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Everything posted by tamapup

  1. Hello all! I just gave Tama (my now 1 year old BC) a bath, and it went very, very badly. Last time he got a bath was about 5/6 months ago -- he's been quite clean and I really didn't see a need for it until now. He's gotten a few baths in the past since I've had him and we never had a problem. It started off alright -- I got a small pitcher and was using it to wet his back and then start shampooing it. He wasn't calm but he wasn't too freaked out, kind of just like "what's going on?". When I started putting water on his chest and legs, however, he went totally berserk. His pupils dilated, he pulled back his lips and started snapping and snarling at me. He let out high-pitched yelps and seemed, well, downright scary. I ended up getting most of the shampoo out with a wet towel, not without struggle. He's never ever had a problem with me petting his chest and legs before, or with bathing... what could have gotten into him? I was actually afraid of him when he was yelping and biting and snarling like that his bites didn't actually break the skin, just left a few light red marks (he seemed more like he wanted to "grab" my arm with his teeth, but it was still quite scary nonetheless). Not a good experience of either of us...
  2. Thank you both! Glad to hear that I'm not alone in this. I'm going to be looking into BAT, and also love the idea of letting sniff around as much as possible. I also did consider getting a head collar but I'm a little scared that he'll hurt himself with it, he pulls so recklessly and I'm scared it would jerk his head... Yes, having him in the city is a huge challenge -- there are triggers EVERY where we go, from skateboarders to strollers to people pulling around carts and moving boxes, etc... for now, our walk routes are not so much planned ahead as they are just an avoidance of every trigger that we come across
  3. Hey everyone! Tama is now just over a year old and I'm doing my best with his training... a friend who has an older dog has suggested the "shaping" method of getting him to walk nicely on a leash. That is, not expecting perfection from him, but rather keeping him close to me and taking him everyone on leash (despite his pulling, which is futile because we still only go where I want us to go), and then rewarding him the INSTANT he loosens the leash, or looks at me, or whatever. We've been doing this and I think he's getting the idea more this way. Previously, we spent about a month only on our block, doing short walks and I wouldn't let him pull at ALL, so we'd get absolutely nowhere. Ended up being frustrating for both of us. He was getting very little time outside and very little exercise this way, too, since we don't have a car (live in a city) and he's too heavy for me to carry. Now, I take him out for an hour every morning and we go to the park. The park is a block away, so as soon as we get there, get gets put on a long leash I exercise him until he's tired and more cooperative on leash. Then we walk and yes, there is pulling, but he gets rewarded every single time he slows or looks at me. Here are our issues now: - he CHOKES himself to get the to park. I have him in a martingale collar because A - I could not find a harness that I felt confident he could not slip out of (I've tried six) and B - I made sure I didn't get a slip leash because I was scared he'd actually suffocate himself in one of those. With a martingale collar, I know that he can't slip out and he can't suffocate himself; however, it's painful to see him choking himself on it as we walk. - he's gotten WAY more reactive. It used to be bicycles and skateboards. In the past two days, he's started barking and lunging at cars, completely losing his mind. Obviously this can't work because we live in a city and we cannot even leave our house without seeing dozens of cars. He will also lunge and try to attack people that he categorizes as "odd" - elderly people, people with canes, people with jingling keys, people who walk strangely. Other items include strollers and rolling bins. What I started doing the moment he started getting reactive was keep him FAR from his triggers to keep him under threshold. I now reward him every time he sees a trigger and doesn't bark and generally just steer clear. If I see a stroller appearing three blocks away from us, we're gone before he can even know it's there. However, he's been getting much, much worse. The funny thing is, also, that his reactivity seems to be selective. He doesn't always reactive the way that he does even to these same triggers. Oftentimes he lets a bike go by and doesn't care too much. Same with cars. Then, out of the blue, he snaps -- and once he snaps at one thing, he will snap at EVERYTHING because he just seems to be in a "snappish" mood. Another concerning thing -- when I place myself between him and the trigger to stop his lunging and barking, and drag him away from it, he bites my arm. He's never actually injured me but he definitely snaps at me. Not sure what to do about this.
  4. Thank you for the tips! I've since removed his toys (a couple days ago) and Tama's currently lying down next to me, just relaxing. Can't believe how quickly he's starting to settle down
  5. Hey everyone, quick question. Ever since Tama was a puppy, we played with him a lot indoors, variations of fetch and tug and hide and seek. Now he's 1 year old and settles wonderfully in his crate, but our issue is that when he's outside of his crate he EXPECTS playtime and attention non-stop. Obviously I can't crate him the whole day, so we're looking for a way to wean him off of this and teach him an off-switch for when he's not in his crate. My question is, should we stop playing with him indoors? It's a bit hard to do this because we're leash training now, so his energy outlet is somewhat limited since we can't even walk to the park yet. When I put all of his toys away and let him out of his crate, he starts barking, chewing, digging... and then gets crated for it, rinse and repeat. Am I going about this the right way?
  6. A little update for you guys -- I think we're doing better. He's started to get it (slooowly)... I should have done this a long time ago, but we have an absolutely zero tolerance policy for pulling now. He still does it whenever he's excited (which is a lot of the time) but since he never gets his way I'm hoping that eventually it'll sink in that it just doesn't work. My only regret right now is that we can't go anywhere together and all of our walks take place on the same block. I'm hoping that in time though, this will pass and the work will pay off. Thanks everyone again for your help on this, I'll keep updating as time goes on!
  7. Thanks guys! Upping treat currency is a great idea - we may upgrade to hot dogs for very special occasions An update - I think we're actually making progress.... he's starting to look at me more and more outside. I've begun using a clicker and take it with me every single time we go out, and click and treat every single time he looks at me. We're working on a few steps of "heel" at a time, with the release "ok go sniff!!" and every time he gets distracted I try to redirect his attention back to me. It's incredible to be making little bits of progress and seeing him improve... I'll be keeping you all updated! Thank you so much again for your advice and if you have more then keep it coming!
  8. This is exactly what our fetch sessions look like
  9. Thank you both for the insight and encouraging words. It's actually very comforting and makes me hopeful that it is, in fact, just a matter of time and consistence. Pat P - yes, thinking what he wants to do might help... I should mention that he is exceptionally well behaved when we get to the park and I take the ball out. Once the ball is in my hand, is it as though he becomes an entirely different dog. He actively tries to figure out what I want him to do and ignores everything else. Nothing bothers him any longer - no bicycles, no passers-by, not even dogs get paid any attention to if I'm holding the ball in my hand. He walks at a PERFECT heel even... we can be walking together and I can say "sit" very quietly while moving and he'll sit immediately and stay until I call him to join me again at the wave of my hand. It's like the ball is a magic wand, and he does what I want him to do almost before I have time to ask him to do it. It's amazing. Now, if only there were a way to get him to pay attention like this whenever I need him to... On a side note -- I just took him out to the park and he ran around on a long lead for 30 minutes. Since the park is across the street from where I live, I didn't bring water (although I probably should have). I just gave him water before and after. While at the park, a woman approached me, claimed to be a vet, and accused me (quite unpleasantly) of giving him WAY too much exercise, said that he was shaking all over from thirst and fatigue, and that this amount of running was horrible because he's still growing. I understand it's better to bring water (and will next time), but 30 minutes of fetch for a 10 month old pup in a given day surely isn't damaging... right?
  10. Thank you all for the replies! We have kept at it with training since I first made this post (almost two weeks now), and I'm sad to say that we've only regressed. I'm not quite sure why this is and am really disheartened. To detail what we have been doing: short training sessions throughout the day, in which we do not walk to any destination but stay right by the front of the house so that he can just go potty. He gets a treat and praise every time he looks at me (the command is "look at me"). He is very easily distracted as soon as we step outside the building (but up until that point, in the lobby, he's composed and quite focused on me), so we stay close by and I give him small tasks to keep his attention on me (i.e. sit, paw, stay, down) - and he completes these tasks for me usually, unless he is being distracted by something. If he is distracted by something (this is ANYTHING - a person walking by, a dog walking by, anything rolling by) it is as if I am not there. I try to get his attention by calling him but get ignored. Then I stay quiet until he looks at me and then treat and reward. It's been two weeks of this and nothing. Not progress. He seems more distracted than ever and less willing to notice me than ever. I thought maybe he wasn't getting enough exercise, so I carried him to the park across the street and let him run on a long lead and play ball. This he really enjoyed and was very tired and very focused on me on our way back. He seems to need this exercise to be at this calmest self, so he's been getting about an hour of it a day. He has plenty of time outside the crate, has chews to keep him occupied, and training like I mentioned. I don't believe that a lack of exercise, mental or physical, is the problem. He barks and howls every time I leave the room. I don't come back inside until he's quiet again. No progress here. He barks every time he hears something from outside the window. I calmly reassure him and put him in his crate if it continues. No progress here. He snaps at my hands and at me when I do something he really doesn't like (put him in the crate, take something away from him) and this gets a firm NO and he gets put inside his crate. No progress here. He has started to become reactive and will pick out certain individuals on the street who he finds "provocative" and lunges at them with wild snaps, barks, yelps. This is extremely alarming and all I can do at this point is hold him back until the individual is out of sight. It only happens with a handful of people and I try to predict when it will happen and take him away before it does, but it's getting worse. He doesn't seem to want to pay any attention to me. I know that he's also 10 months and it's a difficult age, but I really don't know what to do. I'm trying to be as consistent as possible and even an OUNCE of progress would encourage me so much at this point, but I haven't seen it. I know that training is meant to be a lengthy process and require lots of patience, but isn't it meant to come with progress as well? I only see that we are getting worse, not better. He's yelping violently in his crate right now and I'm ignoring him and it's breaking my heart to see him like this. What can I do? EDIT - would like to add that I just ordered "Click to Calm" and "Fired Up, Frantic and Freaked Out..." dog training books. They should arrive this Friday and I'm eager to start reading them. In the meantime, however, any input you all have would be really appreciated.
  11. Thank you so much D'Elle! Yes that's right, he goes over threshold once we're outside.. pays really great attention inside the house though. I've trained him on the leash indoors and he walks at a heel and looks up at me the entire time. No backyard, but I'll start by working with him in the lobby of the building, as that's where he starts getting distracted. Trick is getting him out to go potty - but if I take him outside strictly for that purpose, and then back to training in the building lobby until he's paying attention... that should work right? He loves cheese so I'll try switching to that.
  12. Thank you! I might try that, since that's kind of where we are in the process anyway. He is too distracted outside to even look at me much - we've been staying within a 10-foot radius of our front door (just enough for him to go potty) and I've just been trying to get him to look at me and focus on me before we walk forwards. He is instantly distracted by cars, people, bikes, bins, anything... Even with treats, he isn't paying them much attention. Can anyone please advise what my steps should be here? Should I be standing still until he is looking at me? Should I be using treats at all if he's super distracted?
  13. Thank you for for the suggestions!! @KevTheDog I just checked out the site and I might consider doing the course! I'll try training him in short 5-minute bursts on my own for now, and if that goes no where then I think a course might we worth it if it means we can walk places Tama and I just had our morning walk and instead of trying to go out for a long walk, we did a short one with training, and as a result had a muchhh happier and more peaceful morning than we've been having lately.. I'll keep you all updated on how everything goes. I previously thought that getting him exposed to as many new sounds and sights would be a good thing, but now with this new method I'll be holding off on taking him anywhere - farmers markets, busy streets, stores, etc. He's completely out of control in those places anyway, and I'd thought that maybe he would "get used to them" - but I'm seeing now that a better approach may be to build up slowly to these places and only go when he's walking well on leash... Does that sound right? Even if takes us awhile?
  14. I'm going to try this.. thank you! Here's some pictures as well. IMG_4065 (1).HEIC
  15. Thank you D'Elle! It's really good to know that he doesn't *need* the exercise to get the training done right. I was feeling very guilty for not being able to let him run, and worrying that training would be futile if he wasn't exercised enough. I always hear about how border collies absolutely must get their time to run every day or else they will become wild and difficult to control. However, if it's okay for me to withhold this kind of activity for a few weeks (or however long it takes) and focus only on leash training (going out for 5 minute walks 10 times a day) then I think that will make my job much, much easier.
  16. Thank you both for your replies! @CptJack - I don't always walk him to the park We mix it up but after getting a block out in any direction (his comfort zone, it seems) he acts the same way @NCStarkey - that's so interesting! He does eat a high quality food, we've tried Fromm puppy food and currently he is on Taste of the Wild. Also, to clarify... his energy levels are actually extremely manageable. He's wonderful with his "off switch" - has no trouble sleeping at home throughout the day in the crate while I work, and sleeps through the night with no issues. He seems quite sensitive actually and is easily worn out by new experiences. He is not destructive. Doesn't chew things he's not supposed to (except for the occasional tissue paper he finds, he has a weak spot for those...). He just plays independently with his toys. We're very lucky in that sense. It's just the fearful barking of things that he hears we struggle with, and with him becoming overwhelmed outside and pulling on the leash...
  17. Hi everyone, I'm back with an update about Tama! He is now 10 months old and very sweet and I love him so much. However I'm going insane.To preface this, I live in a big city and don't have a car. We live within 2 blocks of a park, thankfully. My biggest problem is our walks. I cannot walk him. He can semi-decently walk for one block and then ignores me entirely (and any treats I may have) to run ahead wildly pulling on the leash. He doesn't seem to notice that I'm even there. I try to stand still and get him to look at me before we continue forwards, but at this point, even if he does look at me, as soon as I take a step forwards he takes off again. I know that a 10 month old puppy pulling on the leash is not the end of the world and can be corrected with training. But I don't know what to do anymore and am scared I'm just cementing the bad behavior. Just now, I wanted to take him to the park for some exercise, brought along my training treats, and we spent 40 minutes trying to walk together a single block. I came back bawling and he came back not having exercised. But how can we even get to the park for exercise if it's going to take us two hours to walk 2 blocks? What am I missing? He's crated now and barking at something. The other thing is the barking. In the house, he barks constantly at anything he hears - construction workers, people talking, etc. The thing is, it doesn't seem like he's bored, but like he's genuinely panicked. He looks really scared, pins his ears back, barks and makes a beeline for me. I usually ignore him when this happens. If it continues, I put him in his crate, where he continues barking. Then I let him out and loop continues. The thing is, it's not getting any better. Like I said, I love him to pieces. But at this point I'm going crazy. Please, does anyone have any advice? Does this get better? I keep expecting it to get better and it gets worse and worse and I don't know how much more I can take.
  18. Thank you! I've done some reading and hopefully we'll get through period quickly.
  19. Hi there! I remember answering your question a little while ago about a similar problem, and I'm sorry to hear that things haven't been going too great I agree with the previous posts, especially about what was said re: mental stimulation. My boy is six months now, so we're a few months behind you, but he can be quite the pain when he's lacking in either physical and mental exercise. What I've found helpful is shifting around my schedule so that I can get him tired out right off the bat, since I've noticed that his energy levels skyrocket in the morning and remain pent-up through the day if I don't do something about it pronto. What we do is go out for some fetch so that he can stretch his legs, and combine it with training and socializing. If he gets a few hours out of the crate right off the bat to start his day, I've notice he mellows out tremendously for the rest of the day. Perhaps this is something you could try? It sounds like you guys are making great progress here and don't forget to give yourself credit for that! You have an 8mo pup on your hands who is getting better at paying attention, better at coming to you when called, walks well and seems happy and well-socialized. That's a feat in itself and something to celebrate Same here. I've learned from Tama that the best way to get us both through this period of time is to remind myself constantly that he is a baby, and I wouldn't trust him alone or expect him to listen to me any more or any better than a 5 year old child. But believe me, I know it's so much easier said than done. I've had many moments of becoming so frustrated and so upset and feeling like I can't take it anymore. There have been times that I take him out for a walk and he doesn't listen to me and won't stop pulling on the leash and I'm just there holding back tears the entire time because I've worked so hard and sometimes the progress seems totally invisible. (Meanwhile people are giving me strange looks... 'why is she upset, look at that adorable puppy who could do no wrong'.... ) It is hard! If nothing else, take comfort in the fact that many have struggled and are struggled with very similar issues. Take it easy on yourself too. If your anxiety levels are through the roof and you are running out energy and feel like you can't keep going, it'll be hard to work with him calmly and positively. Nothing feels worse than having to take care of someone else when you feel like you haven't gotten the chance to take of yourself. Hang in there.
  20. Hi everyone! Tama is now 6.5 months and very recently, he's developed a sudden and intense fear of things. We live in a busy city, and when I first got him here he was (understandably) cautious of all of the new sounds he was hearing. I introduced him to these sounds slowly and steadily, and by 5 months old he was doing incredibly well - as in, walking down the busiest streets and not even batting an eye at trucks backfiring, construction, etc. He wouldn't be 100% comfortable in those settings, and he'd notice the activity for sure, and maybe walk a little faster, but that was it. No fear. Very suddenly, he's become fearful again. It started with him barking at any strange sights. He is now constantly barking at home, out of fear it seems and not boredom. He barks at paper bags, strange sounds from outside, and then rushes to me for snuggles afterwards. If I put him in his crate and he hears something strange he continues to bark. When we're outside, if he sees something like balloons or a rolling cart, he becomes terrified and starts barking like mad - a deep, continuous kind of barking that sounds really scary and like it couldn't possibly come from the mouth a 6mo puppy. Just a few days ago, he saw an unfamiliar woman on the phone in the lobby of our building and charged at her with this kind of barking, completely petrified. The woman started screaming in fear. It wasn't a nice start to our day. And lastly - literally overnight - he has woken up to an extreme fear of traffic once again. I just took him out for our morning walk, and we went by the busy road. He freaked out on the leash when a truck went by. He continued to freak out even afterwards, tail between his legs, ears pinned back, low to the ground. I comforted him a bit and then we went back. It was like he'd never been outside before. Why is this happening all of a sudden? Should I be doing something specific to get him through it, or should I be patient with him and wait it out? Any help would be really appreciated!
  21. My pup is almost six months and recently he's started to really hate his crate. It never used to be a problem, I associated the crate with lots of good things like yummy treats, feedings, chew toys (with supervision ) etc. I had taught him "go to bed", and he would go inside his crate without much issue when I said it and then receive a treat for his good behavior. Recently, he has refused going into his crate. The first time it happened I had thought it was a one-off, but it's become a solid problem. It's at the point where when I tell him it's time to "go to bed" he runs off from me and hides underneath my desk. I've tried coaxing him with treats, picking him up and putting him there - but he just doesn't want to be in there. It's a good-sized crate and he gets sufficient exercise and mental stimulation, with a few longer walks a day, trick training, and a chunk of the day where he's not crated. I'm not sure how to get him to like it again. It's becoming a real problem because now when I pick him to put him in the crate, he squirms away from me, twisting his body, and tries to bite my hands. Not an aggressive sort of biting (he's not trying to hurt me) but he does try to grab my hand with his teeth and hold it. He's also been generally more naughty lately, stealing wrappers from my trash can incessantly even though he knows that he's not allowed (and will get a time out in his crate if he does it...). He brings the wrappers and tissues to underneath the desk when I'm not looking and then refuses to give them back to me, also sometimes snapping at my hands when I try to take them away. I'm sure that eventually, the naughty=crate equation will click in his head, but it's just frustrating. And also now complicated by the fact that he basically throws a tantrum every time he has to go in his crate. Suggestions please?! Thank you all in advance.
  22. Yes, the sound an animal makes when helpless and in panic/pain has a very particular pitch to it that is quite haunting... Thanks everyone for sharing your experiences and glad all our pups and safe and sound Unfortunately Tama doesn't seem to have been scared off by the experience, as I saw him chewing on his crate bars again later that day. I immediately said "Tama...no..." and he gave me a priceless "what??" face and then stopped. I also got my hands on a bitter-tasting paste made for dogs, with the intention of putting it on the bars - but he rather took to the taste and lapped it up with enthusiasm. I'm looking into the option of getting a grid to attach to the crate. I'm not too concerned with him chewing on the bars when we are not there, because he settles into his crate great usually, it's just when we're in the room and talking and he's crated that he gets agitated. Keep the suggestions (or stories) coming if you have them! Thanks everyone.
  23. Hi all, I just had a very scary experience involving Tama and his crate. I was sitting at my desk, with his crate meters away, when he suddenly began to emit the most horrible screams imaginable. High-pitched, in-pain, panicked and torturous kind of screaming. I thought he was dying. While bolting towards him I managed to make out that he was somehow stuck. As I undid the door, he freed himself, the screams stopped and he ran out. At this point I was sobbing wildly and checking him for blood, missing limbs, I don't even know what. He was entirely unscathed and not even that shaken up. He started playing with a ball and wagging his tail within literally seconds while I sat on the floor and cried for another ten minutes, thinking about what might have happened if I hadn't been right there. He's entirely okay, both physically and mentally it seems. He had no trouble wandering in and out of his crate afterwards, not fearful at all. I had thought that his paw had become stuck, but my boyfriend was in the room with me when it happened and said that he saw that Tama's jaw got stuck - as he opened his mouth to gnaw on the crate bars, he apparently caught his teeth on the bars and couldn't get free. He said that he thought Tama was screaming in panic at not being able to open or close his mouth (jaw in lock). Anyway. I'm very shaken. And desperately thinking about how to prevent this from ever happening again. He's not known for gnawing on crate bars. Does it occasionally when he's upset about being put in the crate but stops after a little while. The crate is this standard one from Petco: https://www.petco.com/shop/en/petcostore/product/petco-classic-1-door-dog-crates Thoughts, advice anyone?
  24. Hi Evie, I was kind of in the same boat with my (now 5.5 month old) pup. He, too, was very fearful with traffic noises. We live in a big city and I was very worried about how he would adjust - but over time, he just seemed to get used to it. At four months old, it's very possible that there's nothing really "wrong" - she's just still adjusting to all the big scary sounds that come with roads and traffic. That doesn't mean she won't improve! Especially border collies, I believe, are sensitive to these kinds of sounds, but gently and consistently exposing her to them with lots of treats and taking it slow should help. Good luck!
  25. So glad to hear that you guys are doing better Keep us updated!!
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