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Also, they have a wall that they call the "wall of love" that we could go behind in case he is too distracted by the other dogs and people.
LOL! I love the name.
 

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Discussion Starter #23 (Edited)
At Petsmart today, someone actually said to their dog, while passing us "Why can't you behave like him?!"

I never thought I would see the day....

Granted, today we also went from LOVE ME to, inexplicably, him thinking that an employee we saw on the way in wanted to eat him and was the scariest thing in the world, but still!
 

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Count me in. I'm looking forward to a full summer where I can work on Snowball's reactivity consistently without interruptions from things like kitchen renovations and "getting married". :rolleyes: I also am going to work on how he sometimes rushes other dogs to greet them. It has definitely improved with increased socialization, but my neighbor actually agreed to help us, so I can work on it properly!

At the shelter, when we work on excitibility; it is mostly consistency. The dog doesn't get anything it wants (a leash put on, the door to its kennel open, etc.) unless the dog is being calm. Which is.... probably next to impossible with a 100+lb teenager. >.<
 

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Discussion Starter #25 (Edited)
At the shelter, when we work on excitibility; it is mostly consistency. The dog doesn't get anything it wants (a leash put on, the door to its kennel open, etc.) unless the dog is being calm. Which is.... probably next to impossible with a 100+lb teenager. >.<
I've seen some improvement from Thud in the past, I don't know, couple of days or so? It's an overall sort of thing as I basically most heavily reward him lying down and at least appearing calm - and keeping a sample bag of kibble (not his usual) on the desk that he gets by lying beside the desk and NOT pestering me.. It seems to be helping, at least a little.

But yeah, there are places there are some pretty big challenges, because he'll sit and be calm ("calm") and do what I ask and then EXPLODE. So at this point I think (maybe?) it's going to be desensitization and duration. Mostly duration. Like, yeah, you CAN keep lying down even if you suddenly smelled/saw/thought about something awesome.

Dogs, man.
 

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Discussion Starter #26
Oh. Randomly.

My other 'by the end of summer' goal is to teach Jack to lie down. Yeah, really. He knows other things pretty well. Down is not his thing. He used to have it and lost it. At this point we've got his front end down in a nice bow. His rear end stays in the air. My goal is that by September it's an actual DOWN.

...My dogs are weird, y'all.
 

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We had success this morning. When the SO and I left for work this morning, Ryker did not make a single peep. I've been testing out different things to see what helps/hurts his separation anxiety. Usually he barks and paces for 1-2 hours and chews up the door frame and poops in the house. I think his anxiety is linked more to me than my SO. This morning the SO brought him for a walk so he couldn't see me leave. Then when SO left, he gave Ryker a kong filled with frozen hamburger. He was totally silent. We've given Ryker free roam of the house and I think that is helping.

I feel like there is finally a light at the end of the tunnel. I'm not getting my hopes up though because his anxiety is usually the worst at lunch time when I come home, play/exercise him and then leave. I'm going to have SO let him out at lunch time today to see if it will make a difference.

Also, we've been giving a small kong w/raw hamburger 2x's a day (once in the morning, once at lunch). It probably adds up to about 1/2 cup. Is this ok to do long-term if I cut his food back? Should I switch it up with different meat sources?
 

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Also, we've been giving a small kong w/raw hamburger 2x's a day (once in the morning, once at lunch). It probably adds up to about 1/2 cup. Is this ok to do long-term if I cut his food back? Should I switch it up with different meat sources?
Probably. I'd probably switch to ground turkey/chicken every so often though, especially if the main protein in his kibble is beef or red meat.
 

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That's great that Ryker is doing better! His level of SA sounds a lot like Watson, so that might work for us too. We haven't left him out of his crate at all yet because we're not sure what will happen, but having my DH leave him instead of me would be a great idea.
 

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I will join the group too with Kris. She is 15 months so almost the same age as Thud. She is doing great with her obedience now but she is bad about meeting new dogs and sometimes even the dogs she knows. She barks and lunges at them unless I am concentrating on her at all times. She is good with people, ignores them but does not mind them patting her. Her Stand Stay is solid and she will stand while four or five people take turns going over her. She does not go up to people but does not shy away from them.

It is this "dog" issue. At a recent fun match, outside the ring I had to constantly either block her view of a strange dog or walk away. While in the ring she was fine, never bothered the dogs outside the ring when she was obeying commands. It just seems like it is not getting any better. She just wants to play with them and if I let her go up to them she just sniffs them. She never goes up to them on long sits and downs even when she breaks the stay. She just comes up to me. (we are working on that, not the coming to me but the Stay means stay)

Since she is a Doberman I don't want people to think she is vicious as when she lunges she looks like she would like to eat the other dog.
 

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Probably. I'd probably switch to ground turkey/chicken every so often though, especially if the main protein in his kibble is beef or red meat.
I think I'm going to do that. I'll check with the butcher to see what they offer for ground meats, maybe even buy a meat grinder so I can do it myself. We feed a rotation of kibble from different proteins.


That's great that Ryker is doing better! His level of SA sounds a lot like Watson, so that might work for us too. We haven't left him out of his crate at all yet because we're not sure what will happen, but having my DH leave him instead of me would be a great idea.
I think it's a good idea to have someone not as connected to him as you are to be the last to leave. Maybe you could start by just giving him 1 room. I was hesitant about giving him the whole house. He doesn't seem to be destructive though but that may change lol. We'll see how it goes

I have a wireless IP cam in the kitchen that I can watch on my phone to check in on him. I'm going to add more to the rest of the house.
 

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So, just now, (and I am still amazed at this), Snowball free-shaped stepping onto a step stool (novel object) and pivot (he pivoted about 130 degrees and then there was a chair in the way), which we've never really worked on before! :eek:

This is a huge deal for us because Snowball usually gets frustrated with free-shaping and just lays down and stares at me. Which he did this time, but after a few seconds of me ignoring his doing nothing he started trying again! So, to recap: Snowball interacted with a novel object, free-shaped a familiar behavior on the novel object, and free-shaped a completely new behavior on the novel object.
 

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So, just now, (and I am still amazed at this), Snowball free-shaped stepping onto a step stool (novel object) and pivot (he pivoted about 130 degrees and then there was a chair in the way), which we've never really worked on before! :eek:
Very cool! I haven't taught Ryker to step up or stand on anything. I would like to practice when the weather gets warmer and the snow melts.
 

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OMG! The SO let him out at lunch and then left. After he left, Ryker actually ATE from his wobbler!!! He whined a little and walked around from room to room, looking at the door for 30 min. NO BARKING. He was anxious, but calm. Not frantic like he is when I leave. And then...HE WENT TO SLEEP IN HIS CRATE! I can't believe the difference. I knew that he was more anxious when I left, but I had no idea that his anxiety was pretty much entirely directed towards me. I don't know why I didn't try this sooner. Hallelujah! One day down....
 

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Discussion Starter #35
So, just now, (and I am still amazed at this), Snowball free-shaped stepping onto a step stool (novel object) and pivot (he pivoted about 130 degrees and then there was a chair in the way), which we've never really worked on before! :eek:

This is a huge deal for us because Snowball usually gets frustrated with free-shaping and just lays down and stares at me. Which he did this time, but after a few seconds of me ignoring his doing nothing he started trying again! So, to recap: Snowball interacted with a novel object, free-shaped a familiar behavior on the novel object, and free-shaped a completely new behavior on the novel object.
Very cool! I haven't taught Ryker to step up or stand on anything. I would like to practice when the weather gets warmer and the snow melts.

YAAAAY. I'm thrilled to bits for both of you. Finding something that works and seeing improvement when something's stressing you is the best feeling ever.


My progress today isn't Thud, and Thud is who needs the work but -

I rarely let my dogs off leash near the house (outside the fence, anyway) The house itself is a distraction, there are more people and activity and there's that chained dog if you go in one direction. I'm also just plain more paranoid around the house. We leash up and either hike out or drive out to somewhere else, but Kylie's never given me any issue and we did agility in the open field in the middle of a freaking FARM a couple of weeks ago - So.

We did an HOUR of obedience and tricks and (mostly) agility flat work in the field nearest the house. The only (brief) distraction we had was in the form our cat coming to steal treats.

For me, that's a big, big win.
 

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OMG! The SO let him out at lunch and then left. After he left, Ryker actually ATE from his wobbler!!! He whined a little and walked around from room to room, looking at the door for 30 min. NO BARKING. He was anxious, but calm. Not frantic like he is when I leave. And then...HE WENT TO SLEEP IN HIS CRATE! I can't believe the difference. I knew that he was more anxious when I left, but I had no idea that his anxiety was pretty much entirely directed towards me. I don't know why I didn't try this sooner. Hallelujah! One day down....
Yay for Ryker!


I rarely let my dogs off leash near the house (outside the fence, anyway) The house itself is a distraction, there are more people and activity and there's that chained dog if you go in one direction. I'm also just plain more paranoid around the house. We leash up and either hike out or drive out to somewhere else, but Kylie's never given me any issue and we did agility in the open field in the middle of a freaking FARM a couple of weeks ago - So.

We did an HOUR of obedience and tricks and (mostly) agility flat work in the field nearest the house. The only (brief) distraction we had was in the form our cat coming to steal treats.

For me, that's a big, big win.
Awesome!
 

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I think it's a good idea to have someone not as connected to him as you are to be the last to leave. Maybe you could start by just giving him 1 room. I was hesitant about giving him the whole house. He doesn't seem to be destructive though but that may change lol. We'll see how it goes

I have a wireless IP cam in the kitchen that I can watch on my phone to check in on him. I'm going to add more to the rest of the house.
I'm really worried about destruction. He isn't destructive at all when we're home, so I'm not worried about boredom. I'm worried that he'll start digging and scratching at the doors/wall/floor as soon as we're gone. Where did you get your wireless camera? I think we'll need something like that before we're comfortable leaving him out, even in one room.
 

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We did an HOUR of obedience and tricks and (mostly) agility flat work in the field nearest the house. The only (brief) distraction we had was in the form our cat coming to steal treats.

For me, that's a big, big win.
That's awesome! We have a lot of open land, but way too much to fence in and I would be thrilled to have a dog who could work on obedience and agility without running off.
 

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So... I thought we had recall pretty down pat. Whenever we've gone for walks, Toby has come back immediately after being called, and even in the house when he's sleeping, if I say 'touch' he comes.

BUT, last night I let go of the leash on the way back to the house because he seemed to really want to go up a hill and I just didn't feel like it. Keep in mind - I have let him off leash in our area MANY times. So up he runs to the top of the hill while I throw recycling in the bins. Of course, he poops up there so now I have to go up there too, but I needed him to come back because the bags were attached to his leash (which was dragging behind him). So I call him, and nothing... he just stood there staring at me. So I call him again, still nothing... So I go up the hill and call him again, he looks like he's about to make a break for it, but the leash is by my foot so I step on it and pick it up before he can get away.

I know he was probably just excited since we had gone out which meant he was in a cage for an hour or so, but what if something had happened where I REALLY needed him to come back and he just stands there?? So.. we'll be practicing this one a bit more... I think the new scents from spring are bringing out his inner hound.... lol
 

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I'm really worried about destruction. He isn't destructive at all when we're home, so I'm not worried about boredom. I'm worried that he'll start digging and scratching at the doors/wall/floor as soon as we're gone. Where did you get your wireless camera? I think we'll need something like that before we're comfortable leaving him out, even in one room.
What I did with my foster was call the house phone and put it on speaker...then I muted my cell. This lets you hear what's going on in the house and if you're only in the car or down the block listening you can get back quick if needed.

Another option is if you have Skype, a home computer, and a smart phone. You can skype yourself (make two accounts) and leave it on to watch from outside. That way you're using the house wifi still.
 
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