Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Progress and Things to Work On

As far as progress goes, Cadie totally gets Lets Go when we're going out the back door - we don't even have to hold the leash anymore (although I bet if we weren't around she'd forget about the special force field).  She's pretty good going into the mud room, and even the garage (though we never specifically worked on that with her).

Thank You is going well, too.  She's never been one to destroy our things (knock on wood!) and if we see her with something she shouldn't have she quietly drops it and gives us her puppy eyes. 

We do need to continue to work on not jumping and properly greeting people.  Honestly, we don't have too many people over, so we just need to set aside some time for us to practice proper greetings. 

She is really good at protecting us though - my parents came over a few days ago and she barked when their car pulled in the driveway!  As soon as we said it was ok, she calmed down. 

We're not a 24/7 tethering house anymore, but we are most of the day.  Not being tethered seems to wear her out more - even though she still chooses to sit close to us!

See you tonight! 

Friday, January 27, 2012

The Latest

Cadie's been doing pretty good the last few days.  She's getting really good at Let's Go (out the back door and into the mud room, when she's on her leash and we're with her) and Thank You.  We're working on Stay with her, too, when we play catch.  We've been poopy-crate-free for over a week and we're going to stick with our peanut butter theory... no reason to test that out! 

Right now Cadie's in her crate barking because I'm in the office and Dan's upstairs working... apparently she isn't happy to be left alone when she knows we're here!  She's been barking for about a half hour, but until she calms down we're not getting her out or trying to calm her.  She will need to get used to this when the baby is here... and barking will definitely not be allowed.  She has toys in there that normally she's happy with, but I think she's just not happy to be away from our sides.  

Update, apparently the half hour mark is when she gets tired of barking.  Thank goodness!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Poop Theory and More

Good news - no messy crates since last Wednesday!  Here's my theory - I can't remember all occasions, but I know for the last two they happened after I gave Cadie peanut butter in the Kong.  So, we've taken peanut butter and her Kong out of the toy lineup to see if it happens again.  I have a feeling it might be the leftover pb in the Kong that gets funky, but who knows. 

In other updates, Cadie's getting pretty darn good at Let's Go going out the back door and into the mud room or garage.  Yay!  If we're not near her, all bets are off, but hopefully with time it'll stick.  30 days, right??

Cadie had a busy day yesterday and was so tired that when we were watching TV, she was tethered to us, and she barked to go in her crate!  We didn't acknowledge her barking right away, but after she calmed down I let her go where she wanted to go and she walked in her crate - to get a toy, but then didn't complain when I closed the door!  She passed out shortly thereafter!

We've also been working on Thank You with her to drop whatever she has in her mouth (the ball, my shoes, something else she shouldn't have).  We say Thank You after she drops it and I think she's starting to get it! 

The jumping has decreased a bit, which is good, but we still need to work on  it.  We'll get there!

PS She was HILARIOUS in the snow!  We'd throw snowballs into big piles of snow and she'd burrow her head (and most of her body) looking for them!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Thursday January 19

No Poop in her crate!  Yay!  It's so much nicer not having to start your day by cleaning up that mess :-)

I think I had her in her crate for about 8-8.5 hours overnight, if keeping her in there too long had anything to do with her previous messes.  I don't think so though, she used to be able to handle waiting for 9-10 hours every night when I was in my first trimester and sleeping like it was my job.

So we started our day by me doing a little dance when I saw her crate was clean, and then ignoring her while I did a few things before taking her out.  We went out (practicing Let's Go) the back door - It's harder for her when she has to use the bathroom but that's primarily why we use that door, so it's good for her to get used to.  Anyway, she peed right away and then we had a busy morning - we shoveled the driveway for about an hour and then took a mile walk.  No poop yet.  We went out for another potty break a half hour after she had breakfast, and she's been passed out in her crate ever since.

I do notice that she's barking more when we put her in her crate now, especially if I go outside/downstairs.  Is that separation anxiety because she's normally used to being by my/our side?  I just let her bark it out.

Yay a mostly normal poop in the afternoon!  Followed more loose poop later in the day.  But at least it's an improvement!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

More Poop

Wednesday January 18
Last night,
I could tell she had to poop, and took her out three times before bed but she was too excited by the snow (maybe) to think about pooping.  So, unfortunately, I woke up to a poopy crate :-(  She's just training us for our baby!  Anyway, we took a short walk, I gave her a bath, then a bone to distract her while I cleaned her crate.
I should have taken her out until she successfully pooped last night, and/or not slept for 9.5 hours. 

I ended up feeding her a bit before 9, and then put her in her crate while I showered.  Took her out to pee and a short (like 2 minutes) walk, then made myself breakfast.  She sat next to me as I ate and worked from 9:30 until 11.  Cadie was in her crate from 11-1, and then she was out while I made and ate lunch.  We stopped outside for a potty break during that time, too, for a quick pee.

We worked on Let's Go, going into the mud room and out the back door (where she goes to the bathroom).  After I had lunch, we went back to the mud room and she stopped before the door!  I didn't even have to say anything, that is great!  We did practice a few more times after that.  I'm sure we'll have to reinforce this a lot before it's fully stuck in her brain, but what a good start!

One thing we need to work on is her jumping, and quickening our reactions to the jumping.  She's often curious what I'm doing on the counter in the kitchen, when I'm pouring her food, or when I'm carrying something.  Luckily she's never put her paws on the kitchen table! 

We took another walk in the afternoon, and she had some more soft serve poop. 

Our question is this... why was she perfectly fine at my parents' house but a day after coming home she's all poopy again? 

Tuesday, Jan 17, cont'd

We took Cadie to the vet just to have her bump checked out - they think it's a reaction from the shot she got last month when she wasn't feeling well.  So we need to put some warm compresses on it a few times a day for the next few days.  It should go down.  If it's still there or bothering her in a month we'll take her back in.  All in all a good visit - it was free and nothing to worry about! 

She had her favorite treat while we had our baby doc appt - peanut butter in the kong!  She's actually been in her crate since we left and is just chilling in there.  I think the past five days playing with her aunt (my parents' dog) wore her out!

She was pretty chill most of the day, laying by me while I worked, watched TV, and folded clothes (although that proved to be most exciting for her). 

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Quick update and a few questions

Tuesday Jan 17

Our first full day back with Cadie.  We missed her!  And apparently she missed us.  I had her tethered to me at my desk this morning and Dan went to run a few errands.  She barked and cried as soon as he went in the mud room (which leads to the garage) and closed the door!  Cadie and I went to check it out and I tried to soothe her saying that he was coming back in a calm voice, and petting her when she was calm.  Eventually I just distracted her and we went to make my breakfast.  Then all was well.  

When Dan returned, she was excited but not her normal jumpy self, which was good.  Dan said Hi to me and I don't even think acknowledged her.  We went back to making my breakfast and now she's laying next to me at my desk with a bone.

Good things:
Dan was playing hockey with her in the basement and he started playing catch with her as well.  He would just wait for her to drop the ball and sit (without any instruction) before throwing the ball.  And she caught on quickly enough!  Next time he'll say 'Thank You' when she drops the ball, so that she will eventually drop the ball (or whatever she has) when we say that phrase to her. 

-Jumping on, under, over my parents' nine year old (extremely passive) golden.  What gives?  She doesn't do that to other dogs.

-Riding in the car - tips for helping her be calm and stay in the back?  She has improved a lot of the past few months, but there's still definite room for improvement.

-Finding/gnawing on everything at grandma's house.  She's much better at home, but we don't have as many exciting things out, she's used to them, and we keep her tethered to us most of the the time.

-Bump on the top of her right back hip, doesn't bother her one bit, even if we rub it.  It kinda feels like an inverted 'V'.  We just noticed it last night .  I'm going to try icing it and if it doesn't go down, I'll give the vet a call.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Week Two

Tuesday January 10
Woke up to a poopy crate again.  Wondering if whatever she ate is still working out of her system.  She's acting fine otherwise.  We went for a 2 mile walk and then washed her butt haha. 
We've noticed that she's chewing/shredding her leash.  The gum bottle doesn't seem to do anything more than distract her for a minute. We've given her other toys to have around to prevent this, but the leash is more attractive.  I think we should get a new leash that isn't as tempting...
I think we're starting to hit the defiance phase in that she doesn't want to be next to us all the time... especially if I'm in the office and someone is working around the house (that she doesn't know).  There's more biting (nibbling, really), jumping, 'testing', and curiosity.  She was barking like crazy when the man was working around the house, when I had her tethered to me at my desk - sign of protecting us?  When I put her in her crate she calmed down. 
We actually had two different sets of workers at our house today - she was much better for the second set.  Although, the second set was more out of her sight, if that has anything to do with it.  But she could still hear them. 
She was great in class, pooped a bit when we got home, and when Dan had her inside, she started growling at him and jumping up at him.  This repeated a few times, and he would shuffle and knee her to quit it, which she would, only to start the process again.  Very odd, we've never heard her growl before!  We thought maybe she had to poop some more, but had no interest in it.  What would start that?!
Actually, Dan told me that he was cheering for a Hawks' goal, and while she's seen him celebrate before, it was never while tethered.  And, like any kid, we think she was overtired - she had a long and exciting day!

Questions -
Are there any behavior reasons behind diarrhea?  Is she nervous/anxious with the new training?
How do we handle car trips?  She loves them but doesn't understand yet that she does not belong in the front seat
Thoughts on grain free dog food?  Any brand recommendations?  I did a bit of research and read that Natural Balance is a good brand, as well as Acana (although I think that's not dry), and Taste of the Wild.  I also found Nutro but saw a few not as good reviews.

Wed, Jan 11
Woke up to a small poop in her crate today - definitely not excited about it, but much better than previous deposits!  Went for a short walk and when we got home, we practiced our boundaries at the end of our driveway into the street, in the back of the (unfenced) yard, walking out the back door, and walking into the mudroom.  Next up - walking into the garage (one of her favorite places ever)!
We had the first guy from yesterday come back to the house in the morning to finish up some work - and she was much calmer today, instead of her crazy barking like yesterday.  Thank goodness!
Ended up napping in her crate most of the day.  We took another 1.5 mile walk in the afternoon, and then she took a nap under my feet at my desk.

Thurs jan 12
Dan and I are on our way out of town, so my parents are watching her, With the help of their 9 year old passive golden. 

Week One

Wednesday, 1/4
Day One of breaking old habits.  7:30am I woke up, got ready, went downstairs and ignored Cadie for a few minutes while turning my computer on, drinking a glass of water, and getting my shoes and coat on.  We went outside to 'go potty' which I didn't say until she was mid-stream (pretty much right away), so that was good.  We then went for a walk, maybe two miles or so.  We stopped halfway to sniff around a frozen pond and field.  After allowing her to sniff loose leash for a bit, we turned back to head home.  Getting her to pay attention to my lead and properly heel (even though I hold the leash close) was not too easy, but eventually she did.  (No poop, which is not normal for her in the morning)
We got home and put her in her crate (without a treat, not as easy without that incentive!).  I had breakfast, and halfway through she was crying, so I'm thinking she has to poop, but want to feed her first to get her started on my schedule.  It's around 9:15am.  I get her out of her crate, put her leash on and feed her.  We are feeding her 1.5 cups of Royal Canin Medium Puppy food, twice a day.  I take a small handful out to practice 'Cadie, good' after she inhales the big portion of it.  It takes her a while to look at me, but eventually figured out that when she looks at me and I say 'Cadie' and 'good' she gets a treat.  She's interested in climbing over my lap to get to the food.  When she does look at me and she gets a treat, at first she takes it nicely, but after a few, she starts taking it quickly, which means she's gnawing on my thumb as she bites down for a treat/food.  They are pretty small though, not sure if that has anything to do with it.  Either way, I'd like her to take it nicely eventually!
After feeding her, we go outside (to potty on the schedule) and we walk in a circle/figure 8 for a few minutes.  No poop, so we go inside and she sits by my side (tight leash, otherwise she was trying to each her collar/leash) for 10 minutes or so.  We go back out to try again, to no avail.  I put her in her crate because I need to get ready for work.  After I take a quick shower, we head back out for another try, but again no luck.  So I put her back in her crate with a new toy so I can start working/join a conference call.  She's in her crate until 12:30 or so and we go out for another potty attempt.  Success!
I let her play around the house for the next 45 minutes while I made and ate lunch.  She sat next to my, tethered, while I worked for the next few hours  (1:15 - 2:30).  She wasn't thrilled with having no roaming capabilities, whined a bit, and played with her toys.  I ignored the whining and pet her when she was calm.  After 25 minutes she just laid down next to me!  Win!  After a half hour nap, she woke up and starting whining and barking.  15 minutes later, at a relatively calm moment, I put her in her crate so I could take another conference call.  (I think she was whining and barking because she had to go potty, which we would normally let her out, but I decided we'd tough it out for two more hours)  Once she was in her crate, she passed out again.
When I let her out at 4:30 to feed her, she was very excited about the food and the minute she finished it she ran to the door... potty time!  She drank quite a bit of water at 12:30 and her bladder was definitely ready to burst... she's used to us letting her out when she sits by the door.  If she weren't in her crate, she definitely would have had an accident.

Questions - 
How tight/loose should her prong collar be?  Always up against her skin (not tightly, just close) or looser?
When she's done with her water and wants more she'll pick the water bowl up and carry it around/chew on it.  Do I prevent this by just keeping her water bowl full?
She carries her toys along wall sometimes, should we let her, or try to distract her into the middle of the room?
When she gives us her paw, should we hold it?  Why does she offer it?  Is this a sign of dominance or affection?

Thursday January 5
Love this dog, she let me sleep for 10 hours last night!  We went out to go potty, for a walk, and then she sat by me in the office - no complaints or whining today!  She's a little fidgety at first, but sooo much better than yesterday.  I'm not sure about the rope toy, she's shredding the ends of it and then eating them... is that ok for her to eat?
The 'Cadie good' feeding exercise went better today - she was quicker to look at me, and then I'd put a few pieces of the food in my other hand to give her = less painful experience for me.

Friday, January 6
I went to the office and Dan was home with her.  He doesn't do the 'tether' thing (yet) but lets her out of her crate all day - she laid by the couch 80% of the day.  He did try limiting her potty breaks, though, which led to an accident.  They went rollerblading when I got home and when they got back, she had a long spaz-out... which is odd if she was so calm all day long.  She fell asleep while we were watching TV.  I think she's learning that if she isn't sitting by me being calm, she doesn't get pet.  Pretty quick!  

Saturday, January 7
Had her tethered to me while sitting at my desk after our walk, and with Dan walking around the house, she was not so happy and much more barky/whiny than she had been the previous days (when it's just me at the house, Dan travels for work a few days most weeks).  

Sunday, January 8 
Woke up to a poopy crate.  I think she ate some of the rope toy strands = messy.  Oddly, she put her toys on top of her poop, like she knew she shouldn't have done it (even though we don't discipline her on this).  Dan and Cadie attended class (I hear Cadie was a lot better this time!) and now Dan gets the tethering thing, too, which is great.  My Dad came over and we tried the 'ignore Cadie until she calms down' method.  It took a  few minutes for her to calm down, but eventually my Dad said Hi to her and she was very happy, but not too jumpy!  (She LOVES my Dad, and men in general)

Monday, January 9
Cadie is tethered to Dan at the kitchen table and doing just fine!  She started to whine a bit when she had to go to the bathroom, so we let her cry it out a bit and when she was quiet, took her out.  It's amazing how much calmer she is now.  She still has her spazzy moments, but in general, is just super happy to be near us.  

PS I'm not sure if I should call this 'Cadie' or 'Dan and Lauren' Training!