I’mma get the Blobber out the way first, because I know you’re all dying to know what a Blobber is 😉
It’s not called a blobber, I just started calling it that haha! It’s basically a small squeezy bottle that can easily be put in a pocket on dog walks, and you can put whatever concoction you want in there…hey presto you have an easily accessible, uber high value reward for walks!
The bottle I’m currently using is a small bottle of hand sanitiser that we cleaned. I tried using a mixture of yoghurt and wet dog food for Rey’s walk today, but the opening in the bottle is too small and the wet dog food clogs it up, even after it’s been mixed with yoghurt…the yoghurt on its’ own would have worked perfectly.
Although this meant I had to take the top off it still worked well, and it’s easy to plop little dollops onto the ground or the dog’s mouth.
I use this for really high distractions (eg. people walking within a foot of us, other dogs, difficult recalls etc) and it has worked so well!
It’s a wonderful back-up to have…a dog’s appeared around a corner and is barking and snarling at Raiden on lead? Whip out the blobber and splodge some really high value goodness on the ground!
I’ve actually ordered these from amazon…I ordered them on the 27th January and they’re not supposed to arrive until 25th February = amazon sucks! They look really easy to clean though, and the hole is much larger. Can’t wait for them to arrive 🙂
Blobber recipe ideas!
- Yoghurt & peanut butter
- Yoghurt & wet dog food
- Wet dog food & peanut butter (water to thin)
- blended meat & yoghurt
- Salmon oil & any of the above (our dogs *love* salmon oil and it has a strong fishy smell!)
So there you go.
Raiden’s progress report now! ❤
Rey is 7.5 months old, and I continue to be amazed with his obvious progress. I’ve not had a dog before where progress has been so quick and easy to see, it’s lovely!
I look at his list of things to work on, from when he was 4 months old. Here’s the list and how we’re doing:
Harness – Raiden is comfortable with his harness and has no issues having it put on, taken off, or wearing it…however after how Zoey was I continue to worry about him hating his harness, so I need to possibly use higher value things when using it to put my mind at ease.
Yapping = end of fun – this is still something that we do, but we have far less reason to these days. Through this training Raiden hardly ever yaps (why yap when it results in being picked up if on a walk, or the person ignoring you in the house?).
We use observation and management to try prevent situations from arising when he would yap…this is almost always when he is incredibly over-excited or -stimulated. We keep walks to a length that will tire him but let him remain calm, and we end exciting things before he gets too wound up.
Of course sometimes things happen you can’t prevent (eg. the old woman who likes Rey calling “can you hear me? are you listening to me? are you looking at me?” whilst staring at him across the road when we were trying to keep him calm *sigh* or when a dog runs around him in circles when he’s on a longline), so when Raiden does yap we pick him up and reward him once he’s calm as we distance ourselves from the excitement.
I should add that with the old woman above he didn’t actually yap. He did pull on lead in her direction and get excited but was still able to come away when called – if he had yapped we would have scooped him up and walked away though.
Stripping – done! We can both hand strip him and use the Mars Coat King brush. We keep sessions short and positive, and it’s all very manageable 🙂
Nails, dremel, paw handling – still a work in progress, BUT we have found a way to trim his nails through the scratch board.
We continue to work on handling, mainly paws. Raiden has no issues with being touched anywhere, the problem is that he doesn’t have the patience to sit still while we check his paws.
We have made progress (he got poked with a thorn about a week ago and let us examine, lift up and prod his foot A LOT). I’m also working on him letting me hold his muzzle, close his mouth, flick his beard hair etc.
Household noises – fine! Rey has no issue with the vacuum, the noises of other pets etc etc. I think he would have an issue with the noise/sight of the shower when turned on, but that’s because he’s hardly ever been upstairs…I mean we don’t even sleep in our bedroom anymore, so we hardly ever go upstairs ourselves haha!
Other noises – he is fine with thunder, fireworks, motorbikes, people dropping noisy things, trains etc etc.
Transport – this is an area we have slacked off on again. Now that my sleep is okay we go to bed early, so getting the quiet later buses is much harder. It isn’t fair to take Raiden on a bus full of people & expect him to remain calm.
Even so he can ride buses with no fear. He is comfortable with the movement and noises, and he can stay amazingly calm whilst he empties his Kong and is fed treats. His longest bus ride so far is about 15 minutes.
We have still yet to do anything with trains other than walk through the station, do LAT with them etc.
I am less bothered about train rides though; as long as he can cope with a bus / car ride that is fine. Trains are harder to plan; people unexpectedly get on, the stops are further between them than on buses, they are louder, there are more odd things (beeping doors, voice overs, ticket inspectors etc) and there are no journeys we could make on a train where we could then walk home.
Being calm in the house – we did have a very real worry about Raiden in the house, because he was always needing attention, play, distraction etc – our focus *had* to be on him if he was out his crate. If you think about it we lost a whole 2 months getting him used to being in the house because of Zoey.
We have seen amazing progress in this area 🙂
He still doesn’t sleep outside of his crate (we’ll get there eventually!) but he entertains himself, he doesn’t need constant attention, & he will settle down to do his own thing, eg. empty the top layer of a Kong, chew an antler, gnaw on a toy etc. He also likes taking himself into a den (usually the 24 inch crate, but sometimes under the table or the princess tent) and stay in there for 10+ minutes with us feeding him treats a few times a minute.
There are, of course, new things we want to work on!
Vet socialisation – take him to the surgery, get him used to being calm around the staff, doing tricks there, getting on the scale etc. This is made difficult by the crummy staff at our vet surgery and the fact there could be any number of other patients / clients in the waiting room, but we do need to do it.
Towel work – for some reason Raiden decided in the past few weeks he doesn’t like being dried with a towel. It’s not something we do often, but he never had an issue with it before – don’tcha just love adolescence?! So I’ve been rewarding him for putting his face into the towel, me moving it towards him, it touching his side, rubbing his belly etc.
Continued calmness around distractions – on walks. LAT, engage-disengage etc. Around people walking, jogging, cyclists, other dogs, children running / screaming etc etc. We have seen huge improvement, but it’s obviously an ongoing thing.
Polite greetings – we had some friends really not help us out with Raiden’s training with greeting people. They did virtually everything we asked them not to do, and really wound Raiden up. Ugh. So now we are keeping greetings with people short, calling him away & asking him to sit, and giving him a Kong after just 10-20 seconds of saying hello to the person to keep him calm and shift the focus off them.
He’s still doing *really* well on his walks.
Not going too far, coming when called (instantly 98% of the time) and he drops anything when asked…even things he finds exciting. He comes away from things he is eating when called (eg. horse poo) and I always make sure to give him ecstatic praise and the highest value treat I have.
I also use horse poo as a life reward in that once he sees it up ahead I call him to me, slip him a quick treat and then release him to go have a sample hahaha 😀
I used to hate Kasper eating horse poop when we first adopted him, and I tried all sorts to get him to stop / keep away. It only ever made him more determined, and I learned from other dog owners & our vet that it’s fine if he eats it…so with Rey I’m using it as a training aid 😛
Raiden is the dog of my dreams though, I love him to bits ❤