Tricksy Thursday

Hi friends!

We hope you have had a great time whether you’ve celebrated howlidays or not. We haven’t really been busy, but rather uninspired. Mom’s been unpackin boxes and all sorts of boring stuff. We’ve gotten a little training done, though!

And Mom’s said she’s going to teach Gummi to wipe his paws and grind his own nails. Time will show if that’s really going to happen.

Earlier this week I got to go to a pawty! I got to dress up as Santa Paws and sit in the passenger seat next to Mom on the way there and back!

Notice the conveniently placed pug for maximum tripping opportunities!

I got to snuggle with auntie!

I had some fun with Odin, too!

Kisses,
Bajas

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Tuesday Training – Relaxation

It’s Christmas soon and people tend to stress out! I’ve put in hours and hours of work on Gummi to help him calm down around the house and yesterday I got around to writing a bit about it in an article in our Training section. The page can be found here, but I’ve copied most of the text into this post. I have also added a few links here that will eventually get into the article, or somewhere else in the training section. Please note that this is only a small aid on the way to a relaxed dog. Exercise, mental stimulation, fun and games and loving companionship are also important parts of the puzzle that will (eventually) create a relaxed dog.

First I would like to show you a video I came across today as a little inspiration. It’s also fun to see that Gummi already knows some of the stuff – but there’s sure lots of stuff to learn out there!

On leash relaxation
I haven’t done very much of this, but it can be very helpful to do this in addition to the other two. Especially because here the puppy is “forced” to be passive while the other two will, at least initially, give you a puppy that FAKES relaxation. This is what you do: Put puppy on a leash, give puppy enough leash to lie down comfortably but not get up. Step on the leash and ignore puppy when he tries to get up, but feel free to give attention and praise and even treats when puppy lies down. If your puppy is strong like mine you might find that you need to have shoes on for sufficient friction against the floor (or they’ll just pull and get a longer leash).

Very relaxed puppy – but on leash!

On bed/in crate training
Get clicker and treats and puppy (on leash if necessary). Get out the bed(crate). When puppy looks at the bed – click and treat (C&T). Any interest in the bed = C&T but gradually increase the criteria so he has to approach the bed/touch the bed and so on. It can be helpful to toss the treats on the bed so he has to get on it to eat them. Soon you’ll only C&T for going onto the bed – now start rewarding sitting down/lying down on the bed. Once he’s lying down on the bed start C&T only when he’s resting his chin on the ground/his paw or he rolls onto his side and any other more relaxed positions. Gradually increase the time he has to lie down before he’s rewarded. If he moves from the bed before getting a treat but immediately goes back it’s good to C&T immediately. With a little training you’ll be able to do this while you’re watching TV (have the clicker and treats handy and watch the dog out of the corner of your eye).

I’ve done this with two dog beds, an area of the couch and the crate for Gummi + one area of the floor where the dog bed we’ve done the most training with used to be. He started offering laying down there even without the bed and I decided it was handy to reinforce that as well.

General relaxation
C&T for any relaxed behavior like lying down on the floor or outside on leash when you’re standing still for some reason. For example when I’m dicing chicken for dinner and Gummi lies down I’ll mark this (I use my marker word “good” that’s been taught in the same way as the clicker when I need both my hands like when I’m cooking, it’s a little less effective than the clicker but works well) and treat him. Either I’ll toss a bit of whatever I’m chopping or I’ll have treats handy. Generally I do both (but not at the same time). When we’re waiting for the train I’ll C&T him for laying down. When we’re on the train I’ll C&T him for laying down on the floor.. and so on.

PhotobucketGummi faking relaxation – he’s entirely focused on me but his eyes are hidden here. Also – notice his hind legs are rather stiff.

Now we’ve finally reached the point where I’ll sometimes forget he’s there as he’ll just lie down when I’m doing stuff in the kitchen! Took time – but SO worth it. Laying down is always his go-to response if he’s not sure what I want from him. He’s still mostly faking relaxation rather than actually relaxing. I don’t mind this – the important thing is that he lies down!!

PhotobucketMore fake relaxation at the big dog show Dogs4All – right in front of him dogs are running around in the show ring. This is why I don’t mind fake relaxation! ;)

PhotobucketAll the relaxation training makes “down” his default behavior which is very handy when you’re out and about.

A few other good links on the subject of relaxation:
http://dogscouts.org/Protocol_for_relaxation.html
Learn to give a relaxing massage!

And the winner is…

…commenter #4!

And commenter #4 is Tommy and The Popounette gang! This is what he wrote: “SHADOW by Micheal Morpurgo. If you look at the cover, here: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Shadow-Michael-Morpurgo/dp/0007339615/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1323816100&sr=1-1 you will understand why!”

And we do understand – it’s a Tommy wannabe on the cover of that book! Thank you everyone who shared your favorite dog books. Tommy – if you’d send me a pee mail with your snail mail addy and any color preferences I’ll try to make sure Mom gets around to finishing it up as soon as possible. You can pee mail me at bajas AT whipmops DOT net and I’m sure you know the drill.

Big kisses,
Bajas

Gummi goes to Oslo (again)

Gummi and I went to Oslo today for a little socialization + I had some stuff to do at work. We took the train in, walked through one of the busiest areas of town to my work place, I did some useful stuff and Gummi got lots of kisses and scritches and then we took the train home from there.

I’m working this weekend so we probably won’t get too much training done, but at least I’m going to try visual targets: http://shirleychong.com/keepers/Lesson4.html

Also – remember tomorrow is the last day you can enter our giveaway!

Then something very sad… For those of you who have not already heard a very tragic event occurred when the Huston Pittie Pack’s home burned down. They managed to get Brinks and Bella out, but sadly Shelby, Guero, Coco Chanel, Lucky and Tiger have gone to the rainbow bridge. It must be the worst nightmare of any pet owner. I couldn’t stop crying when I read about it… Please drop by their blog and give your support. (http://kissa-bull.blogspot.com/)

Also – if you don’t already have it I strongly suggest you put up notes on your door/windows with the number of cats/dogs in your house in case of a fire when you are not home! And, of course, be careful with candles and all the extra risks of fires we see at this time of the year! And something not fire related now that I’ve started on my safety rant is to have a card in your wallet with information about your pets and who should look after them if something happens to you while you’re out.

Hug your loved ones!
Ane & the WriggleButts

Brilliant Recalls, Brilliant People

Hi everyone!

Gummi here! Mom and I had FUN today! Remember we joined the 5 Minute Formula for a Brilliant Recall/Recallers 3.0? Well on the forum there Mom came across a lady who lives not too far from us, so today we met up for a training session. It was crazy slippery outside – lots of ice – but we found a few places we could walk safely. You should have seen the humans on the ice.. Hee hee….
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Here’s a photo of me in the snow instead. Snow is MUCH better than ice..

I had the ladies lined up, treats and toys ready, and then I just went between them for yummies and lots of fun tugging. Humans are so easy to train! Then Naomi got out this really foxy little lady! She smelled SOOOO good! As long as I came over to Mom when she called I was allowed to hang out with her. How cool was that? Mom tried to get a video of ME, but not surprisingly she messed up… Hopefully she’ll do better when we meet up again in January.

We’ve also played fun games inside, today – this Recaller stuff makes Mom play more games and less of the boring stuff!

Big kisses, Gummi!

PeeEss: remember to check out the GIVEAWAY!

Post #888 and a giveaway!

Hi everyone!

This is, according to WordPress our blog post #888! That is a much more fun number than let’s say 900 so we thought we’d celebrate with a little giveaway. Remember Gummi got a new toy a few weeks back?

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It certainly brought out his silly side (like it’s ever hidden).

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We’ve decided to give away a toy like this – more or less in the color of your choice. The winner  will have a choice among the colors of feltable wool in Mom’s collection.

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We hope it will put a smile on somedoggy’s face. The kitties here like wool, too, so if any kitties want to join in the fun they are of course welcome to.

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These toys are nice for a game of tug. Or for those who like to run around and slap themselves with a floppy toy they’re good for that, too.

PhotobucketTug with me, Mom!!


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I promise I won’t let Gummi drool on your new toy. Instead I’ll make sure it gets a little Lucky Pug Snot on it.

So – how to enter? Post a comment on our bloggie telling why you love me so much.. Uh.. Not that? Okay.. the Momster insists that it’s not a good contest (hah.. she has no taste!).. So then I want to know what your favorite dog book is. It can be any kind of book as long as a dog (or more) has a prominent place in it. (Fact, fiction.. whatever!) Comments should be posted by the end of Saturday and Mom should be able to post the winner on Sunday (or Monday… it’s a work weekend for her so don’t get your hopes up!)

Snorts and kisses,
Bajas

Gummi’s Butt

We’ve been working on Gummi’s hindquarter awareness lately. We really should focus on the Recallers training, but.. well.. we do enjoy a little variety around here. We’ve been working on this for quite some time, but once he realized the box was a target things started to progress much faster. He certainly is target savvy! Having already taught him to perch on a box/rock and move his hind legs around it he had an aspect of hindquarter awareness, but having his front legs down and hind legs up was much trickier.