he's ready to work now and that getting it right is becoming more rewarding for him than chasing/barking/lunging.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh yes - really wanting to get it right - I see that :) Have noticed improvement since I changed his diet. I cook all his food now - rarely give kibble. He is way below the trajectory that he seemed to be on as a pup. Vet said he would be a 55/60lb collie but his sweet spot is 50lb. He’s not food motivated but responds toys that we keep for treats. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, ShellyF said:

I cook all his food now - rarely give kibble.  

Ooh what do you cook?

Our boy doesn't get much food in the way of meals but gets quite a lot of training food and kongs. He's not especially food motivated but it is something I have become reliant on so I'm trying to reduce the frequency and quantity of treating when training.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So I cook ground beef and occasionally other meats which I whizz up small. I add 1/4 tsp ground eggshell per 2 cups meat. Then a little cooked veggies. I toss in a few blueberries and seeds and random leftovers. For breakfast he has 2 scrambled eggs, a little bit of mixed seeds and a dollop of home made yoghurt. I mix in a little kibble sometimes if he’s done more activity or seems more hungry. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 minutes ago, ShellyF said:

So I cook ground beef and occasionally other meats which I whizz up small. I add 1/4 tsp ground eggshell per 2 cups meat. Then a little cooked veggies. I toss in a few blueberries and seeds and random leftovers. For breakfast he has 2 scrambled eggs, a little bit of mixed seeds and a dollop of home made yoghurt. I mix in a little kibble sometimes if he’s done more activity or seems more hungry. 

Ah that's interesting, thanks. And sounds very doable.

Our boy sometimes gets raw ground beef and occasionally a raw chicken piece or a whole raw egg. He mostly gets a mixture of kibble and canned meat in his kongs topped with a dollop of peanut butter. And cooked sausage for training treats. He doesn't seem to eat much but isn't underweight.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, ShellyF said:

So I cook ground beef and occasionally other meats which I whizz up small. I add 1/4 tsp ground eggshell per 2 cups meat. Then a little cooked veggies. I toss in a few blueberries and seeds and random leftovers. For breakfast he has 2 scrambled eggs, a little bit of mixed seeds and a dollop of home made yoghurt.

If you're not including organs, liver especially, you're probably missing some important nutrients.

And this may be a little light on calcium. The conversion I did from metric came out to about 1/2 tsp. powdered eggshell per 14.2 oz. of meat. I'm not sure how much 2 cups of ground meat would be by weight.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks @GentleLake 

I probably sounded a bit sloppy with my measurements lol! I did look up the weight and ground eggshell ratio and then for the meat that I give him I worked it back to cups but you are right, it’s best to measure properly for the meat being given. 

I do include organ meat and I should have specified that. I read tons of info and then made myself a list to stick on the fridge to make sure that I give him all the bits and bobs he needs. 

It’s been such a relief for me to see my little guy doing a couple of regular poops a day instead of four mounds of goop! At least I know he isn’t stressed with his gut :) I am not against raw and he gets raw bones. 

I appreciate your reminder though :) 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We have a new favourite game! Based on our boy keep 'finding' :rolleyes: and bringing me the plastic things that go in the washing machine. We have four of them so he sits and waits inside while I hide them in the garden, then he goes and finds them one at a time and brings them back to me. He loves it. Another one is making him wait while I throw 3 balls, then he fetches them back one at a time. He finds it quite hard to sit and wait while I throw balls.

We are managing some longer road walks. Usually at very quiet times of the week/day, certainly not during busy times. Cyclists just don't seem a thing anymore, he is totally not interested in them since we did some training ignoring them with a volunteer. If I see one coming I'll ask him to sit and 'look at that' and he'll look all round trying to work out what he's supposed to look at while the bike goes past :lol:. This feels huge because for a long few months I worried about not being strong enough to hold him if he gave chase. Some cars are invisible to him, some cars he tenses up at and gets some support from me and occasionally a very noisy/fast vehicle provokes a reaction but the reaction is fairly stifled. People, are noticed and ignored if they are on the other side of the road or sat and looked at if closer. Still not great if people or runners want to brush past us (why do people do that?) but I plan routes to make sure we have enough space that it shouldn't happen.

Off lead stuff is limited, partly because at the moment I don't want a high level of physical fitness and partly because if he's off too long things start to go wrong. Places where I can see for a long way and know there is unlikely to be any distractions (kids/runners/bikes). It'll start with on lead walking and sniffing, then be off lead for a run, some recalls, some fetch, a swim and back on for some more walking and sniffing. I've found that when I let him off lead he waits for guidance from me, he wants me to give him a command and if I don't then he'll run off and do a big circle around something and ignore me. So he only stays off lead for as long as I can think of 'jobs' to give him. When I think there may be people walking with or without dogs I put a muzzle on him. He doesn't like it, but it means if I see people instead of panicking and trying to get to him and him wondering what all the panic is over the people and needing to go and bark at them I just cheerfully call him to come with me and he might start to go towards them for a look but then realises they're boring and comes away. I realise this is my issue but with the muzzle on I'm confident that he can't bite anyone and because I don't react, neither does he.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, jami74 said:

We have a new favourite game! Based on our boy keep 'finding' :rolleyes: and bringing me the plastic things that go in the washing machine. We have four of them so he sits and waits inside while I hide them in the garden, then he goes and finds them one at a time and brings them back to me. He loves it. Another one is making him wait while I throw 3 balls, then he fetches them back one at a time. He finds it quite hard to sit and wait while I throw balls.

We are managing some longer road walks. Usually at very quiet times of the week/day, certainly not during busy times. Cyclists just don't seem a thing anymore, he is totally not interested in them since we did some training ignoring them with a volunteer. If I see one coming I'll ask him to sit and 'look at that' and he'll look all round trying to work out what he's supposed to look at while the bike goes past :lol:. This feels huge because for a long few months I worried about not being strong enough to hold him if he gave chase. Some cars are invisible to him, some cars he tenses up at and gets some support from me and occasionally a very noisy/fast vehicle provokes a reaction but the reaction is fairly stifled. People, are noticed and ignored if they are on the other side of the road or sat and looked at if closer. Still not great if people or runners want to brush past us (why do people do that?) but I plan routes to make sure we have enough space that it shouldn't happen.

Off lead stuff is limited, partly because at the moment I don't want a high level of physical fitness and partly because if he's off too long things start to go wrong. Places where I can see for a long way and know there is unlikely to be any distractions (kids/runners/bikes). It'll start with on lead walking and sniffing, then be off lead for a run, some recalls, some fetch, a swim and back on for some more walking and sniffing. I've found that when I let him off lead he waits for guidance from me, he wants me to give him a command and if I don't then he'll run off and do a big circle around something and ignore me. So he only stays off lead for as long as I can think of 'jobs' to give him. When I think there may be people walking with or without dogs I put a muzzle on him. He doesn't like it, but it means if I see people instead of panicking and trying to get to him and him wondering what all the panic is over the people and needing to go and bark at them I just cheerfully call him to come with me and he might start to go towards them for a look but then realises they're boring and comes away. I realise this is my issue but with the muzzle on I'm confident that he can't bite anyone and because I don't react, neither does he.

Hey that sounds like great progress! 

Funny you mention laundry. I got Merlin to sit while I said ‘put it in the box’ and proceeded to put an old cloth in the laundry hamper. I did this a few times and then got him to do it. He did and I made a big fuss. He got very excited then and it was hard to repeat. I left it until the next day and repeated and so on. So i’ll keep trying that. We do the ‘find’ game. He really enjoys it with the first toy we ever taught him to find haha! 10 mins of these sessions is about all he can cope with before he gets ratty. 

At the moment we are getting out in the boat about every few days. When we go he gets to swim (although he tends to dig in the water and make silly noises ???) for a bit and then a couple of hours ‘watching’. He keeps his eyes peeled for other boats and gulls. Back on the dock he sits on the boat and watches the world go by. He’s tied on so that if people come by and pet him he can’t quite lunge to lick them so he’s getting good at just standing there and wagging his tail while they pet and he loves it. No guarding or stress. 

After a day like this he can barely cope with anything much for a couple of days other than being at home with his ten minute walks on our property, a bit of playing and the odd game. 

We rarely walk him on the road but when we do we keep it short and he’s getting less reactive. He’s getting much less leash bitey but when we come back in from a walk it’s all he wants to do. We tried saying no and sit and he responds immediately by stopping and sitting and waiting patiently for a command but then goes for the leash again. We finally figured that it’s as if once inside, even after just ten minutes outside, he just can’t switch off the adrenaline immediately and he gets loopy for five mins so now we have a selection of old rags by the door. Once he sits and waits he gets rewarded with an old rag. He tosses that around for a bit and happily gives it up after a while. 

He’s still pretty much our 15 minute Merlin lol! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The boat sounds so good. I really wish we had somewhere to go where we could watch the world go by from a safe distance. I can't think of a public place round here that allows dogs that wouldn't have loose dogs or kids running at us.

The find and fetch game was easy to teach as he already had all the individual skills; sit and wait, fetch and retrieve. The hardest part is sending him back to find the next one and sometimes I needed to take him out and indicate where to look. Spending so much time swapping things out for a treat when he was younger really paid off, although means that if he wants attention he'll bring me something that he's not meant to have.

The rag idea sounds fab, our boy loves shaking and throwing things. We've had to limit some things to outside only because when he lets go they go flying at the TV, or us. He was really lead bitey for a while and was managing to chomp through them. We bought a new completely different looking lead and taught a 'leave it' command on it and didn't use it properly as a lead until he very much could leave it, since then he's been okay.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Funny! We have definitely seen improvement with a different lead too. We ended up getting the cheap and cheerful IKEA ones - the wider/thicker of the two. They are strong but lightweight and a good length to not tangle around feet. I think he finds life less irritating with it too. We also stopped carrying poop bags on the leash clips because they were a distraction. Back to stuffing pockets with loose bags! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, ShellyF said:

Funny! We have definitely seen improvement with a different lead too. We ended up getting the cheap and cheerful IKEA ones - the wider/thicker of the two. They are strong but lightweight and a good length to not tangle around feet. I think he finds life less irritating with it too. We also stopped carrying poop bags on the leash clips because they were a distraction. Back to stuffing pockets with loose bags! 

Have to check out the Ikea leads now, I'm getting bored with the one I've got.

As far as carrying poop bags, I bought a really inexpensive small purse, I think it was at Target, years ago. It's a small shoulder bag with a zip top and a couple Velcro closure compartments on the front. I realized I hate the treat bags that you clip onto your pants. I don't know if it's the design of the bag or 'operator malfunction', but they just are not easy for me.

Anyway, this cheap purse has a string so that I can sling it over my head ~ the purse rests at my left hip and the string rests around  the right side of my neck. It holds treats in the large compartment that zips closed and poop bags in the front compartments that are Velcro closures. So easy to grab a treat or a poop bag. I've had to stitch the sides of it a couple times, but I think I've had it at least 10 years and it sees at least 2x/daily use.  The other reason I like this bag is the unused poop bags don't go through the wash because I forgot to empty my pockets.

I do some thrift store shopping and from time to time see small purses that would be ideal for treats, etc.  

Ruth & Gibbs

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lol! Washed poop isn’t fun!

i’ve stopped taking treats now because for the times I need it they have zero impact - no matter how high value they are! But the rags in my pocket work provided I keep getting new ones. I’ve started to leave them stuffed in smelly boots as this increases their value hahaha! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, ShellyF said:

Lol! Washed poop isn’t fun!

 

Sorry, I wasn't clear. The empty poop bags, when unused and pristine, sometimes didn't get taken out of pockets before those pants went in the wash. Drippy but not disgusting. If I washed a full poop bag I'd have to throw out all those clothes AND get a new washer. ICK!

Toys work really well for a lot of dogs. Great idea to carry the rags. I wonder if rope toys would serve the same purpose and be carried in the pocket, as well as stuffed into a boot every now and then to 'season'. They'd probably last a lot longer than the rags.

Ruth & Gibbs

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...