Grr, the puppy craving...

Discussion in 'Puppies' started by tx_cowgirl, Aug 23, 2010.

  1. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    Seems like everytime I get the "itch" for a new pup, I get new clients. LOL! I have three people wanting me to help them train their dogs--a Siberian Husky, a GSD, and not anytime soon, a Catahoula. The Sibe and the GSD are both older puppies, 7 and 10 months old I believe. Will probably be working with them within the next month or so. The Catahoula pup is nonexistant as of yet, lol! I've trained the other dog of the family, also a Catty, and they are looking for another. Plan on having me work with new pup when he/she comes along.

    If only this would permenantly fix my puppy craving. How BADLY I want another little BC puppy!!!! It's awful, just awful. I keep telling myself I'm going to ban myself from Petfinder as well as all breeder websites, no matter what the breed. But somehow, the addiction takes over. LOL! Maybe working with these new pups can stifle my craving and hold me off for another semester...
    I'm almost done with college....I'm almost dog with college...I'm almost done with college...I'm tapping my heels together, but it's not working!!!! Almost done with college....then the university courses begin, along with the more expensive tuition. Ugh. :dogtongue:

  2. ryleighgirl New Member

    Yay for you getting new clients with puppies:dogbiggrin:. I know exactly how you feel. I'm in my last year of college, and just knowing I'm close to being done makes me want another puppy. I have to keep reminding myself that Ryleigh is too young for me to be able to handle another one right now. I have baned myself from petfinder, but I couldn't stop myself from checking out some Tervuren breeders/rescues.:dogcool:
  3. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    Tx, this is too cute, you get that puppy crave so hard, so often, i know you do!! ha ha!! I get it now and then myself.
    I'll be so glad when you are done with school and can get that puppy!!
  4. reveuse Well-Known Member

    awww... I've had the severe puppy craving several times over the past year myself. It was always my intention to get another dog. First it was my delay - waiting til Romeo got to the 15 - 16 month mark but then right when he finally hit that age one of my neighbors decided to mess with him in my absence and turned my sweet perfectly people friendly boy into an agressive man-eating morkie. I didn't find out why the sudden change in behavior until at least a month down the road and have spent the past 9 months trying to lessen the agressive reaction he now randomly exhibits at the sight of strange men as well as the occasional woman. (he IS making good progress tho!).

    Anyhow not to digress but seriously every single time I think that I want to start looking for my girl puppy it seems to be followed by him having a psycho moment and going postal on an outing or some other reality check. *sigh*

    There are also days I think another dog would help him to calm down and then there are the ones where I'm afraid his antics would rub off on her..... But I really do want another one so badly.
  5. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    Ah reveuse, i empathize with your dog's aggression issue. Tx and i have been having some fascinating correspondence on that very topic (to avoid derailing a tricks site onto behavior isses, i am terrible to do that too often) but, i do hear you.

    DO HAVE HOPE. My own dog was both ppl-aggressive, AND dog-aggressive, when i got him. But, he is 100% cured of the ppl aggression, but remains dog-aggressive, but we are working on it, and he IS better about his dog-aggression.

    But do hang in there, i had ppl give Buddy treats, even random strangers on the street, give him treats. Honestly, i am not even certain what all i did that might have helped him get over it, but, he is over it. He really is. So there IS hope. Also, when i passed people on walks, i spoke to them, i made myself find something to say, "Isn't it nice out?" anything, so Buddy could hear my calm but happy voice and think, "Mom is not afraid of that guy, okay..maybe i don't need to bark at him then..."

    After Buddy had 'settled in' a bit, i had company come over, and give him treats.
    Over time, i took him more places to see more ppl, he got treats most eveyr time he saw anyone!! (i use real meat or hotdogs, cut to teeny tiny treats, so he doesn't get fat, or full, ha ha):dogtongue2:
    I took him to outdoor basketball courts and sat with him, giving him treats for calmly observing, at HIS own comfort zone...that one was VERY challenging to him, all the action and yelling and balls bouncing.....we did that one a lot, starting from far away, getting closer each week, and i talked to Buddy, so he could see, "mom is not afraid of those big guys all jumping around and yelling..?":dogblink:

    Sometimes, i'd have the players give him a treat, too.
    Most ppl are willing to help out a messed up dog, if you ask them, it only takes one moment of their day. (IF you are certain your dog wll not bite, if and when your dog is ready for that, etc.---- MY dog is all about treats....OR, you could even have them toss the treats to your dog, if your dog is still too afraid to have them close by.)

    I took him to parks to observe kids running around screaming, and gave him treats for being calm. I never pushed him past where he was comfortable. If he started to react or seem nervous, we backed up, to where he WAS calm, and let him just watch from there....getting closer each week, slowly.
    when he was advanced enough, i had local neighborhood kids give him treats. To this day, kids in my hood, stop their bikes and say, "Do you need us to give Buddy any treats?" ha ha!!
    I always say yes!!

    Have hope, cuz now, Buddy loves eveyrone. He is outgoing, happy to meet absolutey ANYONE now, but, his interest in ppl other than his family is not as intense as some dogs is, he drifts off to other interests....Buddy is like, "Hey how ya doin? Nice to meet you...yes, i am so, are there any bunnies around here?" kinda thing....
    ....but, he is now unafraid of ppl and always happy to meet them and accepts petting now, etc...... if only i can get him to feel that way about even half of dogs going by...sigh. (but, we're working on it, Tx is big help!!!)
    If walking him is very very difficult, if he is that reactive to people, Tx told me about the "Gentle Leader" head collar, you can lead a 200lb dog in THAT thing!! No lunging, no fear of losing your dog in lunge, etc. Tx has had some success rehabbing nervous or shy dogs inner attitudes using that thing, the dogs don't feel THEY are in control, they realize Tx IS in control, adding to their inner confidence. (hope i got that part right)

  6. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    but, yeah, Reveuse, i think you might be wise to get your dog a lil more unafraid of ppl, before adding in 2nd dog...tough call, hard to say, but, i think, you might be right, dog#2 might cop your current's dog fears of ppl, and then you'd have TWO of them to work on....or, some might say, if you took home an adult dog known to love love LOVE people, well, THAT might help your dog, but, i dunno about bringing home a baby dog...not sure on that one.

    BUT DO HAVE HOPE, this CAN get better!!! much much, now that's a whooole other can of beans, but ppl aggression, has much higher cure rate. Dont' give up, it DOES take time, but, you can get there!!!
    reveuse likes this.
  7. reveuse Well-Known Member

    oh gosh i had typed the first part of a really long reply this morning and then I lost it trying to cut and paste.... ack!....... Ill type another one in a few min *grrrr*
  8. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    oh, i hate it when that happens, the 're-d0' never seems to come out as well....sigh.
  9. reveuse Well-Known Member

    yes the retyping officially is NOT coming out nearly as well but still...

    Actually I've used all of the methods you mentioned in your posts on Romeo. And they really DO work. (here is a sort of summary i guess of what I typed earlier)....

    Romeo is pleased to announce he is currently in the process of being weaned off of his gentle leader. He has recieved a "promotion" to wearing it but having his leash attached to his collar for all trips to the store , class , and other public outings - (in the event that he has a meltdown the leash does get reattached to the leader though). We have also started in the past week with skipping the leader altogether for quick trips to the downstairs bushes (since it actually takes longer to get the leader on and off combined than it does for me to issue the "go pee" command) as well as trips into petsmart first thing in the am (when the store is empty) to go to day camp.
    ---GL service message time : although the size small has a range of <25 pounds listed on the packaging that is a very broad range in size. I ordered a size petite online which although its listed as being for dogs under 5 lbs fits my 7 pound dog far better (and I still had to tighten it considerably). - They are fabulous although in his case he doesn't pull to begin with so its strictly a traquilizing effect I got from it. It looks darn cute on him too in a slightly silly way. I have had wayyyyyyyyy too many comments of " that dog must bite/bark too much / oh look hes got a muzzle on/ etc " but its kind of fun explaining to people that - no its not really a muzzle , he actually isn't much of a barker, and (tho i've not said it out loud) I'm a lot better off than you are with your 95lbs on the end of a retractable leash pulling you along like a sled dog and coming at me at top speed :dogrolleyes:... always in a polite and informative manner of course ;)

    Started off having him just do LEAVE IT to any potential reactionary target....worked on desenstizing him inside Petsmart (which is very conveniently about two min from my house and thus a frequent destination) .... and this was followed by chicken rewards (he is soooooo food motivated that I can seriously still get away with giving him his dinner for training sessions so chicken is like wow omg super big deal time! for him). After we could get a lot closer to the potential "target" (as I now generally refer to most men LOL) in store - started having random guys drop the chicken on the floor tossing it so that he was gradually coming closer and closer to them and also in certain instances when comfortable actually taking the treat from them.

    Also we have managed to make "friends" with one of his arch nemises , a rather nice guy who has a big dog that we run into a lot at the store. (at least a few times a week minimum). Romeo used to unleash a full on assault every single time we would run into them but now after many sessions of C. feeding Romeo chicken (as well as us parking next to him for an entire hour during a class and me feeding chicken bits every 2 seconds for the better part of it) I'm pleased to say that Romeo and C. have reached a very friendly accord and Romeo will even go over for a pet and a treat when we run into each other.

    After he got really good inside and in the parking lot I started working on the little mini downtown district by where I live. Taking him to the less busy end of the shops and restaurants and doing a LOT of people watching. Then we tried walking up and down past some of the restaurants at varying levels of activity (starting low key and working up from there). Currently he is at the point where last week I took him to the opposite end of the strip by the beach where its
    LOADS busier and there are not only men but men who are jogging and riding bikes for him to deal with. - he did pretty well only kicked off slightly a few times.

    What's really funny is that even with people he has known forever and absolutely loves his once over the top rambunctious greeting is now so subdued that he will wait til given permission to say hi and then will go over and do a quick "touch" and run back to me as if to say "see , I said hi to them now please tell me I'm a good dog and pet me or give me a cookie." (the exceptions to this are my two best friends and my mother who all get the full on greeting) --- which is a good thing for our CGC skills that this one has improved so much!

    Currently i'm working also on moving from the automatic "leave it" commanding on my part followed by a frenzied burst of chicken raining down into his mouth (sorry couldnt resist the drama of this sentence hahaha) ... to just letting him kind of glance at the potential target and then rewarding him for not reacting. (which is rather slightly different , i guess , in a hard to explain sort of way) and if he looks like he's thinking about being agressive then Ill add in the leave it before he can kick off.

    Calming signals are good also...

    But the problem is his agression is really on a random basis so it's definetly taking a while.

    How long did Buddy take out of curiosity?!!

    I can't remember what else I wrote earlier. This reply isn't nearly as well written but I'm going to just stop typing now and post it..... (*.*)

    This message has been brought to you by the Gentle Leader, Blue buffalo tranquilizing chicken jerky , and most recently Canyon Creek Ranch Chicken Strips :p (ROFL)
  10. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    Sounds like you two are off to a perfect start--just gonna take some time! So keep it up and keep your chin up. :)
    I hate the "that dog must be mean!" reaction. I do get tired of the "it's not a muzzle" discussion. But fortunately, Z is pretty much COMPLETELY weaned off of his GL. I'm just not weaned off of it, lol! Z actually does perfect without the GL now, anywhere. He is not aggressive though, he is just incredibly timid.
    Word of advice, if you haven't figured this out already---when working in Petsmart, if you have more than one location, try to visit the less busy of the two. Find an area of the store that you are LEAST likely to get trapped in. In other words, don't go down the toy aisle where you're likely to get people on both sides, making Romeo feel trapped and uncomfortable. Avoid bad situations as much as possible so he knows you will keep him safe, and set him up for success. With Z, I found an area of the store that he could still be near people, but not TOO near people. Always find an escape route, so that if you need to, you can easily remove Romeo from the scary mean people. Don't wait to find an escape route until you need one. Try to see situations before they happen---you're at the park and a group of kids point and rush to their parents to ask to go pet him. Or kids are walking/running in your general direction, even if they aren't actually coming to you. People are oohing and ahhing over the cute Yorkie. The college girl with the Chi in her purse squeals so loud she's almost her own personal dog whistle. Lol, look out for these types of things so you can get Romeo out of there before it happens. People that are calmly interested in your dog and more likely to listen when you ask them to greet Romeo the best way possible for him to have a good experience.

    With Zekers, he is frightened of people. Within the last year he has finally gotten to a point where he will approach people on his own. I never ask him to approach someone. If they ask to pet him, the only way to win his heart his with a tennis ball. He will approach anyone with a tennis ball. Z is just flat does not like food, which makes getting him over his fear a little bit tougher. So basically what I've done is made sure everyone in the world that he encounters has a tennis ball. Eventually, the tennis ball will be faded a bit so that he thinks, "Hey I bet this person has a tennis ball!" and even when they don't, he's okay with the petting because there might be a tennis ball.

    Good luck with Romeo! Sounds like y'all are on the right track. :)
  11. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    Tx, i always love your posts, and always laugh about Zeke and his tennis balls...i can just picture it!!

    wow, Samantha, you are doing a LOT of things VERY VERY WELL!! KUDOS TO YOU!! Wow, i am so impressed!! You have spent some time learning up on this, or studying something, or else, you are innately great at figuring it out by yourself!! at any rate, i was stoked to meet someone who seems to be investing such effort, and doing so many things right in trying to help her dog get past his fears.
    How long did it take Buddy????, i kinda hate to say, cuz it might bum you out, cuz maybe he got past his fears of people faster than your dog, but, i sense Buddy's fears of ppl was not as strong or severe as your lil Romeo's fear is.

    (big or loud men was last to go, and he still looks them over pretty good..but he is not afraid.) but it was only about 6 months, til i felt he was fine...maybe 7 or 8 if i count in the months i spent on kid-work, too.....and i can report, there was some pretty noticable improvements, even before that half year mark...
    But, do not not not not get discouraged, if your pooch is taking his time deciding if alllll these many many ppl are really okay or not. Each dog in individual, processing and progressing at their own lil pace. I don't think Buddy's ppl thing was as severe as Romeo's, but, it's hard to find a dog that is/was as bad off about dog-aggression as Bud is/was....

    Buddy however, is WAY more invested into his fear and loathing and absolute obsession with most other dogs....:dogmad:it's not pretty. But yeah, he did do a 100% turnaround about humans.

    Possibley, Buddy's lil dog brain :dogwacko:could not hold equal amounts of fears in two different directions, :Dha ha, listen to this, what if, Buddy's XXX extreme focus (is undescribable beyond words) on other dogs, was his own lil distraction away from focusing too much on his fear of ppl...ha ha, who knows?

    by the way, Samantha, i totally understood egggzactly what you meant, about, the difference between having the dog distract OFF of the target, vs., rewarding non reactions while gazing (okay..... staring:dogph34r:) at the target. I have had much better luck with second method, (Tx is one who got me to try it, after i wasted an entire year on first method of distraction, now, i only use that as last resort for his ongoing dog aggression).

    Samantha, and Tx, the one thing that ppl like us, can so so enjoy in way others can't is-------watching our dog make a breakthrough, seeing them becoming less fearful.... I get majorly stoked inside, to see progress....sure do. then *I'm* the one having trouble staying calm!!

    I swear, there's been moments in working with Buddy, that to any onlooker, would look like drab ordinary moment, but, to us, i felt like we'd just climbed up highest mountain, just won some major race, ----to me, that "ordinary" moment, when Buddy walks by enemy dog without reacting, without even tensing up, just gives me such a thrill, i wanna jump around. (Tx advised me, actually jumping around might not help Buddy stay calm, :Dso i don't, ha ha!!)
  12. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    LOL, so funny. ^^
    Just while reading this I am literally feeling the warmth and excitement deep down inside that you feel when your dog makes a breakthrough. I know Z will never be "himself" everywhere, but if he was....gosh he is just a dog that is impossible not to love. He is an absolute CLOWN, super goofy and very enthusiastic. And a total lover boy. When he does calm down, he loves loves loves just to be snuggled. He is a total softy. He lives for lovin' and tennis balls. LOL. And everything he does, he gives 500%. He has the most wonderful personality; he's just scared to let strangers see it. Every time he takes a tennis ball from stranger it warms my heart. .....How funny that I want my dog to take toys from strangers. Parents all over the world must be thinking, "This lady's gonna be an awful parent."

    Anyway, not to derail the thread...
    Be patient and don't get down if you have a bad day. When you're working with behavior problems, especially aggression, you will have great days and terrible days. And sometimes those are back to back. Don't get discouraged--just work through it and know that your hard work and dedication will pay off.
    tigerlily46514 likes this.
  13. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    btw, Samantha, i bet you've already noticed this, but, once Buddy reacts, if he crosses over that threshhold and entertains everyone with his imitation of a whale breeching at the end of his leash, (it happens sometimes, especially if we are caught off guard..) well, then, for next 20 minutes or so, Buddy WILL react, at least somewhat, to ANY dog for next 20 minutes.
    Even his beloved best pal, Buddy will give him some grief[IMG]...poor ol Duncan is like, "What I'D do?" I bet, if when your dog ever does 'lose it' and go off on someone, well, if your dog is like mine, he'll be touchy about anyone ELSE for about 20 minutes... sometimes even 30 minutes.......i hear this is excess adrenaline making them kinda freaky for a lil while til it all dissipates.....

    so i try, really much, to keep Buddy away from ALL dogs if Buddy has just lost his temper on some dog...we're usually done for the day...

    i was just thinking about the randomness of Romeo's reactions. I kinda know what you mean. Bud is like that a bit, too, surprises me now and then. Sometimes, i CAN figure it out, --or *think* i know[IMG]--- why he might be off that day, but, lotsa times, i'm like, "cmon, Buddy, whaddya doing?? What, you hate Mondays, what's going on...?"
    ha ha!!!!

    See, if i feel super good, like, "We are really making some great major progress here! Buddy did this and that! etc",[IMG] see, seems like THAT is when, ------------next day, Buddy will go off on some dog, "Ey! you wanna piece of me!!??"
    and now and then, sometimes, then, i might feel EXTRA bummed, no, it's not just the look of absolute disgust i get from the humans holding the other dog's leash, it is extra big crash cuz i'd set my own self up too high the day before....i have to learn to stop braggin....

    cuz you are right, ya never know...what days they are gonna show off how calm they are, how much they are being brave cool dogs,
    and then
    which days they want us to remember, "Yeah, i'm Cujo, you got something to say about it?" kinda thing...lil gangsta...but, there is no denying, they sure are interesting!!!

    oh, ps, yes, Tx taught me about calming signals, and wow, those reeeeally help Bud more than anything else i've, not every time, but wow, i'm probably about 50% to 70% successful----if i have time to see it coming---with those calming signals..THANK YOU TX!!!!!
  14. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    TX!! I THINK WE SIMULTANEOUSLY POSTED!! Is there an internet word for that??
    Like, if we were side by side, we'd have to say pinch poke you owe me a coke, but, anyway, loved your post!!!

    'LIKE' 'LIKE' and 'LIKE' again!!! :)

    EDIT: also kinda funny, in our simultaneous postings, there i am whining around about bumming out if Bud goes Cujo, and there you are, encouraging ppl to not get bummed out if the dog is reacting dispite all our best efforts!!

    ha, synchrocity...only in reverse!! bah ha ha!!!
  15. reveuse Well-Known Member

    I think we've officially hijacked this thread (well mostly me since I started the derailing myself) , but I'm too much of a noob to suggest moving all of this to it's own thread and seeing as i've been out of the house for 13 hours and had jury duty for most of it my brain is far too fried to do so. (tho if one of you does I will willingly follow).

    OK TIME FOR A BIG POST with my replies to both of you as well as AN AMAZING what just happened............ story thingy
  16. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    Lol, thanks Jean. xD
    The Calming Signals thread idea--that's good, I like it. Calming signals are amazing. :) Turid Rugaas is phenomenal.

    HA, well it was my thread initially to derail, lol, but I'll see what I can do. Still figuring everything out with the new forums. o-O
  17. reveuse Well-Known Member

    Well typing takes a lot longer when watching Grey's Anatomy and Private Practice I confess.......

    ----- TX I just laughed SO SO hard at this! I live in a town where the chi's are definetly taking over the designer purse market (as are small white fluffy things and things that are too hybrid for their own good)...... yes technically I do have a yorkie/maltese morkie designerish thing myself BUT i REFUSE to put him in a purse or stroller like device. He has paws for a reason LOL (not to mention he thinks he is a GSD or Lab or something considerably less frou frou)

    --I'm very happy to have met you and TX as well!!!! :dogbiggrin: Well some of the things were me , some were the trainer (I read a post somewhere on here talking about the fact that a LOT of Petsmart trainers are not necessarily the best BUT in my case (and without going into super duper long winded and boring detail) the one that is at my store is FANTASTIC - area trainer , tons and loads of experience , just amazing. I actually discovered the calming signals reading about things online, she came up with the GL idea and is also brilliant at helping with timing or just acting as a buffer when I get frustrated or am upping the ante a bit. And Ro gets credit too: the fact that he would probably jump willingly off a cliff if he thought he would get a tiny cookie out of it made me think that if the man was giving him the chicken (in relavant stages) he would be far more likely to see them as less of a target. (kinda like Zekers and the tennis ball)

    I'll stop quoting now I'm sure its annoying ...

    I definetly agree that escape routes are quite important - when we are in store one of my favorite aisles is the one with the beds because he will just dive bomb into the nearest one - to the point of climbing into the shelf and hopping in . If there's a need. We have worked our way to hanging out people watching in the front of the store but I position him so I can escape down an aisle if need be! TOTALLY the best thing and TX you are SO RIGHT about making sure to set them up for success! Very Important!

    A calming signals thread sounds like a great idea:dogbiggrin:! Romeo isn't terribly responsive to yawning but he seems to be a definite fan of lip licking......o.o ...

    I also agree that once there is a FULL-Scale outburst he is definetly more reactive for the next 10-20 min BUT since he's soooooooooooooo Random Dog the extra reactivity doesnt really apply to EVERYONE , its more like he is just apt to decide that more men qualify as a potential "target" ........... I always make sure to quit while we are ahead or at least end on a postive note !

    The Random Dog factor is so random that he seriously wanted to eat my neighbors boyfriend while we were out on the path one day this weekend and then the next day he was all like " hey you how's it goin , got some chicken to feed me". My silly boy....

    AND NOW TIME FOR THE BIG STORY OF THE EVENING! ------------- DRUMROLL!!!!!..............
  18. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    Lol, the Petsmart trainer post was most likely from me. I used to work for Petsmart, as a manager not a trainer, but I know how the system works with Petsmart trainers....many many many stores hire just any person who applies for the job. They go through the "training," and VOILA you have an "accredited" trainer. Scoff. There are some Petsmart trainers that are phenomenal, really good. And then there are sooo many others who just went through the training. No offense to Petsmart trainers at all, really, it's the system that could use improvement. The location I worked for had a fantastic area trainer, so the trainers in our area generally turned out pretty good. Now, however, I guess there is a different area trainer. Won't say more on that....

    Waiting for the big story of the evening! :)
  19. reveuse Well-Known Member

    story coming , was distracted by end of show. am srsly in the midst of typing it now tho!

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