Crate training issues, need advice plz!

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Katopup's picture
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Our male is just going to be 9wks in 3 days and we just got him 4 days ago, so far getting him used to sleeping in his crate has worked out great and very quickly, he goes in it by himself to sleep most of the time and even lets us latch the door.

Our issue is he does not want to be locked in while he's awake leaving me not able to get anything done unless he's sleeping.

I have not been able to shower unless my husband is home, I haven't even left the house.

I have a 2 1/2 yr old granddaughter I haven't been able to play with when she's been here because all my attention has to be on him especially since he's mouthing badly right now and the min I take my eyes off him seems to be when he tries to toilet in the house.

I would like to be able to get out of the house for even a couple hrs to do errands etc, or be able to have some play time here at home with my granddaughter.

I don't want him barking and whining everytime I crate him awake but don't know what to do, I've never crate trained before because our last dog was an adult when we had her and fully house trained.

Will leaving him cause more anxiety and possible fear of being in his crate?

Will he ever settle in it awake and how do I get him to settle in there?

Any helpful advice and experiences you've had will help me greatly,

thanks

becky g's picture
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It's so hard to hear your little guy bark & whine but unfortunatley, you will have to.  He seems to like his crate so I think if you take your time you will get there.  You could try putting him in and dropping in a little treat every now and then.  Start with maybe a minute or two each time you put him in the crate.  You want him to associate going in his crate with good things.  If you have a Kong, put some treats inside while he's in his crate.  That will keep him busy for a while.  My puppy was 4 months old when we got him and he did the same thing.  We just worked him up to longer periods of time and now he will go into his crate several times a day to take a nap or just hang out.  He's a almost a year old now but he still needs to be crated when I'm not home because he's a chewer.  Hopefully we'll leave that stage soon.  It seems like potty training is going to take forever, but he'll catch on soon.  Good luck and hang in there!

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Have to agree with Becky.. If you 'release' him when he yells.. he'll think that's the way out.

It should be a happy place.. but sometimes he might have to cry himself to sleep as some kids are apt to do

Try to have patience.. they don't stay babies forever,although at times it will seem so.

Must be watched at all times.. for instance.. just now, while posting this. Bella has torn up an entire pot of newly planted petunias...  AGGGHH!!!

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Well today I let him cry for short periods a couple times trying to make him realize he has to stay in there sometimes while he's awake, I didn't return to him til he settled but my husband was out in the back corner of the yard doing yard work and being a cool day I had all my windows closed and he said he could hear him loud and clear.

We have thick windows as our winters can be brutally cold, that blew my mind that he was heard out there.  I'm really worried about my neighbours now because our by-laws are quite strict if someone were to complain.  

Today he started showing his voice outside as well with my backyard neighbour who was just bbqing and when he heard our neighbours 2 doors down, barking and growling.

I don't know if I'm kind of panicking about what kind of dog he'll become or not but he's already lunged at my face twice, today was the second time.  

Yet he's mainly very affectionate.

Is this normal behaviour and am I over worrying, he was a singleton pup, last pregnancy the mother was having before she was being fixed.

He was raised this far around 6 kids under 10, 3 adult dogs and horses, but they never mentioned of course any face lunges just your typical puppy mouthing.

I have a 21/2 yr old grand daughter that we have stay over often and I would be devastated if he lunged at her face seeing he's almost looking right at her face with his height.

Everyone I know that has dogs never experienced this much behaviour with their pups so should I be worried?

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Hi Katopup, at 9wks or so I wouldn't be overworried about this face lunging behavior. Face licking is common at this age and is usually the beginning of jumping up. The pup licks the face of the mother when she wants to eat and the mother regurgitates some food for it. I'd bet this is what is going on here with the face lunges. I would let him know that its not acceptable and redirect him to sit. Again if he persists, try the sit-down-sit type training.

Barking is a tough one. Fish gotta swim, dogs gotta bark/dig/chew. I've gone through various stages of getting Storm to curb her barking. I dont think its possible to completely silence any dog using compassionate means. I look at it that I'm ok with Storm giving a few barks (my aim is to contain it to three barks - good luck with that lol) before I ask her to stop.

I tried tossing the can with a few coins in it, exploiting the startle reflex, and that does work quite well, and lots of people use it with some success. I'm not overly comfortable with it, but hey, I'm a little too caring sometimes, when it comes to my dog maybe. And I'm also up for the challenge of finding other ways to overcome the issue.

I look at it this way. When you are home, redirect the barking. When you are out, keep the dog inside away from provocation. So the issue is two fold. Finding something that will redirect the barking. And secondly, successfully crate training your pup, until its old enough to be trusted indoors with out you present. I guess you can add successful toilet training also to the list.

I have found that encouraging a game of tug when the dog is barking a good method of redirecting her attention. If you are having trouble getting his attention maybe smear some ham or chicken on the tug toy first (only just thought of that one while writing this- hmm note to self..) then start a huge game of tug. Anything that will redirect him from barking. I've found that since I've been practicing this with Storm, she has a couple of barks, I tell her 'quiet', then she picks up a chew toy and brings it to me for a game of tug, at which point I tell her 'good quiet' as we play a great game of tug.

I'm also training her to find a toy or a bone. If shes thinking about barking but not actually started yet, I ask her to find her bone, or a toy, and from there she will either chew her bone, or bring her toy to play with.

If all else fails and she can't stop barking, I bring her inside for a time out. She has some space inside, not just a crate, but its isolated from the provocations of outside, so this can be helpful. When she paws the door, I tell her 'quiet' and let her out and the procedure starts again.

We had a delivery guy around home today, and while he was with me, Storm was as quiet as a mouse, even wagged her tail at him. But once he was out the front getting ready to leave he was fair game and Storm barked at him. I think that strikes the right balance. Having said that, later she barked at the neighbours and I brought her inside to chill. So its a very fluid process in my experience.

I do think that if your neighbours see you TRYING to curb this behavior, they will be more forgiving of it. Nothing drives me crazier than a dog (or a kid) that is left to run wild with no supervision or guidance, but if I see that someone is trying to do something about it, I'm much more amenable to the behavior, and I'm even willing to help if need be.

These ordinance issues drive me crazy. We punish the many because of the irresponsible actions of the few. Why not just blanket ban dogs (and cats for that matter - we have one that howls on a regular basis next door), rather than trying to stop a dog scratching an itch that it has just gotta scratch. Its cruel expecting a dog to never bark - ever. Rant out.

As far as crate training goes, Storm has a crate, but we dont shut the door on the crate at this stage (although you've got me curious :) ) so I dont feel qualified to talk too much about it other than to say from what I've read, and seen, and been told by a dog trainer at the Animal Welfare League where I volunteered for a while, it sounds like your doing all the right things.

You just have to accept (as do your neighbours) that a puppy by definition is untrained. You are in the process of training him to fit in with all the applicable ordinances where you live. If the dog world has a puppy license, why cant humans follow the same procedures?

Katopup's picture
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Thanks once again OzDobe, I think I am just being overly worrisome.  I never thought about the face lunges as maybe him wanting to lick he just looks like he wants to bite and of course I say No Bite and hold him back by his chest when he does this out of fear of a face bite.  He usually ends up licking my hand or leg etc after so maybe he does just want to lick but of course he's still a pup and I'm not about to test it as I don't trust him at this mouthing faze lol.

As for our neighbours my husband said he will go talk to them today they know we just got him they came over to the fence to chat the other day while we were out with Kato. They just have a 6mon old baby and I am hoping to God Kato isn't waking her up cause that would get them upset and I really wouldn't blame them, they're new parents so you know how protective new parents are many of us have been there lol.

With him in the crate, last night he slept 5hrs when I finally heard him so I took him out then he thought it was going to be play time which was 330 am I put him back in his crate and went back to bed.  He barked for half hr, stopped for half hr and this went on til 530 last I heard him barking so I went back to sleep and got up at 615 while he was still quiet and brought him out he did his business then fed him and back out to play til 7 then came inside and he went right in his crate and layed down and fast asleep so I'm thinking I made some progress, just hoping the neighbour didn't hear him off and on for 2 hrs, guess I'll find out today when my husband goes to talk with them.

The half hr barking and half hr quiet gives me hope that he will just learn to settle when I'm not present so maybe I can get out of the house within the next wk lol and feel confident about it.

thanks again for ur advice it sure helps me not feel so alone during this puppy stage and gives me hope lol (:

Lady Kate's picture
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Wow.. Maybe I am reading between the lines here.. so forgive me if I'm wrong..Maybe I'm just relating to your words..

I can't add much to what our Wizard-of-Oz has already said.. he's pretty spot on.. .but I do know that when YOU"RE nervous.. your pup will pick up on it immediately.

How do I know this.??. ( see my first sentence.. lol) The more anxious I would get about the pup's barking ... biting.. lunging.. torpedo-ing into my face, chewing and all the etcs. that goes along with the first few months of puppydom..( It's a word) the worse she would get...

I can distinctively remember yelling.... yep, YELLING.....

CALM DOWN!!!

Sure.... that did wonders for her attitude..

It's really the hardest thing I've had to overcome.. but now that I'm on Prozac.. ( just kidding) now that I realize how they ( and this includes the grown up dogs) adapt to your mood.. the easier it is for me to be calm and assertive.. just like Cesar suggests...

It's great that your husband is dealing with your neighbors.. When they see that a concentrated effort is being presented.. I'm sure they'll understand..

Trying to circumvent a behavior BEFORE it begins is the key for me.. Not easy.. I'll give you that... but if you can get inside that puppy head and think before he does..you'll be way ahead of the game..Learning his body language ( and you will) also helps a lot as Oz mentioned...\Good luck and keep us informed.. we've all been there and maybe.. just maybe one of these suggestions will work for you

Smooches to the Pooches

Katie

Katopup's picture
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Thanks Kate 

Yesterday I was exhausted from lack of sleep lol and yes therefore frustrated and emotional almost questioning myself as to 'What in the world was I thinking getting a pup!'  My husband felt bad as he's been working this week and is gone 14hrs a day so he knew I was exhausted and emotional lol.

Last night and today so far have been much much better but I also got 5 straight hrs of sleep which has helped big time.  I took your advice and let him cry early this morning and I think that helped me get my sanity back lol.

I appreciate all the support on here it truly helps!

Thank you all so much, I don't think I would be very confident without all your support and encouragement.  (:

I will definitely keep you all updated as I'm sure I will be facing many more challenges but hopefully many more positives too.

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I would suggest a squirt bottle. The people before we got her used this method, and we only had to show it to her and she would behave... this was at 10 months btw. We don't use it any more, not since 12 months. 

 Bella is older now 2 1/2 y.o. and she gets 3 barks, then we start bringing her inside. Luckily the neighbors are pretty far, though we can hear their dogs...

Sometimes before she goes out I wrap her nose with my hand and say 'no barking' in a stern voice, she barks once just to prove her point, then stops....

Katopup's picture
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Thanks pricipessa but I've never liked the squirt bottle idea for too many reasons to mention lol but hey too each his own with their methods.

With that being said though I do appreciate and welcome everyone's suggestions and advice and am glad to have all of the varying methods people are using to give me ideas that's for sure! (:

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We've used the squirt bottle at times. It has proven to be an excellent deterrent to the destruction of house plants. Now I just sit the bottle in front of the poor bedraggled philodendron and it's ignored..

Bella managed to shred our palm trees... ( Makes Charlie Brown's Christmas tree look like a Noble Pine) she was relentless as she was so hungry especially for nutrients when we first brought her home.. rocks.. leaves, blossoms.. anything that could be picked up was devoured immediately.. the squirt bottle was the only thing she would listen to..

Wondering why, Katopup you're against them.. Maybe I'll learn something...

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Well at the moment I will give you the one reason right now why that would be a bad idea for me, we recently had a tonne of rain therefore a tonne of Mosquitos so we bought all natural repellent from the pet store to spray Kato down as he was being bit horribly this product comes in a spray bottle almost like a windex bottle but round.  Now imagine how well he would take to us using a spray bottle as a bad thing causing him a fear of it and needing to spray him with this repellent that is a benefit to him it would be traumatic for him.

Another reason is it isn't a solution to a problem as you would have to carry a spray bottle around with you wherever you bring your dog so IMO that isn't proofing ridding a behaviour it would only work if it works at your own home.

Plus I've seen this backfire after a pup has become an adult and end up liking it, so then back to square one dealing with the issue all over again.

But this is my opinion and what others do is what they choose to do so if this has been a solution for you that's great it's just not something that I could see being a solution to stopping a dog from unnecessary barking.

Today I did a lot of redirection in the yard with lots of praise when he turned his attention to me every time he looked like he was about to bark at certain new noises, basically catching it before he had a chance to do it and it worked really well he didn't bark outside all day even when hearing other dogs barking.

Although I am still trying to figure out how to encourage quiet when he's in his crate and cannot see me lol, just when you think you figure out one thing there's another lol just like my little granddaughter (:

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Thanks Katopup.. I get it... totally...thanks for sharing....

BTW..before I go any further..( or is it farther?) ( My editors HATE me).. for mosquitoes.. have you tried Skin So Soft by Avon?? It works wonders to keep those nasties off your pets ( and you) just mix a third of SSS and 2/3 water in the oft talked about and also maligned spray bottle and spray away.. see..... another reason NOT to use those bottles.. I have to spray on a cloth and wipe the girls down.

Another thing that really helped us to keep baby Bella quiet is ANTLERS.. good old Elk Antlers.. most pet stores carry them.. however seeing as how we live in Baja and there are NO pet stores here. I order mine through dogsupplies.com and they come in the mail.. I don't know how I would have survived without them..

Now back to training tricks.. what works for some of us may not do a darn thing for others.. Each dog is an individual and will take to certain commands more readily than others.. I think Dobermans, especially Dobermans, are more distinct in their personalities and characteristics than any other dog on earth. If I even suggested to Sofia a spray bottle.. she would go into a Diva snit and ignore us for the rest of the day.. and clicker?? she just rolls her eyes and hhhmmphs her way against a wall..

Fortunately Sofia is quite the opposite of most Dobermans.. I've never.. not once.. had to discipline her.. ooopss.. I take that back.. there was the Super Bowl party h am.. but that's another story.

All we can do is try.... give them love and understanding, pray for patience and enjoy each phase of their development..

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Yes I've tried the avon skin so soft yrs ago and heard it works great for repelling Mosquitos unfortunately I react to a lot of avon products so didn't really get to try it out for myself so I was stuck with traditional repellents.  This stuff we got is by Eqyss grooming products and is called canadian marigold spray it's all natural and actually smells nice and I can even use it on my granddaughter and it's not harmful to breath in or ingest but expensive $23 a bottle thanks goodness it only really takes fine misting.

Oh and I hear you about the clicker training I started trying to use one and at first it seemed to work til he decided he was more interested I  attacking my hand with the clicker in it so out the window that went.

I've been just praising with 'Good boy' and petting him when he does want I want and so far he's responding much better to that along with softened kibble as treats which he likes as he is very food driven.

So yes I absolutely agree with you that even though some methods work for some dogs they may not work so great or as effectively for others and yes dobes are definitely unique even at his age I've already noticed him trying to outsmart me at times lol.

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Good to know about the Eqyss.... I've never heard of it.. but how wonderful that you found a natural product to keep those mosquitos off.. I'm highly allergic to their bites and feel fortunate that they are rare here in Baja..Thank you for sharing that.. I'm sure there are a lot of folks here facing the same problem..

Bella is quite food driven too and has become an escape artist.. just this morning she realized she could vault over the back wall and like a flying squirrel soared and chased a road runner completely across the fairway.. Not even  calling: " Treat.. Treat," would get her back.. So we're back to square one with recall training.. we have a fifty foot nylon rope that we will tether the little menace to and with her food drive will attempt to train her to 'come." Had it down pat about a month ago.. but as with any training.. we weren't consistent and now all is lost.. must start over...  She normally would come running to me, up the steep hill that leads down to the tide pools not far from our house.. half way up.. she decided to take a detour and it took Mike twenty mins.  to capture her.. NOT fun and very dangerous as there are bob cats, coyotes, sharp rocks and cactus that is everywhere here.. Cannot let that girl off leash.. She thought it to be quite the merry chase.. Mike was not amused...

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Oh my goodness lol that's funny even though it's not.  I started working on training recall this morning and also to stay but I'm sure this will be a daily training for quite a while since he is a rebel lol.  

How old is your Bella she sounds like a character lol.

Btw how great it must be to live in Baja, no crappy winters to deal with I would love that.

We have a lot of wildlife here in northern Alberta as well but the biggest concern is black bear when we start walking him on the trails or go camping.

We had a poor young woman attacked and killed by one out at one of the mines already this year, and that scares the crap out of me, they caught and killed that bear and it's been apparently 10yrs since the last bear attack in our area but still we spend a lot of time throughout the year in the bush and I'm always on alert because you just never know.

Oh I meant to update you with the letting him cry at night in his crate and last night he barely cried so it is slowly working I guess I just needed to hear that I wasn't going to be cruel doing that.  We still haven't left him through the day yet we're planning to tomorrow though for a couple of hours.

My husband spoke with the neighbours yesterday and they said they haven't heard him at all so that's a relief.

(:

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O Kato.. How I thought of you this morning.. We have our house on the market to sell and someone is coming by to view in a bit.. so of course I wanted to spiffy it up... Bella thinks it's just absolutely hilarious to chase the dust mop... fly at the cloths, mops, brooms etc..... so midst spiffing..( It's a word) I put her in her crate..

You'd think some one was trying to decapitate her with the howls, screeches and yodels that came from this little pup.. She was first outraged, then despondent and I expected a call from P.E.T.A. any moment.. eventually she did quiet down.. they do, but not until you're almost at your wits end. Do you add a Kong to Kato's 'incarceration?'

It's amazing that your neighbors don't hear him, and aren't you elated.. Takes away some of the pressure to hush him. In time that voice will deepen and you'll fear for the safety of your windows.. I can't wait for you to hear that first, big boy, gutteral, hair raising bark..

Bella IS a character...  I've started a new book.. calling it Ciao Bella.. it's still a little too soon to really get inside her head. She's just now six months old and if I had to describe her personality.. I would say 'multiple.' It was easy to write about Sofia.. she was a Diva from day one. Hence.. Life With a DoberDiva...

Baja is glorious.. The temp is usually somewhere between 70's and 80's year round.. very little rain. We like it a lot. There are a few things I miss not living in the States.. but for the most part it's amazing and we're fulfilling a life time goal by bringing American Football to Baja..

Beware of those bears. My gosh I'd be terrified..nice chatting with you

Katie

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Wow guys, I thought poisonous snakes, venomous spiders, barborous sting rays and killer jelly fish were bad enough! You have got it going on up there in the nth hemisphere!

Lady Kate, not surprised with all those scents abounding where you are that recalls are hard to maintain. Its bad enough here just with the cats..

Just thought I'd relate something funny re curbing barking. Ian Dunbar talks about turning your dog into chew toy junkie to help curb barking and to help with crate training. He recomends freezing various kongs with wet dog food and putting them in a crate or a safe area inside, or to curb barking outside the house. I have been using peanut butter with dry treats up until now because a) its quick with no preperation required and b) see point a).

I've just started doing this with frozen wet food and Storm is loving it. I usually feed her butchers cuts, so canned dog food of good quality is like doggy mcdonalds to her. Storm is now carrying her toys around like a chew toy addict already. One of the methods I'm trying with her barking is that if she starts barking, I pick up her chew toy and go to walk away with it. At which point she abrubtly stops and wants to know what the hell I think I'm doing. I then say 'good quiet' and 'take it' and give her back the toy. Its very early days yet, but my fingers are crossed.

The funny things is, early on, she figured me out, and picked up her toy before I could get it and started playing keep away with it. Thats great, I thought, firstly, she is loving this frozen kong, and secondly, if she's got a chew toy in her mouth, she cant bark.

She looked straight at me with her chew toy in her mouth and barked! Without dropping her chew toy. I didn't think a dog could do that. It was only a small stifled bark, but it was just her waying of telling me that she was on to me lol. I made sure I got the kong off her btw before giving it back to her with 'take it'. Just to make sure shes aware of where the good stuff comes from.

The good thing about frozen stuff is that its a slow delivery treat. You dont need to be there, the chew toy is delivering the goodness for you. Frozen dog food doesn't leave a mess behind either.

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Oh WOW OzDobe I will definitely be trying that one, thanks for that suggestion because this little bugger has his treats out of his kong in literally minutes lol.

I'm going to the pet store tomorrow to get another kong and some canned dog food because unfortunately right now he's not liking peanut butter I bought the kong spray pb and he sniffed it and looked at me like what do you want me to do with this lol.  And yet so many people say their dogs love pb of course mine has to be one that doesn't lol.

Will let you know how the frozen canned food works, I'm going to guess it will because he's very food driven except for pb lol. 

Katie

You had me in stitches with your remark about P.E.T.A that was a good one lol.

Yes we are very fortunate that the neighbours aren't hearing him barking although he is now beginning to calm himself much quicker so I think he's seeing his crate as his haven finally.

Oh plus I started putting country music on for him at night when I go to bed, I figured it always made me want to sleep listening to it as I'm not a big fan lol my husband would beg to differ on the other hand. 

It's been great chatting with both of you I'm very inspired by your ideas and stories, I feel like I'm learning something new from you all everyday and it's very helpful. Plus it's a place to go to where I can talk about my dog and not feel like I'm boring the crap out of someone seeing a lot of people could care less to hear all my days events with Kato lol.

Cant really blame them if their not big into dogs or I'm just coming across like that new mom who can't stop talking about my baby lol.  They didn't have the internet available to everyone when I was a new mom 23yrs ago so guess now I'm enjoying the internet support and sharing as a new puppy mom lol.

Well off to bed I probably only have about 5 hrs before first potty wake up if I'm lucky lol.

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Storm aquiring her Frozen Kong habit. In the beginning a picture of innocense.. watch in real time as the addiction takes hold :)

 

 

 

 

 

doggy nirvana...

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Good morning all.. hope we all had a good nights' sleep.. well// hope YOU all had a good night's sleep// We had a midnight visitor in the form of a lost little coyote yipping on the other side of the wall.. Of course our two guardians went vaguely ballistic, letting us and anyone with a ten mile radius that we had an intruder.. It wasn't til the parents of the little guy called him back that things settled down.

Oz how I love your idea of a Kong or stuffie to curb the barking.. How I wish I read that yesterday as we had a golf tournament going in our back yard.. Oh Lordie.....

" Look Mom.. golfers... gettem.. come on Sofia, help me gettem"

" Oooo Bella.. you have to bark louder than that if you want them to leave.. listen"

" OOOoo I see now.. like this??"

"Almost... try a little harder and a little louder."

And of course it worked as the golfers doing what golfers do.. hit their silly little balls and went on to the next hole..

But alas it was a tournament so we had at least a hundred silly little ball hitters.. this went on all day and by the afternoon I was exhausted and howling myself.. Why oh why did we opt for a house on the 7th Fairway??

Oz...The photos of Storm are stunning... How I love the way the sunlight bounces off her gleaming coat. She is one pretty girl that's for sure. Kong +peanut butter + sunshine } doggie crack (can't find the equal sign on this new Mexican keyboard.)

Katopup.... ( Is that really what we want to call you??) I can only imagine how happy you are to see such great progress... they are so smart and really and truly want to please us.. you're doing a fantastic job.. congratulations.. baby steps might seem to take a while.. but in the long run they'll get you where you want to go.

As for me..... I'm taking off today.. Leaving both kids with a sitter.. Let HER fuss with the coyotes, golfers, screeching hyenas and the like. Momma's going to look at some Azteca horses.. ciao for now.

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Great pics Oz I can't wait to try it out with Kato it may be my saving grace for sanity lol, sounds like your idea may be a life saver for both Kate and I.

Kate my name is Cher lol

Enjoy your day out I too am planning to get out without him for a couple hrs this afternoon.  Plus my husband finished nights this morning and is off for his 6 days so I can relax some letting him be more in charge of Kato watch lol.  

Plus I am getting away for a night thurs with my daughter and her friend which means a whole night sleep to look forward to whoo hoo!

Haha I'm outside right now and Kato just had his first encounter with a little squirrel and he's afraid of it lol bet that won't last long!

Have a great day all bye for now! (:

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Fiesta de Cabello.. amazing..

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AWWW!

Thats awesome he/she looks like it's hugging you.

Looks like you were having a great time (:

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Cool pic Lady Kate. Lol re your location behind a golf course. Many years ago, I used to sneak in to our local golf course at night with my old dobe and a ridgeback I was trying to rehab with a back injury. High fencing all around. They used to love going into a full sprint on that soft grass. The best place I've found to excercise dogs off leash. You need a stealth recall though ;) I lived a few blocks from the golf course, though so no worries about my dogs wondering why ppl where clubbing things to death with long sticks..

I had a win today. I've been trying to figure out how to phase out food while teaching Storm to heel today. I had the brainwave inspired by a dog training vid I watched recently, to waggle my thumb with my right hand on my left hip. I kept my fist closed so that Storm couldn't tell if I had a treat or not.

I could not beleive it. She started recalling from halfway or more across the dog park with around ten dogs all playing together in the park! She was heeling with dogs all around her and sitting at the end of the heel and waiting for me to take her collar before treating. Repeatedly.

Just from waggling my thumb! It was like 'now I get it!', and she recalled and heeled with huge distractions for over an hour and a half off and on. I was treating her, but that in itself is a huge step forward, because with so much excitement going on, she would never look at a treat in the past. Now I just space the treating out further once its fully reinforced, and keep the thumb action going.

So glad we all had a good day :)

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Wow Oz.. .that's fantastic.. You sound pleased and you should be!! These dogs constantly surprise us don't they.. however.. from what I've read....it shouldn't be a surprise.. not only are they capable of so much more than we think. they are ready willing and able. Super Dogs these Dobes.. super dogs

Cher.. It was a wonderful celebration at Adobe Guadalupe Azteca Horse Breeding Farm. Warm bloods Pasa Finos, Aztecas and Friesians.... incredible animals.. that guy you see me with is Remedio the great Friesian Champion.. ( my favorite horses!)

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That's awesome Oz, definitely something so many dog owners seem to have challenges with is the steadfast recall.

Sounds like you are well on your way to having achieved that.  I have been using his so far favourite treats to lure him to come when called and he's doing pretty good with it in my yard lol, doubt it would be very effective right now elsewhere as he is still way too easily distracted.  But we will keep at it and once he has all his shots we plan to take him to some parks on a 20ft leash to continue practicing until we too can get it down pat and hopefully eventually without the handful of treats.

I have a question for you both or anyone else as well that may want to chime in, I just discovered the one dog that my backyard neighbour has is a full grown very big intact male pitbull.

He seems pretty well mannored but I am wondering what to maybe expect as Kato grows, should we be concerned?

It's only a 5ft fence dividing us from them and I wouldn't trust that fence if they really wanted to get through it they most certainly could.

I've heard and read a lot of concerning stories others have had with male on male aggression and this neighbour dog being a pitbull kind of scares me because I know there's no way we could break that up if they end up not liking each others presence.

My husband is considering putting up a taller fence in front of this one in the spring to hopefully avoid a horrific event.

Then I come to find out from my next door neighbour that his neighbours beside and behind him both have 2 pitbulls each with out any issues though that he knows of.

Kato has barked and growled showing a snarl with his teeth at the one behind us but calmed once I sqwatted next to him petting him and very relaxed and calmly telling him it was ok, then he finally took his attention off the pitbull and layed down seemimg to relax himself.

Luckily the pitbull didn't respond at all just stared through the fence at him, lol.

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Thanks Cher (if its ok to call you that). My chaotic schedule, being a full time carer, precludes me from having much of a life in terms of work and hobbies or much else besides, so focusing on training Storm is one of few things I can do, and consider an achievement. Its also why I can rack up dobe dollars and begin my own dobe dollar driven empire :) I dont have much time to go out doing stuff, but I always have time for training. Storm and I are together 24/7 too. A situation very few people are in. Training Storm as a kind of therapy dog, also gives me alot of motivation to read, watch and learn as much as possible about dog training and behavior.

I don't have any experience with pit bulls, but my understanding is that as with all dogs, it comes down to the dogs socialization, training and excercise. Provided the pit bulls needs in these areas are met, theres no reason why he can't be a safe dog to be around. Fighting in the dog world does happen but its the exception, not the rule. If both dogs are adequately socialized they will know how to defuse any potential fighting.

Until your puppy is 4mo and 2wks, your puppy should be protected by the puppy license system. Up until this age, puppies are protected from harm from other older dogs. This is probably why the pit bull didn't respond to Kato's 'display'. Kato reacted the way he did because he has yet to learn about other dogs. The goal is to socialize Kato, so that during the puppy stage, he learns how to respond appropiately in the dog world. If he learns the rules about being polite to older dogs, he should be fine with the neighbours dog. Once he's had his shots he needs to be around other dogs so that he can learn the ropes of how to communicate and get on in the dog world.

I hate to bring up what seems to be a controversial subject here on the forum, but are you considering neuturing? I'm personally all for it if your not breeding. It appears to nip alot of problems in the bud (sorry). I know others are against it, and they may add to the discussion here. Maybe its worth talking to your vet about it. Perhaps you could wait till the puppy license expires, at 4mo and give him a couple of months to see how he gets on with other males before considering it. Just an idea. Is the neighbours pit bull intact?

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Thanks Oz, yes we are planning to neuter him by 6mon and yes I'm sure others would disagree but it's a decision my husband and I agree with and that is that lol.

The pitbull is fully intact.

We hope to get him out there to socialize but don't really know anyone who lives near us with dogs, so I am thinking to join a puppy obedience program to get him socializing with other dogs as we will be coming across many on walks, camping etc and want him to know to behave around them.

He had his first encounter with a cat that got into our yard today and he sure didn't like that, my husband had to actually pick him up because he wanted after that cat badly.  That was the first time in the 3 yrs we've lived in this house that we have had a cat come in our yard, it's rare to see cats in this city because the by-laws are quite strict and all cats have to be licensed.

I guess for now I won't worry myself too much with the pitbull, on a good note we've noticed the neighbours are usually always outside with him so we're hoping that means they are responsible dog owners.  They are new neighbours this year and the ones we had back there last year with a boxer were horrible.

So we'll just have to continue training Kato to be calm while the other dog is out and hopefully he will in time be ok with it.

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Just like the word "Doberman" .. "Pitbull" conjures up all kinds of evil and horrific images.Bad reps both.

I wouldn't worry too much Cher... honestly, it's not the dog, it's the owners in so many cases.

As far as the cat in the hat.. I mean yard.. Even our lovely Sofia who is as gentle as her namesake 'fawn' would go through a brick wall to get after a cat. She even climbed a tree and broke off one of her perfectly manicured nails once. It's their strong prey drive that sends them into a frenzy.. not the kitty itself.. Many Dobermans live in perfect harmony with cats.. although I can't see it happening any time soon around here.

Oz.. we love that you have the time to learn and to share your experiences with us.. You have such savvy and seem to be dedicated to the breed.. Thank you

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Well tonight I had the opportunity to go over to the fence and introduce myself to the new neighbour 'pitbull' owner, and so it be his sister is a pet nutitionist and his mother is a professional dog trainer.

He said he spent day and night training his pitbull to have the well mannored behiour he has.

He too said those poor pitbulls have a bad repution as the doberman because of bad owners and bad training.

He was very friendly and so was the owner lol!

He ivited us and Kato any time dor our dogs to meet without the fence barrier to get to know one another.

I will tell you how relieved we are and he did hear about the prior tenants that lived there with their not so nice boxer.

So glad I had that chance to meet him and hear how he spoke about his dog and the family dog experience they have it sure makes us feel like we can now have an open dialogue regarding any issue if may be in the future.

And possibly a new friend in the future for Kato but not til he's at least fully vacinated.

Life can be great when there's a positive approach which makes life spectacular!

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Thats what I call syncronicity! Everything is going your way, good on you.

Until Kato's had his shots, theres nothing stopping the pitty come over to your place if you so desire (as long has he's fully vaccinated). Sounds like the perfect scenario. Responsible dog owners are worth their weight in gold IMO.

With the added bonus of dog training, and nutritional tips! Be sure to share them :)

Cats can be interesting. My annoying neighbours with the pair of BARKING Cav king Charles spaniels have left (yay) taking their cats with them, and Storm is actually getting the bored. Or she was until I introduced the frozen chew toys. I'm just enjoying the peace. We're getting more training done without the distractions too. I'm teaching Storm to 'play dead' at the moment.

Lol kate re Sofia climbing a tree after a cat, I've seen Storm scent either a possum or a cat which had recently been in a tree in our yard and I thought she was going to climb it. She was like dog on a spring, with her front paws scrabbling, but thankfully she couldnt get a purchase or their could have been an injury.

My eldest daughter has been angling for a cat for a while, and I'm willing to give it a try with a foster cat. That way, if it doesn't work out we can always take it back and we can gauge how Storm will go before committing. I'm still not sure whether her reaction is 'hey look at that furry thing, I want to meet - why is it running away?' or 'wow dad got a new furry chew toy - And it moves! Give, give, give!'.

I am curious though, because my previous dobe used to play with cats as though they were puppies. But she grew up with a possum killing tom cat. The tom cat was bigger than my dobe puppy in the early days lol. And boy, did he keep her in line.

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Oh Cher.. I am so happy to hear this. Sounds as if you have a great neighbor and as Oz said.. they are worth their weight in GOLD!! Not only will Kato have a wonderful play mate.. YOU will have a friend as well and one who will be willing to help with questions re: the training of your baby. YAY all around!

Oz,, what do you think Storm ( great name incidentally) do with a kitty...?

My guess is she will welcome the little fur ball graciously and whole heartedly. With your training skills and willingness to adapt to all circumstances.. I think it's  win win situation and provide this gentle reader with loads of stories and PICTURES!!!

Buenos Suarte mi amigos...

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Dogs & cats, its the nature vs nurture argument. Is it in the genes? Are some dogs destined to see cats as furry burritos on legs always and forever, or can we 'shape' their behavior to accept them. It reminds me of a fantastic documentary I once watched some time ago, about the symbiotic 'relationship' between coyotes and badgers. You can read about it here. If there's hope for these two, I guess anythings possible.

Note that the coyote doesn't befriend the badger, its just that its chances of hunting success are a third better, when paired up with a badger. This seems to be the 'way in' I'm looking for re the dog vs cat 'relationship' training. Thats just off the top of my head for now. Food for thought so to speak. I'll keep you posted when and if the day arrives. And I'll be taking plenty of pics :)

I agonised over Storms name for a while. She acquired it from being this tiny puppy, with a huge head and four giant paws (like some kind of cartoon character) and despite her small size she stormed around the place with such confidence. So she's named after the verb not the noun.

BTW I've hit upon more chewtoy stuffing. Bacon rind cut into lengths and pushed into the slots of Kong dental chew toys. I tried putting a length through a normal Kong, leaving the bacon hang out of both ends before freezing, but the brainiac used the rind as wick and pulled the frozen plug of dog food clean out the Kong along with the rind lol. There is no outsmarting a Dobe!

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Not surprised Storm used the bacon wick as a pull toy.. betcha she thought it was a new toy just for her.

There are wonderful stories of 'unlikely' friends on the Animal Planet.. dogs and cheetahs, rhinos and turtles.. there's an especially endearing piece featuring a burro and an Aussie.. (Hmm would that be Ozzie?) I remember watching one that showed a friendly cockatoo and his kitty friend.. amazing..

Makes you have hope for the human race no?

P.S. Furry burritos on legs?? Waaay too funny..

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Any thoughts or advice on how to start teaching Kato not to dig, this little bugger is a digging machine and can dig a hole so fast with those giant paws of his lol.

My sister recommended cayenne pepper but I can't coat my entire yard lol so far he is randomly digging wherever he gets the urge not in one particular place.  We can redirect him and firmly tell him NO and he stops then goes and finds another area to dig the bugger lol.

Have you all had or have this issue, I know some say that some dogs are just more prone to do it than others I'm just hoping we can somehow curb the behaviour so he doesn't destroy the lawn or possibly dig a hole under the fence to freedom lol

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Cher... digging is a natural instinct for dogs.. they love it.. they especially love it when they're bored and have nothing better to do other than create their own bombing site.. I've spoken to many a doberman owner who's back yard looks like a demo dump.

The only thing I could suggest is to re direct Kato's attention elsewhere.. a new toy.. a peanut butter filled Kong.. or playmate.. sure.. that's exactly what I'm saying..... get him a little sister... than you can join the rest of us in the ward..

Seriously... Sofia and Bella have a special spot underneath the old willow tree in the back.. you'd think they were headed to China. I don't mind and they seen to really get a thrill especially when Bella is behind Sofia and gets a face full of fresh turned dirt. But when it's time to run or chase a ball.. the dig is over.. good luck.. and see if you can't get him to plant petunias in the ready made holes..

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Cool a thread that wont die :)

Kate has hit on the solution. A digging pit. allocated in an area where you can live with the digging, and bury kongs stuffed with good stuff, bones, toys etc. Show him its ok to dig there. Praise him etc. Even help him dig to give him the idea. Whenever he digs anywhere else, you redirect him to his digging pit. Maybe keep a shovel and rake nearby to fill it in after oil rush is over.

In the interests of full disclosure, Storm likes to dig, but I have been able to keep her in check. I dont know if what I'm doing will work for others or whether its just specific to Storm. I think the key is being there. You cant teach them once the hole has been dug. I do leave her unattended sometimes, but she hasn't seemed to dig while I'm not there, thankfully. The irony is that I really dont care too much, I'm not the avid permaculturist I once was, but I have a badly prolapsed disc at L4 in my back and I like to keep the ground fairly even beneath my feet.

Everytime Storm started digging, I would tell her 'ah' (the universal dog language registering displeasure), and put my foot over where she was digging. If she moved to another spot, I would follow her to the new spot and repeat the process. If she continued digging around my feet, I would pick up something heavy and of a size big enough to cover the digging area she is trying to start, and I would leave it over the area for up to a week. I like to use tire ramps I have lying around, but a sturdy chair the pup cant get under to dig will do just as well. So I shuffle the tire ramps around the yard from time to time, following the first scratchings, and this seems to keep the digging in check. I remove them periodically and remain dig free for a while. I also divert Storm with a game or an impromptu training session.

I'm happy to provide a digging pit if the habit ever gets out of control. I know its one of those things that dogs like to do that we just need to live with, but at this stage, Storm is doing better than I expected.

Kate, maybe you could hire your yard out to the golf course as a training green complete with bunker. It would be great because it would be randomized each day. Every day a different lay out :)

Good luck.

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lol great pic. Maybe we should have a hole digging competition on the forum. The greatest volume displaced wins a swimming pool?

A picture really does tell a thousand words doesn't it? It looks like she's having so much fun, I'm starting to feel guilty about closing that particular avenue of pleasure off for Storm. Maybe I need to think about a digging pit for her... Cane toads hibernate in the ground around here though. Between them spitting poison, and dogs licking them to get high and possibly O.D., I'm not sure I can deal with the stress. I cant really see Storm as a flower child and turning on, tuning in and dropping out may have a detrimental effect on training..

The dirt there looks quite rocky, I bet that helps keep the nails manicured.

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The truth will out Oz.. this was pre-planting. Now there's a designated spot for both the girls to dig..on the other side of the tree...

I've heard about those toads and how toxic they can be.. even one who takes a quick dip in a water dish can do harm for our furries...

Sofia's nails grow almost over night and it's a chore to keep them dremeled.. in fact it helped to create an entire chapter in our book.. will copy and paste if anyone wants to read it...

Here's a photo of the previous demo spot .. we just let it go natural as the upkeep can be daunting..

Cheers

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You definitely have some new flower beds ready to go lol, very beautiful flower garden you have there btw.

Right now we have a dirt pile in our back corner we let him play in but it's not staying, but we figured if we can't deter him my husband said he will box an area for him to dig just so he doesn't dig up the entire yard which at this house isn't very big. 

Our last house had a giant yard would've been great for him but in this city you have to spend over a million to get a yard that size it's crazy.

He has also taken a liking to gnawing on the tree trunks but hasn't went after my new flower pots I just planted lol so one sacrifice for another.

It helps that we don't really like the trees anyway and figure oh well if his gnawing kills theme then we have more firewood for our fire pit and can always plant new ones that maybe we'll like lol.

I need to figure out how to post pics on here without that photo bucket as it won't allow me to register, any suggestions I use an iphone

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Cher... are you on FaceBook? If so you can just copy your FB image and paste it here.. easy peasy.

And I know exactly what you're saying about the properties in Pasadina.. a postage stamp size piece of dirt can financially one behind  for life.

How we loved driving through the neighborhoods at Christmas time though.. so lovely, stately and belongs in a Norman Rockwell painting...

Here, you have to get permission from the government to take down a tree even if it's diseased.. not very many in Baja... sometimes I miss the green....

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Oh wow really and yet in the rest of North America they cut down and want you to cut down diseased trees now I understand why they don't allow certain wood, trees etc to cross borders lol.

Yes it's crazy how in one city the properties are ridiculously expensive and others you can have acreage for less. We're so far north and remote from any other city it's 4hrs to Edmonton our closest city and we pay through the nose for everything here and it's an oil city so it's far from poor and they wonder why we have so many poor homeless people here.

Yes I just got back on FB so I will try it I actually just posted a pic with him in his new harness so I'll try and copy that one.

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Darn it it's not working, I think my phone takes too big of pics I'll have to play around with it and see if I can figure it out

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OOoo Noo.. Cher.. dunno why.. but I thought you lived in Pasadena CA USA.. I am sorry.. you're from Canada.. still North America and not nearly as far as our Oz.. but still a long long way.

You can find me on FaceBook at Katie O'Brian-Robles

Sofia has her own page as well at Sofia DoberDiva..

Hope to 'friend' you

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There I found you on FB and friend requested you lol

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Hi Cher, heres some video of Storm as a pup using our bannana tree as a chew toy, she also loves our Gardenia tree, the wood is very dense and great for chewing on. Remember though, that Kato cant tell the difference between between one tree and another, so its really all or nothing. If you regularly go places where trees are prized objects, you may want to be careful with tree chewing. If, like me, this isn't a problem, I know Storm loves it and it takes out alot energy. And its alot of fun to watch when a tree can take your place.

P.S. sorry on behalf of all my fellow ozzies for our PM calling your country Canadia. What a dufus.

Kate that garden is awesome. Using a dremel eh? Storms going to need her dew claws trimmed soon, and I think I'll just go with the clippers. Not sure how she'd go with the noise of the dremel. I have wondered about the dremel. We do a lot of walking on cement so that keeps the need for a trim at bay. Not enough to hurt the pads though.

Speaking of noise. I used the hair dryer after the bath for the first time a couple of days ago, and she wasn't too bad. Draw a treat past the dryer one way, then the other. Why wave the dryer around when you can wave the dog?

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Oz.

Love love love the vid.. however it was the bark heard half-way around the world.. Sofia has never paid a bit of attention to videos or sounds from same.. but in the middle of Dobe goes Bananas, Storm lets out a whoof and SOfia perked up.. ran into my office and stared at the screen.. then told Bella that we had company... Bella in turn does not understand Dobertalk so she just barked her head off cause Sofia was ....that woke the neighbors two pups up and so on and so on and so on.

 

I posted Chapter 16 which tends to be a universal favorite as it's regarding Dremels. Enjoy!!