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Everything posted by KevTheDog

  1. @GentleLake touche! In fact...yesterday at the vet, we were recommended a supplement for anxiety, and your having mentioned it so close to when we talked to the vet definitely had the seed planted in my mind. So we are going to be starting up on a product - something called Aptus Relax; there's no CBD here in Sweden - and we'll see how that goes! Fingers crossed. I do have some blinders - he's always perfectly fine at home and in our general neighborhood, and I guess I've been thinking more in terms of puppy behavior - "ah, he's just a puppy, this is maturity; training and time will fix it" -
  2. Update: after Joey walked Kev yesterday morning with no street crossing issues on the small streets, I decided to feel it out and let Kevin lead me on a walk (we just went wherever he wanted to go, which was of course the park two blocks away) so I didn't follow my protocol to a T - and it was totally fine. We didn't do any big, loud streets, but he was totally fine crossing the small streets that had set him off the day before, after our too-much-too-soon adventure. So perhaps (shocker of all shockers) I overreacted (gasp) and was too worried. But I do still plan to wait out the week before g
  3. ANZAC sounds quite interesting, @Lawgirl- thanks for that idea. Also nice to do something meat-free as another option. And @AnnaKat premixed bags of treats are for sure my aspirational state of being! That's a great idea. I often do bags of mostly kibble mixed with chicken or steak, but even more options would be great. Kev has had bad reactions to cheese, so we're kind of avoiding dairy; not super keen to test that out again after some of the very fun, urgent midnight outings he's needed in the past. Yikes.
  4. Hiii everyone! Quite a while back - pre-summer, I think - I posted about how Kevin (now age 1 year, 4 months) would go after my ankles when crossing streets. It hasn't been an issue for mooonths and mooonths - maybe not since August! He has been able to cross all streets that do not have triggering sound-emitting crosswalks like a total champ. We have been taking the same 2ish mile walk for about a month now and I have a goal of being able to walk him down to the water, which involves crossing one big street. Yesterday I decided to give it a try: it was Sunday morning, early, little traffic, f
  5. I'm wondering if the stairs she won't go down are quite steep? Maybe she feels nervous about tumbling?
  6. This is great everyone, thank you! I love the idea of making homemade treats - I am keen to know what's in them, and to make sure we're using meat from animals that were treated kindly. Turkey meatballs sounds like a great option - plus, canned fish!! Brilliant. Then I don't have to touch stuff Yay!
  7. Hi all! I know treats have the highest currency when they're novel. We use either boiled chicken or steak cooked under the broiler (I was going to boil that too - I'm vegan, I don't know!! - and my dad was horrified... ) but I'm looking to change things up a bit. Chicken is a tiny bit more compelling than plain old kibble, steak is VERY compelling... but what else can we incorporate? I'm in Sweden so of course I thought store-bought frozen meatballs, but they all have onions and garlic in them, alas. He also gets peanut butter from time to time, and that is fairly old hat for him (fun bu
  8. thank you @GentleLake and everyone for your advice! It's helpful to reframe this as a matter of not having generalized the rules he learned this summer (which he learned so dang well!) to a situation with two people. The sun sets at close to 2:45 pm here these days (ah, Swedish winter) but I think what I'm going to do is get the whole family out in the courtyard in the evenings to do some of those exercises we worked on in the summer (just me and Kevin) with all three of us, and then take it to the streets after a week or so. My idea is that maybe that 'click' moment @Lawgirl mentioned might c
  9. Hi all! Kev is much improved on the leash - there isn't much to complain about when he's on a walk with just one of us, apart from the occasional bike or car lunge (it's a work in progress, but we're all getting much better at it - him at controlling himself, me and J at preventing it before it even starts). But! When the three of us go out in the world, it's a totally different story - it's like walking Kev 8 months ago: he is supper pully and obnoxiously barky. He doesn't bark too much on solo walks, maybe just the occasional "Wow! The world!" But when we're all out together, he would bark t
  10. Oh man, I feel for you! I look forward to the wisdom others will share on this one because we basically haven't given Kevin a bath since he was like 5 months on account of a fairly similar reaction - he got SUPER scared and trembly and defensive. We have places where we can take him swimming when he needs a good cleaning, luckily. BUT one thought: how used to being in the bathroom is Tama? Kev was so freaked out by the bathroom and it occurred to me that he had only been in there to get wet, which he hated. So we've started putting treats in there for him to "search" out (in as much as on
  11. We live in Stockholm! (My husband and I are transplants from Seattle, but I'm half Swedish and grew up coming here - Kevin is Swedish-born!) I really appreciate your insights here. We generally practice the "yelp" sound (a holdover habit from when he was a younger puppy) when his mouth gets on us as a result of something he doesn't like, but I don't really feel like it's effective. There was a period where whenever it happened (again, when he was much, much younger; when teeth were still kind of a routine part of life), we would go close ourselves off in another room - an easier method th
  12. Look at that team of beautiful pups!! So, we have a much sportier harness that we've tried transitioning him to - at first he was super freaked out by it, so we named it Trish and made it a toy (all of his toys have names), and eventually we were able to get it on him, but he was still kind of freaked out by it and I figured well, if you're not bothered by the old one then we may as well stick with it. Once the step-in harness is on, he's good as gold. He doesn't shut down or behave out of the ordinary; he gives a little shake and carries on with his life. It's the getting it on part that
  13. This is really brilliant, CptJack. It really resonates with me to think about it this way. Thanks. Thank you also for this! I have some follow-up questions!! (Surprised!? ) I have read about the importance of using a harness because dogs' necks are constructed just like ours and a leash to the collar can cause them injury. When he's wearing a harness, I feel comfortable pulling him away from, say, a sandwich dropped on the street (he has a decent "leave it" but not powerful enough to avoid such a tasty street treat). But if his leash were attached to his collar, I would worry a
  14. Hi all! After 6 excellent weeks with Kevin - not much of a worry in sight! so much leash improvement! nothing to complain about! - yesterday he suddenly decided he would absolutely not let us put on his harness and collar and he got super chompy as we tried. Rather than chase him around the apartment, we left without him, came back, tried again (failed); ignored him for a while, played some games, tried again (failed); I got really frustrated and stormed off (grown up!) and while I was walking around the block, my husband took care of it (success!). Kevin kept trying to snap/bite at us as
  15. Had the same matty experience over the summer, including the part where I felt mad at myself! Managed to cut them out and he looks pretty normal now Don't beat yourself up!
  16. These are all great ideas! I really appreciate the reminder for consistency and to only do things when we have the time to do them properly. In many ways I feel like the process of training Kevin is like a constant meditation - I am endlessly having thoughts pop into my head ("What if we do THIS thing that I think will be super fun that you almost certainly won't be capable of and it will all go horribly!?") and then reminding myself "Nope, let's just do what he *can* do." And sometimes I have to remind myself of that multiple times on the same walk. Thank you everyone for these suggestio
  17. We've done nosework and Kev loved it! I would also suggest naming your toys and having pup collect each one by name - we play "Where is ___?" every day and I find that it's an excellent way to get him to tap into a focused state, and it tires him out. I teach him the name of the toys by first showing him the toy, saying "Pickle" or whatever I've named it, hiding it in one room with the door closed, then I open the door and say "Where is Pickle?" and after 2 or 3 rounds of this, he knows its name. Then I can put both Pickle and Tire in the bedroom and have him retrieve them individually. We pai
  18. Hi all! Kevin's walking skills have vastly improved in the last few months but still aren't perfect. Recently, he's developed a habit of jumping up and biting/tugging at the leash just at the very last block of our walk - so, we're two minutes from home. Don't judge me BUT yes I have given in (I know, I know, it's bad and sanctions the game in his mind) a few times and just tugged him home, the end fo the leash in his mouth, so that we can just get there. I have tried: - changing my voice to get his attention sniffing something else - shifting his focus into a series of sit
  19. Are there some moments where you can up the treat currency? For example: we've started using steak (in tiny pieces) to do things like cross busy streets. If Tama can't pay attention then I know sometimes even the best of treats won't work (been there, for sure) - but in moments where you can get that attention! Steak. (If you feel like you need a higher currency treat, that is. Otherwise I'd save it for when it's really going to be necessary.) That sense of "whyyyy is it like thiiiis!" sounds very familiar. We have also gone in and out of very good periods and really, really frustrating p
  20. You've gotten some great advice here! I wonder if adding in an additional structured activity might be helpful, like nose work for example? As a supplement to training time, I'm thinking. This could be another way to activate the brain with something fun that gets him tuckered out. We took a nose work class and I found it very helpful to incorporate the exercises we learned there into our daily training sessions.
  21. Hi all! Earlier this year, when Kevin was about 4 months old, he had to wear a cone for about a week for a toenail issue. He didn't love it (*especially* at first) but he got used to it and eventually acted more or less like it wasn't there. We would give him occasional breaks and getting it back on him was always a hassle - the artful dodger - but it worked. Fast forward a few months, Kevin is just about 1, and he Will. Not. Let. Me. Put. It. On. He opens his jaws really wide so that it just goes into his mouth, and then he air snaps at me/us as we continue to try, and runs away, repeat.
  22. Hi @tamapup ! Tama's looking lovely Kevin was having similar I-can't-stand-walking-you-on-leash-because-you-pull-like-a-madman issues, and I did Emily Larlham's (aka Kikopup) 6-week leash training course - and HOLY WOW, it works very well. It costs, but it was 100% worth it - truly, Kevin walks like a nice guy almost all the time now. Her website is called Dogmantics. Dedicating time to these exercises most days (usually 5 or 6 days a week, but in like 10-12 minute training sessions) was aaaaa huuuundreeeeed perceeeent worth it
  23. Update: behold the power of steak!! Kevin is now lying quite nicely to have his mats cut out as long as he gets to eat tiny pieces of steak while I do it. He stayed put for me for a good 25 minutes the other day (I'm working veeeerrrrry slowly so as to be soothing and not overwhelm) - and his left side is basically done. I picked up a good pair of shears as well as thinning shears, which are really helping. And I'm proud of him for being so patient with a grooming process. It turns out the Bun (we call him Bunny, because we're gross :D) will do anything for a piece of steak. Huzzah! Not f
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