Monday, March 29, 2010

Over, Under, Through, Pop...

My guys love targeting so I use that to help shape the tricks.  Once they understand the tricks then I make sure to praise all efforts but the only ones that get rewarded are when it's clean.  I mix up the rewards too.  Today rewards were cuddles where they like to be cuddles and treats!  Cuddles as a reward .... you need to watch their body language..if they're leaning in and enjoying it then you've got the right spot!  If they're leaning back and trying to's not a reward :P

Here's the jumping tricks we know so far.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Daizy seisure 4:57-5:10 & testing to see if any neural damage

She sleeps on the bed especially for this reason as I'm right there to comfort her through the seizure.

pre-3 min - swaying, head looking around as if she was watching a fly in slow motion.

during -4min  head side to side,drooling,paddling, extended rightsid limbs

post- 9mins head down body stiff

5:17 big sigh, back to sleep

I had a feeling it was going to happen.  I came home that night to puke everywhere.  Poor girl.  I forgot to thaw raw food for the morning and instead I fed everyone Taiki's kibble (which I occasionally use to mix in with treats) after their peanut butter and banana kongs.   I should know by now that kibble as a meal is one of her triggers.  No matter how organic or high grade it is...her body can't digest it as a meal.

I'm happy I get to work from home today, so I can keep tabs on her.

My big worry always is that there will be some neurological damage. She's so smart and LOVES to learn.  She's my firecracker.

I keep mornings really boring, no running around.  Load up on brain food (peanut butter, banana kong for breakfast, raw elk today and fresh blenderized veggies for lunch, yogurt- frozen berry blend for snack before we go on our evening adventure, then tonight chicken & blenderized veggies), and try to keep things low key, very lazy in the morning after a seizure.  Mid- afternoon and evening walks I just go with the flow, let her tell me what she's up for.  In the evening I'll do a test to see how her problem solving capabilities are.  Tonight it was showing her two sneakers, hiding them and asking her to retrieve them one at a time.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

What a day...I think George is going through a fear period.. at 5yrs old?

 George ...

today twice...once on our morning walk...he started barking at two black large dogs coming at us while owner was on a bike, we crossed the road but he couldn't stop barking..


this morning being the impressionable adolescent.... acted like a loon as well. 

Then tonight on our evening walk George again...

we walked past a sign and he lunged all cowered and almost rushed on to the street to avoid the sign.  He was so frightened.  So terrified and even trembling... He's never trembled or reacted to signs, especially one's he's walked by so many times.

 I spoke to Rita and I'm going to take him to Dogsmart for a "train and play" class on Saturday before Keegan's class to see if maybe he is starting to globalize his fear.

The class is for dogs under 40 lbs so I'm hoping he will feel more comfortable and I inturn will be able to figure out how I can help him through this.

Last year it took a few months of classes (come when called & out and about)to slowly build up his confidence again to be around other dogs, who were friendly and pretty much ignored him until he showed playful body language.  Then we got to play with them.  After that he was awesome until now. 

It really helps if you know a handful of dogs who are solid when they go through a tough time.  Also if you can go to classes where they are around other dogs, but don't have to interact with them.

Also important to know dogs who dole out calming signals to your dog no matter what your dog is emoting, and you will see almost a big sigh of relieve come over your dog when he realizes he doesn't have to act tough, or be noisy.

Both George and Daizy were used in the occasional class as the Fun Police dogs. Not physically smashing adolescent bullies but just with their body language and hairy eyeballs and then initiating calmer play style.  Really good with adolescent dogs...but.... Life ... has a way of throwing you curve balls...and after a couple attacks in Squamish where other dogs were off leash and no owner in tow...they trampled George and another wouldn't stop trying to hump him (pitbull mix) it really wasnt fun trying to get these dogs away.  Some people just don't get it.  It's not fair especially for a smaller dog to have to defend him self all the time, if he is not interested in being bullied.

So was done with meeting new dogs for a while.  He went from friendly to reactive...keep away.

We'll see.  I'd be happy with quick meet and greets again and being on our way.

It's tough when all I can do is guess.  It sure does help that there are so many positive ways to bridge the gap in communication available to us these days.

I spoke to Alice and she also mentioned to up his veggies...I feed raw and there's research that in order for brain chemistry to regulate Serotonin, diet needs to be more Alkaline....

I don't know what I'd do without Rita and Alice.

Monday, March 22, 2010

I LOVE working from home days

Dr. Patrica McConnell was on the Diane Rehm show! My all time dog training mentor!!! Talk on regarding children and dogs

  Surrounded by sweet faces, and being used as a  pillow
Life is good.  
     Yes.... it's almost quitting time......

..tonight's after work walk WAS SOOO MUCH FUN!!! We went to the Estuary to hang out... take a look...

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Just you and me. 1 on 1 time in a multi-dog home

Daizy is my soul, George my heart and Keegan my sunshine on a rainy day. Together we have so much fun, and I am so lucky that they have really sweet, goofy ways with eachother as well ( mind you we did have little squabbles along the way that have all worked themselves out thanks to Dr. Patricia McConnell's "Feeling Outnumbered"...worth another blog post...)

Anyways, I do spend and make a point of each day, throughout the day take time to connect with each dog, even if it's just for a couple minutes where we're alone.

 I balance it with just being alone and chilling, a belly rub or good scratch or adventuring or something as silly as George and I have this thing where he'll go to a bedroom door and bark once...which I know means he wants to jump on the bed, then I will cover him up with the feather bed and he'll squirm around in it and we'll pay this peek a boo/ monster under the covers, for a couple minutes.

Sometimes I'll hide a toy in my hand or shirt and go into a room,or the yard then have whisper to one of them to come...and we'll take a couple minutes to play without the other dogs around. Or just sit and read and only one snuggle in.

Or go outside for a walk. Or be my co-pilot running errands to the grocery store and share some chips or something on our drive home. It doesn't always have to be a big chunk of time, nor does it have to be at the same time everyday. I find it's much more exciting to do it randomly. They're so perceptive that I wonder if by making it random if this helps avoid jealousy. Hmmm...

Sometimes I let them tell some point in the day, let me know that it's time to do something with them.

I love that about my guys.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Training on a sunny day at the BEACH!

Positional cues for walking- shaping dig cue- having fun retrieving and teaching Keegan not to be such a ball hog!