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hoku's mum

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About hoku's mum

  • Birthday 03/02/1958

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  • Location
    Grass Valley, CA
  • Interests
    Dogs, gardens, hiking, all things creative

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  1. Thanks for the story on Sophie, sounds so much like Hoku, especially the unpredictability of his reactivity. We have been working on it for most of his life (he started grumping on leash in puppy class...) and he has gotten alot better in some situations (agility class, walking on leash in town or at the park) and not much better in others (tight spaces, leashed, small yappy out of control hyper dogs... just what we will be dealing with ) I will definitely get his thyroid checked before we go, would love to find a pill that would 'fix' his reactivity bc4pack, I think of the exact same thing, I don't want Hoku to scare them and start any behavior issues with them... that is why we are really trying to figure this out and do it right, for all involved. Thanks again for the thoughtful replies, you all are such an amazing resource and pool of knowledge and experience... I am grateful to be a tiny part of such a great community.
  2. Laura, no, never thought we had a reason to check his thyroid.... maybe we should pursue that. What were Sophie's symptoms? Our old boy, Spencer (RIP) had thyroid issues late in life, but he was just acting super tired, slept all the time. The meds changed his life, gave him 5 more peppy years. If he got along with other dogs, he would be the absolute perfect dog, he is so well mannered (except with other dogs), gentle (EWOD), sweet (EWOD), respects boundaries (EWOD), plays well with others (EWOD)... ahhh well, nobody can be perfect, I guess
  3. Well, you all have confirmed my gut feelings about the muzzle idea. I'm afraid it will just intensify his reactivity. I was not crazy about the idea, and now it's OUT. The other dog owner is bringing a crate (she is trying with the pups, but they are pretty out of control), and Hoku is crate trained, so I think we will try the rotation thing as Julie and Kristine suggested. We (the dog owners) could go with the baby gate idea, which would be great, but there is one very grumpy old man involved that will just make it all very miserable... We will stay overnight at least one night, so I think the rotation and strict management will be the call of the day. I don't think this will be the most relaxing x-mas.... Any ideas on how to use this situation to work with him on this, as Petra suggested? As many other dogs, he is more reactive on leash. He is click trained, so maybe C/T for looking at the pups calmly, being in the same room calmly (on leash) for short periods? The thing that is so hard is that with his pals, he is soooo sweet and loves to play, I know that sweet roll-over-on-his-back side, yet I have seen him snap, and hurt a dog. The Jekyll/Hyde part is so challenging. I'm getting much better at reading him, but I just don't trust myself to be able to intervene quickly enough... things can fall apart in a nanosecond for him. Thanks again for your input
  4. Greetings all. Lately I've just been in lurking mode, but need some input on the upcoming holiday stuff. We take Hoku to the family gathering every year, and he is a perfect gentleman, he loves all people, everyone loves him. Other dogs, another story. This past year he has gotten into scuffs, and has hurt 2 dogs now, one he knew very well. I have figured out that it's a space issue for him, when another dog gets in 'his' space (what ever he perceives that to be at the moment, it fluctuates, but I really think he will view grandma's house as his) he gets very grumpy. Bottom line is that I can't trust him with other dogs now for fear of him hurting them. My partners sister has gotten two little dogs and is bringing them this year. They are sweet rescue pups, about 9 months old, and full of it. I am at a loss as to what to do with Hoku. He does not kennel well at all, our pet sitter(s) are booked, and I am scared that he will hurt these little dogs. I may just stay home this year.... not what I want, but really don't want the trauma drama of any blood. Someone suggested putting a soft muzzle on him so he could not hurt them. Has anyone ever tried this? Would love any input from this wise group.
  5. Oh Ruth, I'm so sorry.... our thoughts are with you.... Run free, Buzz boy
  6. This is great, glad we're not the only ones.... Hoku= puppy-boy, puppy-pants, boy-toy, Mr. MaGoo, puppy-pie, puppy-pie-pants,Hokie-polkie, Bub, and the #1 nick name is Hoku-Pie.
  7. Hoku is only allowed on the furniture by invitation, and he seems uncomfortable on the couch. But he LOVES his Costco dog beds (we have two). Gussy is allowed on the furniture as she is TheQueen. But, being TheQueen, she often wants the bed that Hoku has..... so they often share Gussy is always happier with this arrangement the Hoku is... Mooooommmmmm, she's on my bed again...... Hoku will go back and forth between the bed and the hardwood, more on the wood in the summer, more on the bed in the winter. And of course he follows us from room to room. He has a crate pad in his crate for his nighttime sleeping, the crate is his #1 choice, and he puts himself to bed right after the night time walk, even if we stay up I like having a bed that he loves, as 'go to you bed' is a useful thing for games, or if he's underfoot, or just pesty. Plus, when we take him someplace we take his bed and he has a spot to settle that is his and familiar, which really helps a freaky tweaky boy like him.
  8. Will be interested in this thread, as we have the same issues. What we are doing is similar to what Reddii describes. We work on him looking to us when he is nervous or tense. We are also working on calm leash greeting with dogs he has gotten familiar with in agility class. We let him approach a dog on loose leash (very important), sniff and greet for a second or two, and we click for the greeting, he turns away for his treat, we call him a few steps away, treat, and then sometimes let him go back for another sniff and greeting, click, call away, treat. It seems to be helping alot, but have not graduated to strange dogs yet. Like you, I get super tense with him on leash with other dogs around, and I know he reads that and reacts. So in a big way, the practice at class is practice for the human part of the team!
  9. I will just chime in on the CU and CC as great resources, and give a small antidote. Hoku has been reactive with other dogs for most of his life, and we have been working positively using the above methods. We did the county fair agility demo this weekend, and it is a high stress situation, where his triggers are all in his face. We are sooooo proud of him. A couple of out of control dogs rushed him, and he just looked to us (as we have worked so hard with him to do) and was fine. On our practice night before the fair opened, I had him tied off to a big tent on one side of the course (I was with him) and while the course was being changed for tunnelers, a woman with a HUGE intact lab-rottie or something on a prong collar was being dragged in our direction. She kept approaching us (to ask if she was in the way...duh, your right the middle of the course....), so I got up and stood between Hoku and her, asked her to please not let her dog approach Hoku. At that moment her dog lunged at us, pulled her right off her feet, and I guess that the force of her flying through the air and landing sprawled on the ground surprised him or pinched him hard enough that he stopped. Hoku just lay there, no growl, just on high alert watching me. He trusted me that I was protecting him, which is just huge for us. Last year he would have gone all Kujo on that dog. I just wanted to share that the positive stuff really works for us, so keep us the good work, it's ongoing, but it really does work. Keep exposing your dog at levels under his threshold, but keep exposing him, that is the key I think. When Hoku is home for to long a time without dog exposure, he regresses to that hard mouth and grumbling. Can you enroll in an agility or some kind of fun class where you will be with other dogs in a controlled environment? It has also really helped to learn to read his body language, and Turid Rugaas's book and especially the video was extremely helpful. When I can read that he is approaching his threshold, I can move him away (space, or the lack of it, is his main trigger) or distract him so that he doesn't go over the line to that unreachable place of fear and reaction. Good luck!
  10. Sending lots of good JuuJuu to the BuzzBoy, both of you, and the rest of the BC3 gang. Hang in there, it's good that your vet is being so careful. Thanks for the update, I was thinking of you guys.....
  11. You could also teach 'shake', then 'high 5' (one paw to your vertical palm), 'high 10' (both paws to both your palms), 'Wave' (same as 'high 5' but without the your hand). All of these will help develop your pups strength that is needed for 'sit pretty'. It took Hoku almost till he was two for him to be able to hold and balance in 'sit pretty'. Once he had that, we taught him to stand up on his hind legs from there. We are now working on his walking on two legs ....
  12. That is really a silver lining, I bet it makes all the heartache with Buzz just a bit easier. Continued good mojo for you all. Thanks for sharing such a deeply personal story, it's a great reminder to fully live each moment we have.
  13. We struggle with this, too. We have been hiking with Hoku since he was a pup and our plan has always been that we carry the long (50') line with us. While hiking in a safe place (no roads near by) I'll engage Hoku in an ongoing game of stick (thrown only up or back on the trail, never off the trail) , which he loves, and I can keep his focus on me quite easily. Even just carrying the stick and throwing every couple of minutes keeps his attention. If he ever gets out of sight (on trail or off), he goes on the long line or leash for a while. I stay vigilant, and if I see something that I think could set him off, he goes on leash. He has learned that he hikes with us, stays in sight, and gets to have all the sniffs and fun he wants, either on leash or off. I have not been able to hike for a while now due to a bum knee, so having just had surgery, I am hoping to get back out into the High Country soon... Will be interesting to see how he does now. I would agree with the others that out of sight is not OK for any of the dogs.
  14. Ekk! Sorry you are going through this. Glad the pups will be OK, remember to take care of yourself, too. I know how hard it is.... Keep us posted!
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