Our main nickname for Raiden is ‘Jerk’ because, quite frankly, he is a huge jerk! 🙂
Around lunchtime today we were taking the boys for a walk together, but this is a pain in the arse as Riden *screams* when, at the start of the walk, he’s not getting to interact / touch Kasper.
It doesn’t matter if I carry him out the house first, if I carry him alongside Kasper, if we walk behind or if I put him on the ground and he walks beside Kasper…because Kasper is focused on the walk, and not paying attention to Rey, he screams *rolls eyes*
Today I carried him a little down the street, alone, and plonked him on a wall so we could do some training. This meant my partner could bring Kasper out in his own time, and we weren’t trying to bustle two noisy/excited dogs out whilst Zoey whined miserably in the background.
I plopped Rey on the ground as Kasper drew next to us, and within seconds the most horrifying and irritating yelpy-screams began. It sounded like I was butchering him -__-
I immediately picked Rey up and turned him away so he could no longer see Kasper. There was no chance in hell I was letting him reward his screaming by getting to move forwards and follow Kasper.
Once I had in my arms he continued with this hideous noise and threw a tantrum (he thrashes violently and doesn’t realise at all that it could result in him being dropped), so I held him firmly and ignored him. He was making SO MUCH noise that someone actually came out of their house to see what was going on – embarrassing much?! 😛
After a few minutes he finally shut up, so I marked his silence and put him on the ground as a reward. We went to go catch Kasper up…and the shrieking started again! I grabbed Raiden quick, then turned and marched in a different direction. Noise = go away from the thing you want to get closer to.
I took a different route to the field. By the time we got there Raiden was doing his quiet-but-pitiful whines. As soon as he’d been silent for a few seconds I marked him, put him on the ground as a reward, and soon after Kasper appeared and had a blast chasing the little Jerkoid about 🙂
Next time we will stagger our exits and just meet each other at the field, where Rey can be off lead 😉
In most other regards Raiden is flourishing. We haven’t had any accidents in the house since the first week or two; he does well with his training, he rarely mouths, he loves people and, compared to when we first began carrying him places, he takes everything in his stride.
These past few weeks he saw shopping trolleys, wheelchairs and canal boats for the first time, and he wasn’t afraid of any of them 🙂
But he isn’t perfect, obviously. His main ‘jerk-points’ at the moment are:
- Noise – he is so damn vocal!
- Kibble – he’s still doing pretty crappy at eating meals. We’ve weaned him off the wet food, and he actually seems to have improved a little. He’s also getting a small smattering of adult kibble a day, as he prefers it to puppy food.
- Treats – sometimes once he earns a click on walks he will snub his treat, no matter what it is, and no matter how few the distractions are. I think because he’s so small his tummy fills up quickly, so I’m going to have to chop the treats up real small…the annoying thing about ham is that it sticks to itself, so it’s hard to get just one tiny piece at a time! I also need to use toy rewards more.
- Strops – he still throws tantrums, either when he’s over-excited (eg. short biting) or when he doesn’t like what’s happening (eg. yapping when he can’t get to Kasper on walks / is picked up). Strops = him being ignored, being calm = treats, praise, or life rewards (eg. being put on the floor, let off lead etc)
With every day that passes he fills the EzyDog Quick Fit more and more. I think by next week he will be able to wear it on walks, which will be nice. It’s much easier to calmly put on him, it has a handle for emergency off-lead grabs, and just one D clip to attach the lead to.
I was so scared we’d have to battle harness phobia all over again; you would not believe how happy I am Raiden doesn’t mind it!
Once he has the harness on we encourage him to run about with the ‘touch’ game, get him to sit and lie down, and play with toys. After a few minutes off work I whip the harness off before he gets bored and decides to try chew it 😀
He had a big walk to the canal today. He saw lots of people, came away from distractions really well, offered lots of sits as we went, followed when we said “this way” and even played with another dog without being too yappy.
I think he was possibly a little tired after the adventure 🙂