Monday, March 25, 2013

June 2006 Revisited

Mom found her last entry about Arnie from her old blog. He'd had palette surgery, and apparently the recovery period was tough on both of them.

Arnie like he is now - focused and attentive. There IS hope for those naughty dogs out there!

Well, we survived the recuperation of Arnie. It was tough - he's loud, obnoxious and busy. He was supposed to stay calm, quiet and cool. Ha! We managed, but not without some stress (on my part).
Now that he's back in full form, it's time to step up the training for both he and Snap.

Mom put a new design up on her CafePress Shop. Check it out here. Or read her Design Blog here

Friday, March 22, 2013

March 2006 Continued

Looking back at these posts from when Arnie first came to stay with mom is an eye-opener, for sure. Even I have to admit he's come a LONG way.

Glad to report that Arnie is no longer a "runner" and always comes when he's called!

The first thing that Arnie needed to learn was to come close enough to touch. He is a "runner", and it was necessary that he allowed himself to be caught. About a month after I got him, he dashed out the front door. He got to the front of the sidewalk, looked at me, looked toward the street, looked at me, and took off running down the driveway. I live on a dead end, with no traffic to speak of. But I do live near open fields, and he could run for miles if he got out. I ran in the opposite direction, but he was wise to that game. I ran into the house to get cookies, then took off down the road. LUCKILY, he spotted the dogs next door. They were behind a fence, but he charged them. That allowed me to capture him, while he was busy running the fence (with me ducking under trees and bushes.)

Two things were clear: he could NEVER get loose, and he had to learn a recall. We'd been working on giving him treats when his name was called, but he would only come an arm's length away, then jump back. I taught him a hand touch, with my hand past my body, so that I can touch him with the other hand. I can't grab him - he can wiggle out of anything. But if I lay my hand on his back, he won't jump away and I can pick him up.

I'm also reinforcing "sit" constantly. He can't sit and run at the same time. I'm seeing the avoidance as a habit that might cause trouble at the end of an agility run, so I'll be very dilligent about rewarding a recall. I also think I'll teach him to jump into my arms at the end of a run. He's certainly capable of it physically, and it will be a fun trick that will give me control.

I'm starting to teach that behavior by having him jump into my lap for a treat. He's really hesitant to get "caught", so I'm being very careful, and letting HIM choose to do it. It's how I taught the down command (that was a nightmare to teach, but he finally got it.)

 I'm really enjoying him - he's very smart and willing. It's funny to see the wheels turning in his mind, and then him offering a behavior with intent. Too cute.

More to come.....

Thursday, March 21, 2013

March 2006 Revisited

Mom was going through an old blog of hers, and found her first mention of Arnie.

She thought you might enjoy reading about her first impression of him. Warning - it wasn't great. LOL She refers to him as a monster. I still do.

Arnie as he is today, running agility like a champ. It wasn't always that way, however. 

Wow, it seems like forever since I checked in. Lots going on, mostly in the "new arrival" department.
 I volunteer for a Pug Rescue group, Pug Rescue of Sacramento (Pug PROS). I foster pugs, amongst other things, and around the holidays took in 2 young pugs. The holidays are a tough time for rescues, since many dogs are surrendered then (don't get me started), and foster homes are limited, because of travel, visitors, etc. I usually do most of my fostering during that time.

I picked up a black boy, Kai, as an owner turnin. His owner had a baby, and Kai was too wild, always jumping and knocking the baby's swing over. The owner's brother tried keeping him, but he worked a lot, so he called PROS. Kai was a sweet, well-behaved pug, and after I tackled the jumping issue (he caught on quickly) he went off to his new home. He has a pug sister now, who is very young and active - just like him! He is doing just great in his new home.

The other monster, I mean pug, was turned into animal control. He was neutered, and shortly afterward, a woman at animal control called me (I've worked with her in the past), to ask if I would take him and work with him. They would normally have tried to adopt him out themselves, but she felt that his behavior was too extreme for the typical pet owner. She was sure he would be adopted immediately and returned just as quickly!!! He was about 1.5 years old, and full of sooooo much energy. He was also a barker/screamer when confined, and an escape artist. I picked him up, and started a training regiment. He progressed quickly........

 to be continued :-)