Temp Foster Puppy

GunnerI had a rare opportunity to foster a puppy for a few days until his new foster mom came to pick him up. I had him for only Saturday morning to Sunday night, but all the same, it was a real great opportunity. At the same time, I had volunteered to help out a friend and babysit his new dog for 4 days. Which means, I would have a house full of dogs for a few days. I’m all good with that!

The puppy: a young 2-3 month old (I was told 3 months, but his size seemed like he should be younger than that) male border collie/lab mix. He was such a cute little guy, who was GREAT at all his training! I had spent some time with him before this weekend, so I knew a bit of his background. I worked with him previously, and he responded to training very quickly. By the time the foster mom came to pick him up, he had learned a few more things:

photo (1)

-He had almost stopped nipping completely
-Knew proper social cues when playing with other dogs
-Was introduced to cats, and he did great!
-Had only 1 accident, and that was my fault, anyway. I didn’t get there in time.
-Didn’t whine/bark in the crate anymore
-Wasn’t picking up inappropriate objects in the house anymore
-Was comfortable with being held in any way
-Jumping up was dramatically reduced
-While tethered/left to be by himself for a minute, he was lying down quietly learning to be independent.

I miss that little guy. SO CUTE! If I only had enough time to foster him, I would have! L

However, I was (and still am) also babysitting another furbaby. My friend’s new dog, an English Pointer. Such a cool dog! Now, I’ll tell you all about him on Thursday, as he is with us until Wednesday night. Stay tuned!


I really should just get my boarder’s license! I baby-sit so often, but I LOVE IT!

image

 

Ryder, My Project Dog

Rider2Ryder, a 2 year old male merle Great Dane I have been working with for a few months is a PROJECT! He came to my client from a neighbor who didn’t want to take care of him anymore. He was underweight, and completely unsocialized. His problems included jumping on people to say hello, biting the leash while pulling and trying to get away, being rowdy in the house, counter/refrigerator surfing, aggression towards men, and he would ‘play bite’ your face, hands, butt, anything he could reach.

Now, that was a few months ago. Now, he doesn’t jump on people to say hello anymore, no more play biting, and counter surfing has been greatly reduced. We have been working on a leadership program to teach him who is the leader (it isn’t him!), and kennel training. We have also been heavily working on the leash and handling the aggression.

Kennel training was… difficult. 1) Because he’s huge. He didn’t like going in at first, the client would bribe him by putting a bone in the kennel. This is still something we are working on, but now, he will come out of the kennel perfectly. He will lay down until we open the door. He has to be laying down CALMLY before we can let him out. In the beginning, he would try to push you out of the way to get out of the kennel. That was a few months ago. Now, he waits calmly to be called out.

Now, the aggression is still a constant challenge. He lunges at men while barking, and this is not a ‘to say hello’ lunge. He snarls and does a hard stare when there is a strange man across the street or outside.  Now, this goes 2 ways. If the man completely ignores him, he is fine. If he looks at Ryder, he gives a warning hard stare and then a growl. If the man continues to stare, he barks and lunges at him. We have been taking him to a social class to help with this along with one of Ryder’s biggest problems: He’s pushy and dominant.

The rules are coming along, and I see major improvement within the client’s house. The family has learned how to behave around him and all the kids are on board. Even the youngest (around 4, I believe). Obedience is showing improvement, though it is slow.

As for the dominance and pushy behavior, we are teaching him he doesn’t get what he wants by pushing past people or rushing the door. We are making him slow down for ANYTHING he wants by making him sit first, and then wait calmly. Putting the halti on, taking it off, coming inside, going outside, going in the kennel, coming out of the kennel, feeding time, attention, obedience training, etc. We have also stopped him from jumping on the furniture, as this was a problem in the beginning. Still jumps up on the couches when no one is looking, but he has made HUGE progress.

So, overall, we still have a ton of work to do with him, but he made tremendous progress into becoming a loving family pet. I am so impressed with how much the family has been on board, and the progress he has made. Every week (most of the time) I see a change in his behavior.

Successes:
-Counter surfingRider
-Jumping
-Play biting
-Calming down in the house
-Kennel training

Work in progress:
-Loose Leash walking
-Accepting the halti
-Respecting the family
-Aggression towards men
-Pushy/Dominant behavior