Luna's Training Log

Discussion in 'Labrador Training' started by LoopyLuna, Jul 9, 2018.

  1. LoopyLuna

    LoopyLuna Registered Users

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    I've spent the last 4 weeks well and truly stuck in the puppy blues, and each morning I still feel sick with nerves about what the day will bring. So, I decided today that I would follow the lead of @Chewies_mum and her lovely training log that always focuses on the positives. Hopefully this will balance out the many "Help!" posts that I'm also posting at the moment :)

    Good stuff that happened today - 12 weeks old
    • She had a completely dry night (hoorah!). From 1am to 6.30am
    • She sat and waited for me to put her food down for all 3 meals and didn't go to it until I told her to.
    • She did some lovely sit commands outside when I got home from work.
    • She made eye contact with me repeatedly when I said her name.
    • She walked about 15 steps with me on my left hand side with a loose lead. I used a tonne of treats, but it's the most focused she's been for some time.
    • She also laid down quietly for the whole of dinner and we didn't hear a peep out of her.
     
  2. Chewies_mum

    Chewies_mum Registered Users

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    I know it doesn't feel like it sometimes, but it sounds like you are doing really well with Luna.

    You'll definitely feel better after a few solid nights of sleep.
     
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  3. Cath

    Cath Registered Users

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    She is doing so well and so are you. How old is she now?
     
  4. Joy

    Joy Registered Users

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    That sounds so good for a baby - you're both doing well.:)
     
  5. pippa@labforumHQ

    pippa@labforumHQ Administrator

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    What a great idea, and you've made a good start already. It does get easier and you'll be able to look back and see how far you've come :)
     
  6. selina27

    selina27 Registered Users

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    Well done @LoopyLuna , it looks like you and Luna are both doing really well. She sounds a proper darling:)
     
  7. LoopyLuna

    LoopyLuna Registered Users

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    Hi Cath - thank you. She's 12 weeks old. Starting puppy classes in just under 2 weeks time - we can't wait :)
     
  8. LoopyLuna

    LoopyLuna Registered Users

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    Thanks Selina - yes she's pretty gorgeous. I can't work out how to post a picture in these posts otherwise I'd show one of her sitting on command. She's wearing a cone at the moment too which makes her look even cuter!
     
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  9. pippa@labforumHQ

    pippa@labforumHQ Administrator

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    Where are your photos stored? Do you have an account with online photo storage. There are lots of free ones. If so, you upload your photos there, and link to them using the image symbol at the top of every post
     
  10. LoopyLuna

    LoopyLuna Registered Users

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    It's been a bit of a "two steps back" week unfortunately with zero interest from Luna is any kind of training, and some new behaviours and challenges (every day's a school day for me and the OH). Puppy Blues are definitely still there and I've cried most days much to my annoyance, but in the spirit of finding that Glass Half Full, there were some positives too:

    Good stuff that happened this week - 13 weeks old
    • REALLY GOOD NEWS - Luna's splint and bandaging came off her leg on Friday (she's been recovering from a broken paw at 9 wks) and this meant that her cone could also come off. She is SOOO much happier, and with all this new peripheral vision, the world is very exciting again!
    • We can now see her amazing, enormous ears!!
    • She consistently sits and waits for me to put her food down for all 3 meals and doesn't go to it until told to.
    • Her sit and stay in the house and garden is great - whether it's for a toy or for her food. It's making jumping up in the house a little more manageable. A long way to go on this yet though.
    • We introduced Luna to a shallow paddling pool of water yesterday now that her bandages are off. She LOVED it and splashed for ages! There's no doubting she's a lab!
    • Yesterday was just a really nice day of playing, giving her a bit more freedom, and letting her climb on us for cuddles and to fall asleep. It's the first day I've ENJOYED her and for me that's probably the biggest positive I could write down this week :)
    Next week - Final Xray on Tuesday to hopefully give us the all clear to let her off the lead to run a bit, vaccinations will be complete on Friday and puppy training starts on Saturday, so hopefully things will get a bit easier soon......
     
  11. LoopyLuna

    LoopyLuna Registered Users

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    Haven't posted for a while, mainly because pup has been really poorly and as a result the puppy blues have got worse if that's even possible. She's on the mend now but we're all knackered, grumpy, sleep deprived and totally lacking in the patience we know we need now to start tackling the some of her new naughties. I feel incredibly selfish that we're bogged down when we should be so grateful for this little furry being in our lives who is now (hopefully) well, but somehow the fog just won't lift for either of us.

    SOOO I've forced myself to write down some positives for my own sanity, even if no one reads them:

    Good stuff that happened this week - 16 weeks old
    • We've been working on the "down" cue and she's just about got it. We need to do the hand movement sometimes, but it's fairly consistent indoors and in the garden. She'll stay "down" for about 10 seconds while we lay treats around the kitchen for her to find.
    • She's getting better at "leave it" with her kibble. We can balance a piece of kibble on each paw and she'll leave it alone.
    • Walking anywhere is still a bl00dy nightmare, but I can walk all the way up our short road without any pulling which I couldn't do last week. It takes a handful of treats to get there but I'll take that.
    • Started our first puppy gun dog class. She was great at the "chasing chicken and returning for chicken while listening to the whistle" lesson. But the second lesson "retrieving" was a step too far for her and just left us both fed up. Everyone was lovely though.
    • She still gives amazing cuddles in the rare moments that we have total calm, and likes to hook her head into the cradle of my arm and fall asleep.
     
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  12. Granca

    Granca Registered Users

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    I'm sorry to hear Luna's been poorly, as well as having broken her paw?

    Half the battle is recognising the positives - a great idea to write them down to as that may encourage others who are also going through the puppy blues! :)
     
  13. Chewies_mum

    Chewies_mum Registered Users

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    Aren't those cuddles just the best?

    It sounds like you've had a really rough run with Luna, so it's great that you can find *any* positives. I hope it gets easier soon!
     
  14. LoopyLuna

    LoopyLuna Registered Users

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    I've no idea where the time's gone, but Luna is 9 months old now - 5 months since we last posted and bloomin'eck puppies are hard work!! I'm absolutely knackered! I've just about got used to the fact that my house resembles a steeplechase with all the baby gates on every door way, I'm still whacking my ankles on them and cursing at least once a day when I step over them. I've given up trying to mediate between the cat and the dog, the hoover's completely knackered due to its thrice daily use, and now that Luna's in season, my kitchen constantly looks like a scene out of Silent Witness. “Get a dog” they said. “It’ll be fun” they said!

    She is gorgeous though and I love her dearly. I don’t say that lightly - I feel guilty saying it but we’ve only recently started to enjoy her. She’s been a complete baptism of fire for novices like us - she’s proved to be an expert at picking up every parasite under the sun, met most of the vets in the area, and made full use of our insurance policy. She’s smarter than me, constantly switched on, powerful, athletic, strong minded, not a fan of being touched unless she’s come for a cuddle, and distracted by anything that moves! We’ve had to be “on it” with the training constantly but I do think it’s starting to pay off. Slowly but surely we are seeing signs of the friendly, obedient dog we dreamt of - a looser lead on walks, a steadier response to dogs and people, self control, ability to settle…. and it’s taken 2 months of short sessions of slowly pairing food with touch, but she’ll now let me massage her paws now and check her ears and teeth.

    I’m learning that it’s the little things that show progress. The advice on here has been super helpful and reading as much as possible about canine psychology has helped to "understand". Our training classes continue to be great and we’ve also done a few of @Jo Laurens online training courses which I can highly recommend - they’ve actually made me feel like a success which is no little thing when you’re a first time puppy mum!
     
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  15. Saffy/isla

    Saffy/isla Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    Ah Loopy/Luna you have made me laugh out loud! I agree with you completely about puppy owning. Keep up the good work. Great to hear your positives and improvements.
     
  16. LoopyLuna

    LoopyLuna Registered Users

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    Haha - glad we can laugh about it through the exhaustion. How's your little one getting on? Luna and I had a lovely walk today - I actually felt like the "in control" owner of a semi-civilised dog today, not just someone being dragged around the village, swearing, at the end of a lead. It's getting there slowly.....
     
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  17. Saffy/isla

    Saffy/isla Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    I know what you mean. Isla is getting better at walking on lead nicely, although if she sees a puddle or another dog she just wants to play and will lunge towards them. She still likes to steal things and run off with them and occasionally still has the zoomies!

    On the plus side she sleeps all night, can be left for a couple of hours alone now without chewing up anything and has settled into our family perfectly. Her training is going well and we love her to bits!
     
  18. LoopyLuna

    LoopyLuna Registered Users

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    Just reading through some of my old posts from the early puppy days, and nearly a year on it does feel like I'm able to look back and see how far we've come, so I thought I'd update my training log. We found an ear plug down the back of the sofa the other day and it reminded me of the early days when we all had to wear earplugs to come downstairs in the mornings because of the "puppy pitch" howling and barking to be let out of the crate which we had to ignore. Getting her harness on used to result in a well bitten and scratched arm, and walking inevitably ended in a puppy meltdown on the end of the lead with her rolled on back in the middle of the road chewing the lead. The slightest praise or pat on the head would erupt into a snapping, jumping turtle. Hair always had to be tied back, no floaty clothes could be worn......pretty much everything that everyone posts on here....

    I've been told many times that an adolescent puppy is worse than a little puppy, but I've not really found that to be the case. At 13 months, she's still hard work, and at 24kg of pure muscle she's much stronger, but the foundations of training that we've been persevering with for the past year definitely make life so much easier. She at least understands what we want her to do now, can regulate her excitement in the house, and can sleep and relax with us nearby or out of the house.

    I've done loads of reading (maybe too much) on dog behaviour and training techniques over the past year and I now understand her a lot better too which helps enormously. She's very high drive, loves her environment more than me, is independent and brave but needs reassurance quite a bit too when she ventures too far. She's strong minded and crazy clever, food driven, wants to play all the time and likes to be close to you but not touched. She's a closet spaniel - loves to move, loves to find things and follow a scent and loves practicing hunting lines more than she likes retrieving. Channelling her enthusiasm into something we both want to do is the trick but we've not quite worked that bit out yet :)

    Shaping is something we both love. She LOVES working things out. Hates practicing stuff but loves to work it out. Her tail goes nuts. Getting into a box, front paws and back paws on platform, middle, finish, leg weave, paw shake, touch....they're all great ways for us to engage her just for a few minutes. We also have to scatter kibble on the floor for her afterwards or our leg gets humped :) (Apparently it's all a bit exciting!)

    Her manners are coming on leaps and bounds in the house. She waits quietly in her crate in the morning until we've unpacked the dishwasher and set up breakfast. She'll sit on her mat and wait for her food at every meal. She calmly watches me get her food ready rather than wailing like a banshee. She settles by my chair now when I'm working rather than gnawing the underside of the table for attention. When I start chopping veg for tea, she runs to her bed and waits there because she knows it's time for us to play the "go to bed and release cue" game (my sneaky way of stopping her from "helping" me to make tea). In the morning when the fruit comes out of the fridge, she runs to her bed to wait for a blueberry (best fruit ever apparently). She's allowed in the lounge when she's calm in the evening now and she'll sleep all evening. She tells us every time she needs a wee by looking longingly out of the back door and then back to us. She'll let me groom her every morning and is happy with me checking her eyes, ears and teeth (haven't progressed to brushing yet). Despite the earplugs we had to wear when she was tiny, she never barks unless there's something she's alerting us too, or unless the cat is goading her from the other side of the baby gate. Even when she's barked at on walks, she just looks affronted and then looks away. Off the lead, after we've spent lots of time changing our direction and playing hide and seek with she never lets us out of her sight and hates to be more than 20 yards away. We've had 9 great gun dog lessons in a row now which is unheard of. She's engaged and much calmer, and much less distracted by the other dogs.

    There's still tonnes of work to do - loose leash walking is getting worse (I think she's part husky), recall to the whistle needs more work, she counter surfs like a pro, greets new people like a charging rhino, would eat the cat given half the chance, and is a total diva when she has to deal with frustration. But give us another year to persevere and I might be posting some positive stuff about those things too....

    Sorry - another long one. I'm not good at "abridged" versions :)
     
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  19. base28

    base28 Registered Users

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    Well done luna! And of course puppy mum!!! We have our own loopyluna who is now 20 months , we have many ups and downs and on the whole she is very much like yours, very high maintenance lol. Luna is very reactive to things so we have to read her like a book and make sure we don't go over threshold so it doesn't set us back, we struggle still in evenings as she can't seem to lay an relax an chill until she lays in her safe bed, then is calm and happy! Any tips on how you managed that one would be gladly welcomed!
     
  20. LoopyLuna

    LoopyLuna Registered Users

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    Hello fellow Luna-parent :) I'm by no means an expert on this, but we have just worked really hard at rewarding calm behaviours. Whenever she lies down of her own accord, she gets a treat dropped (sometimes even if she's drifting off to sleep). In the evenings, we used to pop Luna in her crate and one of us would sit with her in the kitchen with relaxing "dog sleep" music on spotify and dim the lights until she wound down and dropped off to sleep. It was like a puppy spa but was a good chance to read a book, catch up on work or do a crossword. After about an hour we'd then leave her to settle and go into another room for a few hours (but we had to build this up gradually). Recently, we just let her settle on her bed and wait until she's relaxed and then say "come on then" and she comes into the lounge with us. But only when she's relaxed. Sometimes if she won't settle of her own accord, we cue a "settle" and then treat her every 30 seconds. She'll then drop off to sleep. We taught her settle by waiting for her to relax herself and then gave it a name.....sometimes she'll do a fake "head on her paws" waiting for a treat, but then she'll inevitably fall asleep anyway.

    In what way is your Luna reactive? Is it due to over-excitement that she can't control (like in our Luna's case) or fear? Either way, I think reassurance and calm is probably the way to go. Others might have some better suggestions.

    Good luck - let me know how you get on....
     

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