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Chewie's training log

Discussion in 'Your Training Logs' started by Chewies_mum, Jun 17, 2018.

  1. LoopyLuna

    LoopyLuna Registered Users

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    Well done for the perseverance and consistency - it sounds like it paid off. We're working really hard on the "reward for calm" at the moment, so hopefully we're on the right track. She also has a mat that she sits on to wait for her meal and she's gradually understanding that good things happen when she's on the mat, not when she's chewing our feet under the table :)

    I know what you mean - I find other people's judgement so frustrating. To be honest though, before we got Luna I probably would have been just as judgemental because I had no experience but had really high expectations of how a dog should behave - I guess I still do. I'm learning a lot about myself though through this whole process - that I have to work with the dog that I have in front of me, not the dog I imagined up in my head. She might be starting to look like an adult dog, but she's still a baby. I might want her to automatically understand how humans like things done, but she's a completely different animal navigating the world in a completely different way - I'm starting to respect that more and be more patient (however much I sometimes want to scream and swear). Other people's judgement comes from a place of inexperience, so don't let it get you down :) I love hearing about Chewie's progress from the other side of the world, you're both doing so well. And it's funny to know that labrador exasperation is a global phenomenon :)
     
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  2. Chewies_mum

    Chewies_mum Registered Users

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    We have acquired a whistle and started the exercises in Total Recall! I so regret not doing it earlier, but as with many people I was complacent, since Chewie seemed to be doing fine when he was little. Well, he is now an opinionated teenager and will ignore us if there are other dogs around.

    His main behaviour issue is over excitement around other dogs. I feel like this has actually gotten worse, but I guess it"s the teen thing and we just keep on training...
     
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  3. Saffy/isla

    Saffy/isla Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    I love following Chewie's progress, gives me hope with Isla, lol.
     
  4. Chewies_mum

    Chewies_mum Registered Users

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    It's funny that you should say that, as things are feeling a bit hopeless recently!

    The dog reduced me to tears last night after destroying yet another bed. And every time he sees another dog (closer than maybe 7 metres) on walks he goes crazy. I know it's probably not true, but it feels like everyone we come across is judging us when they see me struggling to not fall over while this crazy black dog lunges on the lead. :(
     
  5. Joy

    Joy Registered Users

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    Keep going - you are doing well! Everyone has times when they feel defeated, but try to see how far you have come. I'm not sure where in the world you are, but if you have access to spaces where there will be no or fewer other dogs then I would go there for a while - it will give you a chance to build up the value in being with you (by playing together). If you have no choice but to walk where there are other dogs, then do an about turn before they get close enough for Chewie to react (I understand that he just wants to say hi, but I'd still do it). You can train the about-turn at home by running your hand down the lead close to the collar, luring around with a treat and then adding a cue, like 'let's go'. Absolute Dogs have a video on this but I don't have a link. I think there's a kikopup one too on Youtube.
    As regards the bed chewing, he's living up to his name isn't he? ;) Dogs don't need an expensive bed, they just need somewhere warm and secure, so an old duvet or plastic bed with some old blankets would be fine and won't cause you distress if they get chewed. And he will grow out of this stage.
     
  6. Michael A Brooks

    Michael A Brooks Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    Chewies Mum, you might want to teach your dog the LAT protocol. It will help to calm him when he sees other dogs.

    https://thelabradorforum.com/threads/look-at-that.22184/

    The video attached in that thread is excellent for demonstrating the principal steps in the training.

    I take it that he is destroying his dog beds. A friend down here had a similar problem. She ended up using an old horse blanket.

    The English members on this site recommend vet bed. I don't have any experience with the material. And I'm not even one hundred percent sure, the link below, is to the same product.Perhaps an English member who knows the product can confirm.

    https://www.petnetwork.com.au/colle...jt2Ja-79s-fk9cEw5IU7Ydh5tGQKDn0xoCno8QAvD_BwE
     
  7. Chewies_mum

    Chewies_mum Registered Users

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    Thanks @Joy and @Michael A Brooks.

    We are working on LAT, and in some ways he has improved (especially when looking at turkeys!) but I think once he is over threshold he goes more ballistic than before. We will persist.

    We are considering buying vet bed for him- I've found one Australian website! I'm just hoping it's not too warm? He sleeps in our room, but when it is warm we run the aircon on low and he seems quite comfy once he has settled (possibly after chewing something...).

    It doesn't help that I am pregnant and am wondering how we are going to cope with a baby and a young dog... the baby is not due till July though, so hopefully he will be a bit calmer by then. All the hormones and unknowns are stressing me out!
     
  8. Michael A Brooks

    Michael A Brooks Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    Cooked ones?

    Try to use distance to keep him below threshold.

    Congratulations on the pregnancy. You might want to teach Chewie to pick up things and put them away in a basket. With the new arrival, all hands and paws will make lighter work for you.

    I don't really understand dogs' reactions to choice of bedding material. We have a lambs' wool blanket on top of her bed. Our black Lab noses it off even in the depth of our winter. Our other Lab used to leave the blanket alone.
     
  9. Chewies_mum

    Chewies_mum Registered Users

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    No, brush turkeys, which have infested my suburb and are really territorial!

    Also, good idea re:tidying. Maybe I can get him to help with the laundry.
     
  10. Michael A Brooks

    Michael A Brooks Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    It's very similar technique to putting things in a basket. If you have a front loading washing machine and dryer, then one can teach the dog to put the dirty laundry in one and then move the washed clothes into a basket. With your cue, he would put the appropriate items in the dryer. Essentially what you would be doing is teaching several assistance dog skills.

    Here is a start if you are interested.

    Okay. I can understand why they would fascinate Chewie.
     
  11. Chewies_mum

    Chewies_mum Registered Users

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    I've decided that my training priorities for the next few months will be:
    - Working through Total Recall
    - Working on LAT. This will be a challenge... he is okay with turkeys at about 2 meters (looks at turkey then looks at us for his treat), but the problem is that they follow us, charge at him then run away! Crazy birds. One stalked us for about 300 meters and across 2 roads today. Also keeping an eagle eye out for dogs. We met a young GSP today at the same time as a turkey. The mayhem!

    Then in a few months, acclimating him to baby sounds and smells and some new boundaries.

    By the way, I have ordered some vet bed. We will see how that goes.
     
  12. Saffy/isla

    Saffy/isla Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    Firstly congratulations on your pregnancy

    Isla is exactly the same, when I walk her to the park it's the lead work that's challenging us, she's also overexcited and lunges at EVERY passing dog (and some humans!) while I struggle to hold on as she's so strong. We are consistently drip feeding her it seems and encouraging her to come back by my side, some days good others not!

    Isla also destroys things and we now only let her have her snugly bed in our bedroom so she can only use it at night. During the day she had a cheap blanket by our feet.

    Also just a few things we did with our old girl who was a teenage pup when we were expecting, we brought a pram and took her for walks with it (empty) to get used to wheels and brought some cheap baby toys from our local charities and left them around and taught her to"leave". By the time baby arrived she was fine.

    Your doing really well I think, keep up the good work
     
  13. Chewies_mum

    Chewies_mum Registered Users

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    Thank you! It is always nice to read your supportive and kind posts. Our pups could temperamentally be twins I think.

    And thanks for the baby tips. We definitely want to get the bits and pieces organized early so he can get used to them and yes, walking alongside a pram will be interesting. I would also like to use a baby carrier, but maybe that's safer when there are two of us.
     
  14. Saffy/isla

    Saffy/isla Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    Yes they could,I think they are about the same age, Isla is 11 months on the 16th Jan.

    Definitely, one can have baby and the other Chewie! Hope the LAT training goes well
     
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  15. Chewies_mum

    Chewies_mum Registered Users

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    We are 10 months old on Friday and I feel like we are making progress with LAT. Today was an excellent learning opportunity as we crossed the road to the park only to come across 4 small dogs on lead and his BEST FRIEND (a tank of a staffie who also ADORES him) off lead in the distance.

    The small dogs got within maybe 4 metres and with LOTS of C&T for calm behaviour there was no lunging or barking. In some situations when he sees another dog at a reasonable distance he looks at me for his praise/treat, which I think is real progress.

    The vet bed is still with us. He doesn't seem to want to chew it, although he still prepares his bed very enthusiastically! I think some old towels might be good so he can "arrange" them instead of the vet bed.
     
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