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new 2 BCs

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About new 2 BCs

  • Birthday 02/02/1952

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    kayaking, pharmacology, greenhouse, grapevines, trees, music music music

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  1. The latest in the saga of Tadaaki ... and btw I'm putting this out there to get constructive criticism, recognizing I'm a novice. Not to give the wrong impression when I complain about his nipping - this black dog has a heart of gold. He's restricted to the kitchen, but the barrier to the living room is one he can scale (photo coming). When I was outside I heard him barking (a once-a-week occurrence). I found him in the living room, sheepish, looking for a way to get back into the kitchen. My idea of using the walking stick as a lightning rod for his nipping took about a half day to show how bad it was: the puppy was so amped up at the end of the day I had to battle for each and every step I would take in His presence. Waaay over the top. (Again - I know it's because of me, what I'm doing.) I've gone to zero tolerance on nips anywhere, anytime, including using the 'n' word (oh-nay) very loud (and rarely). That improved things 100%. I needed to use it maybe 2-3x a day. Hm, maybe 5 times. After about two days of new rules, now corrections for this are needed rarely - big sigh of relief - haven't needed the 'n' word for a couple days. He still has enthusiasm coming out of his ears, is happy as a clam, and is developing more attention and interest in training, though each training session has to last no more than 3 minutes. We did a road trip (10 hours in one day) together that was really helpful too. He was the perfect gentleman in the pet store, where he met more people in a half hour than he had in his life. He was frightened by a skateboard, we investigated together, and he decided it was a non-issue. Semi trucks and motorcycles were no problem. He spent some time apart from me, being watched over by my son. Good times. After coming home from the road trip, Trinity, my calico cat (color-coordinated with her little brother) showed some more tolerance and hung out with us some. She got into something that gives her intense allergies, probably the same thing that almost killed her last year this time. Her lungs congested, she lost her voice entirely, so I locked her in the house, antihistamine ready. Tadaaki as always the gentleman in the kitchen, was completely quiet. Trinity announced in perfect voice she was ready to go back outside at 3 AM. The next morning Tadaaki was morose. Keeping him on my lap for a half hour did not help much. Maybe the excitement from the day before, and lack of food from car sickness? Maybe some illness he picked up? Then he made it clear that the Big Deal was being allowed out of the kitchen. To his credit he refrained from saying, "like the cat". (The difference in food quality hasn't escaped him.) I let him into the living room and designated a spot under a chair where he was to stay. He lay there supercontent, keeping at least one foot in the designated square, for four hours, skipping breakfast, skipping lunch, skipping water, all of which was freely available in the kitchen, asking for nothing more. Okay, that afternoon he was busy negotiating the bedroom and trying to take control of doorways - he *will* take a mile if he can get it. More conniving - when walking off leash he's learned if he hangs way back until I call him to catch up, he can claim a treat for obeying a command. And I thought the cat was manipulative! He even applied that to lying on the barrier between the kitchen and the living room, whining that he could not get down, until I ordered him to. That happened minutes after this photo: I have to confess that while he was in this position I petted him, and though he looked calm and had his ears back comfortably, he growled at me. Pretty disturbing; clearly I need to improve a lot still. He had been sent back to the fence because he was nipping furniture; if it only represents a bit of grumbling, I'll be relieved. We slept under the stars last night. I hope that much familiarity will not breed contempt. Honestly, he does spend a lot of time in mellow submissive moods; I hope that means happiness for him. He spends a lot of time beating up plush toys, defeating plastic milk cartons, running in the woods, and digging in the sand, too. We are building toward recall games, but we're miles from there still. I have not got Takaaki to understand that there is a treat beneath one cap that he should turn over and look for, let alone that there are two empty ones. He is not associating the word 'ball' with the object and though he will fetch, it's not his strong suit. So Einstein Border Collie he is not (at least, so far), but one overthinker in the family is plenty. He's developing his nose. The redirecting is new for me - didn't use it on my kids. Actually he's teaching me how to avoid escalating confrontation by making my point and then moving on rapidly to a pleasant activity for him. I'm focusing on training him to lie on his side on command, a good way to calm him if he gets nippy. We had a real life test already - we encountered a porcupine, and Tadaaki obeyed with his come / sit - his only really reliable commands. Maybe he would have been smart enough not to chase it anyway, maybe he wasn't smart enough to figure out what it was too. ---- brief note on Trinity . She had been found in the wild at 5 weeks and I raised her from the bottle. She always experienced ecstasy leaving the house and being in the midst of Nature, as simple as sniffing a blade of grass or complex as watching the mating flight of a cricket. So I let her live as wild as she chooses. Fortunately, she is a terrible bird hunter, and has her paws full instead with the many shrews we have. Two years old, she has pretty much vacated the premises since Tadaaki arrived, apparently having no difficulty in mooching food, shelter, and anything else she wants from a neighbor. (She is very vocal and explains herself well - fortunately, not a very demanding cat, as long as she has either the sun or the stars.) She comes to visit me about daily still. She and Tadaaki are getting closer gradually, but they are not yet accomplices. I'll win her back in time. ----
  2. You go! I'm so happy for you and for Tess. Whispering for you both.
  3. Julie, great stuff, thanks. That kind of example is extremely helpful. This gives me a model I can work with. I'll correct verbally and I'll use the walking stick as a lightning rod to attract Tadaaki's excess exuberance, realizing that he may grow up with issues toward walking sticks - I can live with that! In addition, insofar as it's normal puppy behavior, it makes a really fun game for us. Thanks, Belleview, I appreciate your point of view and share your feelings of annoyance with nipping - it's dangerous for the pup, and soon we'll be running and biking together. I really want Tadaaki to be respectful and well-mannered, at the same time as he enjoys his puppyhood and has an audacious side. He is most definitely testing his boundaries and limits in other behaviors. Persistently. I think I need to answer with Swiss consistency. I'm finding it leads to bad manners if I sit on the porch steps where he can be on the same level as I am; or if I'm overindulgent in petting him, it seems to disrupt his mellow, submissive state of mind. One of my problems perhaps has been that I haven't got him walking well on leash yet. He tends to sit-down strike or else want to carry the leash in his mouth. I'm working to make the leash more fun, distract him with a ball to carry when he's on leash, and give him a towel for tug of war. We do a half-mile walk about 3 times a day, off leash. At the end of that walk is a short training period (like 3 minutes) where he will get a command or two and a treat reward. He is eager as the walk ends, waiting to hear/see a command.
  4. Thanks, Lauras C & E! You both have very cool tribes of the devil dogs! So a little bit of attitude is par, and I'm being an overconcerned parent? That works for me! Their nickname is "angel dogs", right? Thanks for the warm welcome, and I look forward to learning lots and sharing the joys and sorrows on the board. John Oh, and D'Elle, your note snuck in on me - thanks also for your support!
  5. Where do I put my name here?? Anyway, it's John ....

  6. Hi y'all I've been lurking and reading for a few months and have just brought home from the breeder Tadaaki, now nine weeks old. He's been really quite the gentleman - fond of his crate, strong homing instinct but not much separation anxiety (knock on wood), very bright about understanding what he may destroy and what objects he should keep his teeth away from. There's one big exception (not to make a mountain of what might be a mole hill). When I take him walking off leash and if he gets in his wild mood, he'll come walking into my path, lie down directly in front of me, and sometimes nip at my ankles and jump on me. I'm thinking this is not puppy play I should encourage but behavior I need to correct now to prevent problems later (right?). The most effective approach I've found so far is to carry a walking stick, and if he must run and nip after something, it's the stick, and he gets tired of doing this pretty quickly. With the stick too I can claim space around my feet and legs. I'm not hitting him with the stick, of course! Clearly, these are some herding instincts, and I don't want to shut them down, just redirect, and make sure the dog has the right measure of discipline. I'd appreciate feedback. The picture of him is in one of his wilder moods. Maybe 70% of the time he is in gentleman mood, meaning he would nuzzle me but keep his mouth shut. Most of his wild time he spends assaulting his plush puppets, chewing appropriate objects (again, knock on wood), or attacking puppy-sized plastic objects.
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