Oz Working Dogs - Assistance & Working Dog Equipment

For assistance/service dog equipment, as well as guide, therapy, detection, search & rescue, police and dogs in training equipment check out my website http://www.ozworkingdogs.com.au - I make and sell vests, capes, belly bands, harnesses, handles and more... and will post to the world!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Pup recovering, a short early morning walk

5 months 2 weeks old

Well, the pup seems to be recovering. He has a bit more spark today, he's interested in more attention and so far is spending more time with me. Yesterday he lay down in a different room, which is very rare... usually he stays in sight of me at all times.

Knightley still looking a bit sad and sorry for himself the
morning after the vet visit. He is happier than yesterday
He's actually chewing on a toy right now, so that's really good to see. He's still a bit... well, I think serious is the right word for it. I think you can see what I mean in the photo. I think he's getting hungry too, he seems to be sniffing around quite obsessively for crumbs of any sort. Ooh, I just got a wag. Yep, my boy is going to be just fine I think. A little patience and we'll be back to our walks soon enough. We did go for a short one this morning - VERY early, at about 5:30am. I got up super early to give him his next antibiotic and take him out just in case his tummy was hurting him. It was a beautiful morning outside, although the coldest and windiest we've had for a while, which was actually quite refreshing! I was inspired to take him for a short walk because he seemed to have a reasonable amount of spark and hadn't been for a walk for two days. He did well, wagging a fair bit of the way, keeping a nice loose leash, just being a good boy and forgetting about his ouchy tummy despite the lack of food in his world. He is less happy inside the house, I guess the walk helps him forget out the stomach cramps.

The annoying thing is even if he starts to feel better later in the day, we can't train! I mean, I could try using toys as rewards, instead of treats, but I don't think he'd be quite up to tugging or running after a ball.

The other issue this no eating rule has brought up is FADING TREATS. Now, I am not one of those trainers who don't even want to fade treats. We faded treats for sit pretty early, and faded them for down probably too early. However, I hadn't started trying to fade treats for getting into the crate, and sometimes at night he just doesn't want to get into his crate. If he knows I have treats, that's fine, he'll obey the cue. But, I have discovered, if he thinks there is absolutely no food in the offing, he will jump in the crate, then jump out immediately. A cheeky way of doing what I want without actually completing the whole behaviour. I need to start keeping treats in my pocket to surprise him with - or wear my treat pouch ALL the time so he doesn't know when a treat is coming, since a good chunk of my clothing doesn't have pockets. It was the same at the vets yesterday... there were several behaviours I could have had him do to make him more manageable, but without treats to get his attention in a place as exciting as the vets.... well it was useless even trying. Giving treats only occasionally for behaviours is meant to be very effective, based on the gamblers principle... eg will I get one this time? Maybe I will this time! I'll try again because maybe it will be this time?

Anyway, the pup will be allowed to eat again late today, and he's only had one lot of diarrhea today and it was small. So all is looking good. I am going to work harder on his zen when out and about with me so he doesn't eat random things, so that it reduces the likelihood of this happening again.

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