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hoku's mum

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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!
  15. Thanks again for the input. Maralynn, for me, the e-collar is a last resort, mainly because I don't trust myself to use it correctly.... operator error is one thing in agility .... with an e-collar it could have many unwanted repercussions. But if the other training ideas fail, we may consider it. I need to trust him here on our property. Rebecca, we are starting to work on the down/stay in play with a long line, similar to what you describe. He is like, Oh Man, not the puppy long line!!! But he will chase the ball with the line on, but not chase critters with it on, so at least I have a chance to work with him on stopping in full out pursuit, even if it is just after a tennis ball! Hopefully that will translate to prey....
  16. The idea of a down from motion is a really good one. I can get it on Hoku's return with the ball, but have not gotten it with the throw out (my laziness and lack of working on it ). That shouldn't be to hard with the help of a long line. He LOVES working together, so if I could make prey be a game that we play together......hummmm..... Great suggestion! Erin, is Maggie at all interested in chasing a ball or Frisbee? How about tossing a toy up for her to catch? We play a game with 4 or 5 balls, tossing one up about 6-8 feet high and a few feet away from Hoku. He jumps and catches it, we have another ready, he drops the first and we immediately toss the next one, rinse and repeat. He loves it, his tongue gets long fast with this game and it doesn't take much space, just good footing. It has a similar feel to the flirt pole, though I'v never tried one. You could easily do it on a long line and with any thing that tosses, say if she likes soft toys better then balls. Is she food motivated? Maybe a ball with food in it... or those balls with a fluffy tail...
  17. I am always amazed at the great things that come up with this group. I have learned sooo much from this board...and continue to learn! Thanks for the great link, Pam. What he says makes alot of sense to me. He gave me a good understanding of the root of the chase, and his protocol seems really sound. I am going to try it. We are part way there, in that we have been working hard on not letting Hoku practicing the chase and reinforce the drive, plus he LOVES chuck-it and Frisbee and any other chase type games. We do training while playing all the time. We were somewhat worried that by playing all those games we were reinforcing his prey drive, but I think the point that we are satisfying some hard-wired instinct in him in a harmless way, and using it as a training tool makes tons of sense. Erin, I know what you mean about the toy and prey being worlds apart. Many, many, many worlds actually! I don't know how Maggie's toy drive is, but there are ways to build that. Maybe if you work with her on building toy drive, especially with chase type games, you could then work on teaching her some control in the game, using his ideas. With Hoku, we are at the point that, when we are playing, he would rather play with us then chase critters. We used to 'lose' him regularly during play to what ever else was more interesting to him. He can now look at squirrels, or the neighbors horses running up and down the fence, or a deer spoinking by, but his attention comes back to us and the game in a flash when we ask. That has taken alot of work (plus he is finally starting to mature, thank doG!!!). I can call him off the lizard hunt, out of wild dog play, and sometimes even off of the squirrel-scream-tree-climbing frenzy (if he's been at it a bit, it is like he NEEDS to do it, even just for a moment, then he can come out of it) But, if he is just out and about with us and we are working on something that is not dog related, and he sees something, he is off like a shot, with his hearing turned off. It seems like it has to do with where his attention is. We can call him off of a running deer or bunny if we see it first or at the same time, and get his attention BEFORE he takes off. We need to advance to the point of being able to turn him around reliably if he sees it first and takes off. Would love to hear others thoughts, ideas and techniques for this difficult problem.
  18. Hi all, been awhile since I've been on the boards. Nice to be back. Here is some background. We are having an issue with Hoku (2.5 years old) chasing deer. We live on 5 partially fenced acres of prime deer habitat (we have water, green meadows, cover in the midst of dry dry dry). We have been working with Hoku on recall, and if we call him before the chase starts, he's been great. A few weeks ago he even stopped in mid chase, and came right back, Whoo Hoo!!!! Big big party ensued. We started giving him more freedom as he was doing soooo great. But now the fawns are here, and he blew us off and chased two off the property and down to the end of the road (luckily we live close to the end of a dead end, not much traffic at all). That is the first time he has left the property in a chase. He did come right back, thank doG. Not sure why he stopped.... The next day he flushed up a flock of turkeys (on our property) and caught and killed a teenage turkey. He is now back on total lock down, no freedom at all, when outside he is leashed or in his pen except for training and play times. My problem is that if he is leashed or off leash for play or training, or even just on the long line, he ignores the buggers. He gives us great attention, hardly even gives the deer or turkeys a look, so no opportunity to set him up to correct the chase. It's those surprise times like if I take him with me to take out the garbage, or hanging out laundry, and he spots the deer before I do, he's off. So we are leery to ever let him out now for fear of another chase off the property or even worse of him catching a fawn. He caught one that was injured last winter, and it was horrid. I guess we just have to stay the course of little to no freedom (what a drag for all of us), but thought I would toss it out there and see if anyone had any training ideas for recall in mid chase. We still toy with the idea of some lessons on sheep, but not sure if even that would translate in his brain, as sheep are in a controlled environment, the deer are intruders on HIS land! And I'm not sure that using sheep is right or fair with his high prey drive. Any thoughts are appreciated.
  19. Hey Ruth- So sorry to hear what your Buzz boy is going through.... been away from the boards for a while and just saw this, and want to add my good Mojo to you all. It's been tough just doing the normal stuff with the smoke and now this #%&*!@ heat, so hang in there, and know we are all pulling for you.
  20. For the jumping, try turning your back and ignoring her when ever she jumps on you. When she stops and has all four paws on the ground, or whatever you want as your greeting behavior, (even for a moment) praise and greet. If she jumps up again, repeat. Tell your guests and anyone who will interact with her to please do this. Don't say anything, just ignore. It does not take long for the pup to figure out that jumping up gets them no attention, which is what they want, they think even negative attention is better then none ;-). It also works great at the door. Enlist some friends to help in her training. Have them come to your door and knock. When you answer with your pup, if she jumps, the guests just turn and leave. Repeat untill she greets calmly. You may all feel silly having your guests come in and out 5-10 times, but I bet they will think it is worth the effort now, to have a lifetime of coming to your house and being greeted calmly! This worked great for our pup, and he is such a gentleman about greeting folks now. As for the cuddles factor, Hoku was a squirmy non cuddler as a pup, now he'll come and ask for lovin', hangout for awhile getting scritches and rubs and being sooo sweet. But he has a limit, is not at all a pest, but will only cuddle for so long. Then he's off to something else, even if it's just flopping on the floor near by. So she could get more cuddly as she matures. One of the many puppy mysteries!
  21. I am so sorry for your loss of dear Missy, she sounds like a one in a million gal. My heart goes out to you and yours. Give Annie a big hug... when we had to put our old guy Spencer down, our vet came to the house. Our little muttley Gussy just adored her big brother, and she just sat a few feet from him, with her eyes closed (we have never seen her do that before or since) as the vet gave the shot.... as if she was giving him support and farewell as none of us humans could... she grieved for months and months. Hugs to you all.
  22. Welcome Andrea and Sky! What a beautiful girl Sky is, and oh so lucky to have found you. Your post really brought home what a great place this is, I, too, lurk a lot and have learned soooo much and gotten so much comfort in realizing that we are not alone in our 'dog issues'. So glad you found Sky, and these amazing boards. Hope to hear more from you, and of course, more pictures of that beautiful girl!
  23. Smoothie all the way. Our old guy Spencer (RIP you great old boy) was fluffy ruff, and a burr, foxtail, tick magnet. But he was beautiful. Hoku is teflon smooth, can walk, roll, play in mud, foxtails, burrs, and come up clean in a snap.... it's a mircle, and I LOVE his coat.
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