HI PUPPY!

I got to see Raiden 🙂

We popped Kasper in his crate with some stuffed food toys after a walk, then my partner took Zoey out so I could have some time away from her & speak with my parents.

When my partner got back we put Zoey in the kitchen with her arsenal of food toys, and Raiden got to come play in the living room *happy dance*

Raiden was so funny. We didn’t do much training, we just played and cuddled. He spent a full ten minutes stretched out on his back, belly up, getting tickles with his gob wide open. He’s starting to really love his fuss 😀

I can’t wait until Zoey is homed and Raiden can start spending 99% of his time with us in the room again. I want things to go back to normal.

It was Kasper’s first time crated in the living room whilst we were playing excitedly with Rey. Kasper was awesome, no whining at all. I threw him the occasional treat and he had a few Kong type toys, but he rocked.

Zoey did crap in the kitchen. She half emptied her Kong and batted the Buster Cube about a little, but then she just gave up and sat quietly yet continuously whining at the door. For 40 minutes
-__-

I find her so frustrating at the moment, and it’s sad because I want our last memories to be wonderful…I just need to spend more time apart from her, having her squished against me 24/7 and not leaving the house at all is grating.

Alongside that, guess which dog has been amazing this past week?

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Yep: Kasper! 🙂

He’s done a few things that have amazed me recently.

1) Food is VERY IMPORTANT to Kasper. The other day he was sat in front of me whilst I ate my tea, and I dropped a huge roast potato off my plate literally 15cm from Kasper.

Kasper would most certainly have lunged and eaten it (anything that falls from my plate is fair game) but I automatically said “leave it” and he did!

He was moving towards it, I asked him to leave it, and he moved back and sat giving me eye contact – of course he got most the roastie as a reward haha 😉

2) I dropped a blob of wet food right between Kasper and Zoey. Kasper didn’t snarl, snap or chase Zoey!

So I was making Kongs for everybody and was spooning wet food into them. The top of the crate in the living room is my little work bench; I keep the puzzle feeders and food on there, and I fill the toys over the crate as we put a mat down so we could use it as a table.

Apparently I wasn’t over the table though, so when a big splodge of wet food slipped off the spoon it landed splat between Kasper and Zoey. They were sat at my feet watching me work, maybe two feet apart from each other.

Both dogs lunged towards the food…this could have been a dangerous situation; Kasper would most certainly snarl and air snap at Zoey, and if she retaliated they could have fought (note: we have NEVER had a fight between Kasper and Zoey, and Zoey has never been aggressive to Kasper).

Again I reacted automatically and as Kasper moved towards the dropped food I said his name – that was all it took! I said his name, he instantly moved back, and sat to make eye contact with me. Holy moly what a bloody legend!!

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3) Kasper has always guarded toys from other dogs.

When Zoey first came home this involved obvious lip lifts and snarls when Zoey (who was a totally oblivious puppy) would go near him; if she didn’t go away Kasper would lunge and chase her off. He was giving off lots of obvious signals, but baby Zoey needed to learn what they meant, and Kasper would resource guard anything…not just toys but scraps of cardboard, fluff etc.

Over the years we kept the toys tidied away when the dogs were together, and they both got individual chew / play time. When they did find something, Kasper would make sure Zoey knew to keep away and, over time, he needed to use less and less obvious signals…it went from freeze-lip lift-growl-snarl-lunge, to just freezing.

These past few months the adult dogs have been able to have low value, boring toys out together. They could interact with the toys seperately and all was well, the only problem was if Kasper wanted to play with me AND a toy, and Zoey came over to join in.

Last night we upped the game.

Kasper was chewing a brand new antler, a mid-high value toy. He was lying on the mattress on the floor with me, and Zoey was on the couch – neither of them would have been comfortable with this or able to ignore the other a year back.

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This was amazing!

Kasper is well within his right to resource guard if another dog approaches him when he has something, it’s a natural behaviour for dogs and he gives lots of clear signals asking to be left alone. He has never made contact with a dog. Our main issue was Zoey, who previously could not resist going to see what Kasper was doing.

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After maybe fifteen minutes Zoey got up and hopped down from the couch, within a foot of Kasper. Kasper continued chewing, there wasn’t even any freezing or hard stare.

Zoey’s body language was very interesting; she stood and observed him, but gave off lots of calming signals to show she meant no trouble…lip licking, ears back, yawning and look aways. It was amazing to watch her completely understand she shouldn’t go near him, as much as she wanted to, and Kasper paid her no attention. She seemed stuck as she wasn’t sure how close she could go to him, or if she could get past.

I called Zoey to me (Kasper had no issue as she walked around him). I showed her the Nylabone that was for her then invited her under the duvet with me. She came under *very* delicately, so as not to disturb Kasper, and we all settled happily together.

Zoey was sleeping with her head resting on my bum (!), Kasper was to my side at my feet chewing the antler, and I lay on my front beside them both colouring 🙂

 

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