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  1. I've also got an unintended rescue (I was naieve, my first dog, got him off the classifieds and didn't recognize the signs that he was a rescue and not a "normal" dog) and live in the city. After going through numerous online forums and in person trainers and books I've settled in with a behaviorist that I love working with. So, maybe check in with a behaviorist for some insight and tweaks to your current routine and training plan? And, I think Hooper2 may be on to something. ☺️ It sounds like you're doing great work. If you are around to offer updates as time wears on, I'm excited to hear how things develop!
  2. Training Log 21 Aug 2018. Completed day 4 of Protocol for Relaxation and reviewed the instructions. Tuxedog worked well through the protocol. However, I think he might benefit from interspersing a few more "easy" tricks (touch, sit, stand, etc) throughout. He seems looser after a quick "touch" (body tension decrease, commisure & jaw loosen). I was already thinking these might help and was re-encouraged to try after reading the following excerpt from the instructions: ` I would like to do some nosework with TuxeDog, today. I also need to get some meal prep done for the human members of the family. If I'm able to fit in some nosework, then I'll come back here and edit the post. ` Tomorrow: Complete day 5 of Protocol for Relaxation, with easy tricks interpersed throughout.
  3. @GentleLake. Yep, the point of the "free" cue was to allow him to take a break if he wanted it. It was an observation (I found it interesting that he only took advantage of the "free" offer to break the down/stay once) not a judgement of his choice. Regarding sleep, I agree. TuxeDog has gone through periods of more whimpering and pacing vs less whimpering and pacing before. I normally circumvent it by giving him a food puzzle at bedtime and that is typically sufficient. Because I go to bed earlier than MrLoverMan, things are getting thrown off. I had suggested just ignoring the behavior, but MrLoverMan wanted to try the walk and I didn't want to be pushy and figured I'd allow MLM some trial and error of his own. While familiar with TuxeDog since first adoption, MLM has only lived day in and day out with TuxeDog for a little over a week now. MLM and I talked tonight and agreed that each night when I go to bed, MLM will take TuxeDog for a walk. After that walk, if TuxeDog is whimpery, we will both ignore it. If TuxeDog wakes us up in the middle of the night, one of us will get up to let him out for a quick opportunity to use the restroom, and then back in offer a frozen kong, and back to bed. Any further whimpering beyond the quick potty break will be ignored. My guess is this will all fade within a week. If I'm wrong, then direct line to the trainer. --- Training Log 30 July 2018. Zero day. The time I was going to train him was turned over to picking up a free radiator and then the time got away from us. I moistened his food and filled the various chew toys. Would like to time how long that takes me and work it into my normal daily/Brili routines.
  4. Training Log. 29 July 2018. Relaxation Protocol. We completed Day 1 of Karen Overall's Relaxation Protocol, first in the bedroom with the door closed and second in the kitchen. He performed much better than I expected when we were in the kitchen, which is a more difficult environment for him! I offered the “free” command in between each step of the protocol. (Question for trainer: Is that “okay”?) so that each step went “TuxeDog Down. TuxeDog Stay. [Protocol Step]. [Mark & Reward]. TuxeDog Free.” Almost every time he just stayed in the down position, waiting for the next command. There was one time, when we were working through the protocol in the kitchen (the more challenging environment), that he took the “free” to walk around the kitchen and sniff a bit. When he came back for the next step in the protocol he appeared much happier and relaxed to continue. Partially, I felt bad for not having caught on to his body language that he needed a short break. Partially, I was proud of him for self-assesing and taking the break at an appropriate time when he needed it! [~20 minutes] Sleep. TuxeDog had a very difficult time tonight. He paced, whimpered, and barked softly throughout the night. MrLoverMan took him for a run-and-sniff around the block. When he came back, he slept for two hours and then was up again. After about 90 minutes of me fading in and out of sleep to his pacing etc, I prepared a chew for him. That only calmed him until he'd cleaned the chew, at which point he went back to pacing. Eventually, he curled up in a ball next to me, I curled around him and petted him until he fell asleep. He slept through the rest of the night. This one was challenging because it wasn't clear to me whether to just ignore him or to try and do different things to help him calm down. Additionally, there's the new element of MrLoverMan living here and how that changes our routines and figuring out how things with TuxeDog work into the routine. Talk with Trainer about what is "stress that is okay to ignore" vs what is "over-threshold" and needs to be comforted/responded to.
  5. @Sue R. Is this the book that you refer to? Thank you for the recommendation.
  6. @urge to herd @GentleLake. Thanks for the info. Particularly regarding the small batches. I tend to prepare most of my food in bulk and freeze in portions. While the freezing would help with what you refer to. Still, the reminder was good to hear. In regards to the importance of scent to palatability, while TuxeDog will eat just about anything no matter what, this appears to be especially important for TortieCat. I couldn't find a treat that TortieCat would work for until an employee at a boutique pet shop suggested that none of the treats I was using were smelly enough. She pointed me towards freeze dried fish chunks (I don't recall the type of fish, a smelly one...) and that was my first ever success with any sort of dry and easier-than-wet-food-to-handle treat.
  7. ROFLOL. I love it! Thanks for the update. lol. Glad to hear that the trip in town went well, too. Will you be working her around livestock, if she takes an interest to it? Or was the slowing down around the cattle more a matter of curiosity to see how she'd respond?
  8. @jami74. I am in awe of the sock trick! Thank you for sharing. My laundry is...chaos... at the moment. However, I'll check back in when things calm down around the house and we're all settle back in a little better. I wanna give this a shot.
  9. @BarkyBarkandtheFunkyBunch . Another BC newb here, I'm useless as far as ID goes. I just wanted to drop in to echo what everyone else is saying--beautiful dog! I love your photography, as well. Also, I laughed outloud when I read "I threw a stick today and she held onto it for 1/4 mile and brought it home." I shared that with MrLoverMan who happened to be in the room. He isn't too partial to dogs (100% cat man, he is) and even he thought that was pretty cute. To @GentleLake, @Bordercentrics, @CptJack, @gcv-border: Although I'm not the OP, I want to express appreciation for your input. I love reading all the answers and feel like I am steadily learning more every time that I return to these boards. It's also nice that I'm starting to pick up on a few things. For example, when I saw @CptJack's photo, I was able to guess what he was going to refer to (the body position). Which, felt really cool! I'm starting to retain some of the knowledge!
  10. @urge to herd. Ooh, I've never thought of using my freezer to dehydrate, even though I (and my pets!) love those freeze-dried treats. I always imagined that it required some sort of fancy-dandy-super-specialized type of freezer to freeze dry things. Thanks for the tip!
  11. I look forward to hearing more @Ildiko if you choose to go ahead with formal Nosework! My trainer has me doing an adapted version of nosework that is just for behavior modification purposes. I'm in the very early stages of it, and so there aren't any fancy scents involved yet, just treats. When we do get to scents, we will be using "scents he is unlikely to find in nature" as suggested by @CptJack. For folks looking to compete or otherwise learn formal nosework, she refers out to an NACSW certified trainer. I'm intrigued by the Barn Hunt suggestion. I've never heard of that sport before! Yay for learning new things!
  12. Hello, again, everyone! I was trying to think of a place where I might be able to keep a digital training log of my daily (*cough*WhenI'mOnTopOfThings*cough) training with TuxeDog. Our training continues to be behavior focused, for now. I've teamed up with a wonderful trainer and my partner and I (we married, a week ago today!) have been able to find ways to squeak the finances of training into our budget on a semi-regular basis. As I started to search for a forum where I could log daily training sessions, I remembered about this thread here, and thought this would be a great place both maintain continuity and because y'all've got a pretty neat community working here. @GentleLake. I think that you're right and it's both/and. Thanks for the reminder to not get stuck in that black and white thinking! @MeMeow. Thank you! It sure is a long road, and now that we've been in the right direction for a bit it feels so so much more doable. Things have, indeed, continued to get better and better. --- So, for that training log! Context: We are working on integrating TortieCat back into our home. TortieCat and TuxeDog had some trouble coresiding before and so TortieCat moved in with MrLoverMan. Since MrLoverMan and I married, the animal home needs to reintegrate. We have one more month before MrLoverMan's lease runs out at his place. MrLoverMan's been working on introducing TortieCat to TuxeDog's scent and helping her adapt to her travel cage. I've been introducing TuxeDog to TortieCat's scent (although, I've fallen behind on that, which is why it's not mentioned today) and working on an adapted form of nosework and freeshaping with TuxeDog as ways to help keep his mind busy and his stress down. 28 July 2018 Today TuxeDog and I worked on freeshaping with a wicker basket. He caught on pretty quickly with the first 'bite the basket anywhere' and then we raised criteria to 'bite and lift the basket.' After that, we raised criteria to 'bite the handle' which he seemed to be having a hard time with and so lowered criteria to 'make contact with the handle.' We then raised back to 'bite the handle.' For the first time today, I experimented with giving him both 'oops' (nope, that's not the correct behavior, try again!) and a double tongue cluck (yes! That's the correct behavior!) followed by a quick treat. Typically I only mark the correct behaviour and make no comment on the incorrect behavior. TuxeDog appeared slighlty stressed (commisure pulled back, occasionally 'giving up' and defaulting to the 'down' position) but never appeared to go over threshold. After I cheerfully proclaimed 'Game over!' and dropped a handful of celebratory kibble, he laid down and took a nap. Huzzah! Tuckered out doggo for the win! We played the freeshaping game for about 15 minutes.
  13. My parents were in town from a thousand miles away. My father is a country boy, grew up on a farm. Animals belong outdoors, not very partial to pets. The only interactions I recall observing growing up between him and other folks' dogs involve him explaining, "if you ignore then, they'll leave you alone.". Given that background, it was particularly sweet to see him smiling and playing "soccer" with TuxeDog, as TuxeDog worked his Kong Genius Leo food puzzle. Dad didn't realize it was a food puzzle, and was just enjoying footsying around with the toy that TuxeDog was nosing around. Maybe Dad is softening as he ages. Or... Maybe TuxeDog is just a very special dog!
  14. @GentleLake . Thank you! I appreciate your kind words. @urge to herd, Ruth & Gibbs . Thank you for sharing your experiences with Shonie. It's reassuring to hear other's stories of similar dogs. And certainly reassuring to hear of further improvement as the years waxed on
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