Tjido Header

Tjido Header

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

A few days away from home

Last week Joost left to go hiking with his friends, and while he was gone I decided to visit my aunt. She wanted me to visit her because she also has a dog, a male dog, and thought that maybe if Tjido and Pieter met each other as early as possible they would be ok together.

Sadly I waited until now, when Tjido is 7 months to visit..

I had 2 big fears: (1) that Tjido would bark the whole way to get there and (2) that he would not toelatre sleeping in the kitchen instead of upstairs with me.

Tjido is not scared of the car, but the few time he had been in one he would get fed up or something and started barking and whining.  This time, we put him between my feet at the front. This was great! I think that the fact that he doesn't get distracted by the window makes him calm. So the whole ride was without an incident. He even got a nice Kong to chew on.

The first day was of course without rest. He couldn't keep calm. He was nice to Pieter, but sadly Pieter was bitten not so long ago, so Tjido had the upper hand and became the main man in the house... sigh, I had wanted him to be taught a lesson by a wise older dog.. We had really nice walks, but had to keep an eye on both dogs when they were eating - food snatching became war. We also visited my cousin who has two labradors. Oh it was so much fun!

At night Tjido did make a whole concert about being left behind, but it took just a few minutes before he stopped. I must say that the 5 days I was there I had terrible sleep thinking that Tjido would make all efforts to jump the wooden plank barrier. I have so little faith on my precious icie T_T sorry! But now I understand how people in big houses can teach their dog to be alone in a much easier way.

His recall in the forest was amazing! With a new squeaky toy, I make the sound call him and praise him. He does not get the squeaky toy, but i do play with him with a tug toy. This has been magical! Until now it has been quite fire proof, also against other very very interesting dogs, so  I'm very happy! Our week away was nice, but he and I slept better when we came back home ;)

Next posts will be about: leash reactivity and the easy walk harness.

I leave you with a cute video of Tjido and his best buddy!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

The teenage dog

Ah readers!

Well sadly while writing this post, Tjido is yet again sick.. not as bad as last time but now the symptoms are: not eating and throwing up occasionally. And just to make it a bit worse, he found a chocolate in my bag and ate a piece of that.. so yeah, you know..

But today I want to tell you about our teenage dog.
Yesterday Tjido became 7 months old! And well, already a few weeks ago we started noticing some "teenage" attitudes.. recall was terrible, his reactivity towards other dogs on-leash has very sharp ups and downs and he has found a "girlfriend" in the neighborhood (sterilized)... we will need to have the talk. 

Good Looking at 6 months!

Especially for recall we bought new amazing treats that he had never tried before and started playing the "hide" game, which is easy because we are two people. So we hide, call his name and he runs to look for us. He really likes this game! We have also been using a squeaky toy to get his attention and allot of praise and awesome treats when he come back. It is a work in progress but he's getting better. Although sometimes he comes reliably, but then runs back again full speed to the dog that is trying to leave the park.

We also started a "teenage-course" at the animal shelter close to our home. The first lesson was a complete disaster. Tjido could not stop barking! So we were sent to the other side of the field, got a more personal trainer and then at the end got the "so.. what traumatic experiences did your dog have as a puppy?"... we were tagged as the problem dog and problem owner! So we explained that we did exercise him, that he wasn't aggressive (this they actually tried out) and that he was just.. reactive. Part of the breed blah blah.

It was certainly annoying. The next week we decided to take a new approach and get there very early walk around and let other dogs get to Tjido first instead of us holding the 'tight' leash. This worked fine, and we have now refined our technique, by letting Tjido trot while we bike, for the last few meters. This extra exercise helps allot- although at the end of the lesson he's just digging holes and not paying any attention.

Slowly Starting to Walk/Bike

To tell you the truth, we have not learnt anything at the lesson. Since we are starting really basic, Tjido has a good background from the puppy course  (I think our teacher still gets surprised that the 'barking-dog' does follow commands). For us our biggest challenge is to:

1. Arrive
2. Be in the group- be part of the circle, keeping Tjido's attention on us and minimizing the barking.
3. Leave

"BORING! this dirt is so much fun!"

When we get back home we all collapse haha. Next post will be about Tjido's doggy friend! And hopefully his stomach ache will be gone by then.

Me wants cuddles..