Turn around – Freestylehundars Trick of the Day challenge # 12

This Monday Susanne started another challenge at the Freestylehundar website/Facebook group and of course we accepted the challenge!

The official video:

The group is in Swedish, but if any of our English speaking friends want to join in the fun I’m know you will be welcome. As you can see the tutoreal videos are in English and most members would be able to help with questions in English as well. You find the group HERE!

We started a few days ago, but didn’t get any video until today. We had Caroline and Hamlet over last night for some training and after that things suddenly started to fall into place so this is our first video!

FTOTD 12 video 1 from The WriggleButts on Vimeo.

Boots – Pawz

We’ve been skiing again!
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Fourth time for Gummi and this time we did 5 kilometers. The previous trips were 2.5, 2.5 and 3.5. Although the average speed is higher than when walking the main reason I increase gradually is that he needs to learn new rules – like not crossing the ski tracks without permission and to make sure he doesn’t hurt a paw or otherwise injures himself with the increased amount of running.

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Gummis paws are (unfortunately) not as strong as I’d wished. If he gets to run around by himself in the snow barefeet he tends to end up bleeding.. so we’ve been searching for dog boots that fit and (this is the tricky part) stay on!

The boots he’s been wearing these last few days are the deflated baloon style boots from Pawz. It was Brutus the Frenchie that introduced us to them a few years back, but we haven’t actually tried them until this winter.

Our review: Although they look sooper stoopid, they stay on very well even on the smooth legs of breeds like the staffie. The main balloon part is wider than necessary and a few times he’s stepped on one. I might get him one size smaller for the back legs as those feet are smaller. They can be a pain to get on, but not a lot more so than other dog boots. They are convenient when you put them on inside as they give nice grip on smooth floors. They don’t provide any kind of warmth, but they prevent snow to be packed between the toes and that’s the most important thing.

We have several other kinds of boots, too, that we’ll tell you more about another day!

Working on a handstand

Mom and I have been working on a new trick. Since I’ve learned to walk on my hind legs it was time to learn to walk/stand on my front legs!

This video is high quality, so if your interwebs are slow you might want to choose the other one!

handstand 1 from The WriggleButts on Vimeo.

The smaller file:

handstand liten from The WriggleButts on Vimeo.


I’m a Superhero!

I’m a superhero – but I think you already knew, didn’t you?!


“Gummi has mastered the ability to change shape into a gorilla, however doing so drains his flexibility for one minute. Additionally, he developed the talent to make duplicates of himself and he can transform any penguin into titanium. Gummi has learned to communicate with dinosaurs from a distance and he combats assailants using a magical club that can force attackers to freeze in place. Additionally, he is able to edit the memories of others. Unfortunately, Gummi is especially vulnerable to ice-based attacks. ”

BOL! I’ve used the Random Superhero Generator – you can find it here: http://www.rps.net/cgi-bin/stone/randpower.pl What are your super powers?!

Oh yeah – Mom’s one, too! ” Ane is known for her awesome proficiency at concentration. She also has the power to copy all powers of her enemies and she has been known to become tiny. Ane possesses the power to force germs to ramble incoherently and she has the ability to become invisible. Additionally, she battles assailants wielding a lethal sword that also grants a legendary fame throughout the nation. Sadly, Ane takes harm from exposure to rock. ”

They really got that last part right! Mom slipped on a root while out walking and smashed her hip into a rock when she fell.. Methinks she got that “fall” thing all wrong. It’s the SEASON itself, Mom, no falling required. Unless you’re a leaf.


About those photos..

Turns out the vet was going to take pictures of my BONES! Wasn’t that really strange? Mom says it’s to see that my hips and elbows are okay. Those photos have been sent to the kennel club to be checked out by experts. Mom also had the vet take a few pictures of my back since I was already sleeping – just to see that everything was okay there, too. Nice to know now that I’m old enough to do more hard work, she said..

Either way I was sleepy all day on Tuesday!

Gummi etter HDsedasjon

They took this photo of me when they came home. I walked around a bit at the vet’s before he called Mom to pick me up, but I mostly slept (and I might have cried and whined a teeeny little bit, but not much at all) the rest of the day. We’ll let you know when we get the results of the photos. I’m sure I’m as photogenic on the inside as I am on the outside!


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:
Learn to give a relaxing massage!


Aww… Nice and relaxed…

OR is he?


We’ve actually been training calmness a lot with Gummi, it’s one of those things a hyper puppy like him needs. The clicker is brilliant for this since you can shape the calmness gradually and very clearly show the dog what he’s rewarded for. It’s very convenient to do this on the couch – he needs to lie down and rest his head on my knee to earn his reward. He also has to actually relax his muscles, which is something I can feel since he’s touching me.
He is doing a lot better with this lately – both on the couch and the dog bed.