The sun has vanished…

and the rain has returned. Booo!

Not only is this more miserable in general but it makes walking Zoey particularly hard as she hates the rain, and will refuse to walk in it…but, at 16 months old she also needs her two walks a day!! It also means all our usual walks will have turned into quagmires again; they’d just about dried up and made for some real easy walking, but with the slightest bit of rain the bogs return and so we have to go back to wading through in our wellies 🙂

Ah well, the sun was nice while it lasted!

Kasper is being a real doofus at the moment. He is obsessing over every surface in the living room (the shelves, the cabinet, the table, ANYTHING!) and is trying to take whatever he can. Thankfully we are careful to (almost) never leave anything he could counter surf lying about, but the fact that he is trying repeatedly is highly annoying. I might have to resort to clipping a longline to his harness, so any time he jumps up to a surface I can say “get down” and make sure he does so. He would hate that, haha 🙂

I think he’s trying to be as annoying as possible to remind us what he used to be like when we first adopted him, as his ‘gotcha day’ is coming up on the 25th March. Oh my, he was such a nightmare dog! It’s always fun to think back to those days!

He had terrible separation anxiety (to the point where he chewed halfway through a door), he had no basic training, he had no recall, he was terrified of men, he literally bounced up and down on other dogs in his excitement and he was fearful of hands moving quickly towards him.

He’s a much happier and more confident dog now.


Can you tell who had the treats?! 😀

Zoey is a little star as always. We played a fun impulse control game last night (always a good thing to practice with Zoey as she has virtually no impulse control! 🙂 ). It was basically the way you teach a puppy / untrained dog ‘leave it’; you have a treat closed inside your fist, and ignore all the dogs’ attempts to get it out. As soon as the dog moves away from the treat and leaves it alone, you open your fist and they get to have it 🙂

Well we played a harder version where, when Zoey had moved away and my fist was open, she still had to wait until I released her. If she moved to take the treat my fist would close again! It was good fun, and I really enjoyed watching her having to concentrate so much, she did really well.

At first she tried to bat my fist open with her paw



But she quickly caught on and would sit and wait long enough for me to take a photo 😉





Not bad, not bad at all Zoey 🙂

Afterwards we had a rough ‘n’ tumble play session, and somehow this happened…




10 thoughts on “The sun has vanished…

  1. Rainy days are pretty rare here in the Southwest. Feel free to mail me your spares… 😉

    A lovely read and informative. I may need to try the impulse control game….

    Also the best pic of Kasper I have seen yet! He really is a cutie.

    I do a NO! that could fell a horse and an “EHHH!” equally attention grabbing. (Eh is for don’t even think about it) I can tell Stitch will counter surf given the chance but I am sure he will learn. A bigger issue is he seems to find the flower beds the really inviting places to lay. Oh, I have a lot of work to do… I wish I knew as much about training as you do.

    • Haha I would *love* to send some rain your way, if only the weather would obey! 🙂

      Thank you, you will be inflating Kasper’s head with your compliments next! 😀

      We learnt early on that Kasper had had some pretty nasty experiences with raised voices before we adopted him, and would result in him cowering in a corner, poor boy! We do use a positive interrupter a lot (similar to ‘no’ and ‘eh’ but instead means “stop what you’re doing and come get a treat!”). If you ever want to try it with Stitch there’s a video on how to train it 😉

      (Kikopup is amazing, I recommend all her videos! 😀 )

      • Love the video and trying to learn. The situation here is complex. Most country dogs here are mostly untrained and allowed to run free. Problems result.

        This morning on the way down to feed the horses (my dog on leash) the dog next door who always wants to come on the walk (after I feed) charged a huge slow noisy truck and wanted to bite the tires. Once the charge has started a paint peeling NO is all I know to do. She responded and didn’t die… The owners aren’t interested.

        Got any tips? Would love to not yell but that is my situation.

      • Hmm that is a very tough situation to be in. I think in that situation I would do the same as you, there’s not much else you can do in that situation other than to yell! 😀

        You could try making a ton of funny noises (babbling, whistling, cheering etc) and move *away* from the dog, but to be honest I think chasing the truck may be more exciting than checking out what you are up to 😉

        Stitch was so lucky to find a responsible owner like you 🙂

  2. I like the idea of the impulse control games. My Staffy really lacks this as well, so this sounds like a fun way to begin to develop it. Can I ask how you have cured the seperation anxiety? This is starting to become a real problem for us, to the point that I don’t like leaving the house. It is awful to go out, terrified the whole time about what I will return to. His last exercise in destruction was a $600 set of blinds!

    • Sorry, for some reason I have only just seen this comment!

      We conditioned Kasper to a crate, which really helped his separation anxiety. We started with the door being open, and used a clicker / marker word (“yes”) every time he went near it, and rewarded him with a high value treat. He then moved on to stepping into the crate, and we rewarded him for this also.

      You basically want the dog to think the crate is THE BEST THING IN THE WORLD!!

      After a few days of doing that we began shutting the door whilst he was in there with a stuffed Kong, sitting right next to him and feeding him treats. Gradually we increased the amount of time he was in the crate and the distance we were from it.

      Once he was happy in his crate with his Kong and other high value toys, we moved to different rooms of the house. When he was perfectly happy in his crate no matter where we were in the house, we began leaving the house, just for 30 seconds or so at first.

      Over the next few weeks we gradually left him for longer periods of time. I think we went from 5 minutes to 15 to 30 etc etc. We left a phone in there to check he wasn’t whining or barking – if at any time he had begun to get unhappy we would have moved back a few steps and built it up again.

      If you don’t want to use a crate, you could follow the same procedure but replace the crate with a room in the house. Start by leaving your pup for just a few seconds (always leave him with a stuffed Kong or other exciting toys to keep him busy) and slowly slowly increase the amount of time you leave your pup alone. If at any point he becomes distressed you’ve moved forward a little too quickly and will need to go back a few steps.

      It took us weeks to build up the crate training process, but it was really worth it as now Kasper can be left for up to five hours with no problem at all 🙂

      I did a blog about it quite a long time ago too, I’ll link it here in case I’ve forgotten anything 😉

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