The happiest dogs & Mojo training

Toller and Mojo had their first walk together today, they LOVED it!

Toller’s fitness is doing well, although she still gets tired pretty quickly, she’s always running at FULL SPEED! So I’m not sure if her stamina’s still less or if it’s just because she’s so desperate to make up for lost time XD

Now that Mojo is bigger and can hold his own against full-throttle Tolly, they could enjoy some off lead time together. Here it is, in video and pics!

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He’s catching her in size!

They got tired quick XD

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And Mojo has been doing some wonderful training, that little dog makes my heart sing 🙂

Yesterday we went into town, and even though we didn’t do much there were so many positives! We bumped into the same child’s toy that Sasha saw a few days ago, and hugely freaked out over. It was good to get Mojo training around it, and obviously he didn’t care.

Then I took him to the metal panel that Sasha was terrified of between 3-6 months old, and Mojo walked onto it like a champ, zero fear 🙂

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Also, that’s the town centre behind us – he is still doing wonderful focus around distractions!

Walking under scaffolding 🙂

And finally, YESTERDAY I started teaching Mojo ‘scratch’, so that I could transfer it to the scratch board and he could file his own front nails…ONE DAY later, and look!!

This dude’s such a champ ❤

A bad day turns good!

My sleep is so out of whack atm and I really can’t work out why!

I have to fight for every bit of sleep as my body constantly tells me I’m awake, I usually sleep for 4 hours, lay in bed refusing to wake up for an hour or so, then manage another few. I’m panicking about it triggering a manic episode, but so far I think I’m okay.

Last night I got six hours of very broken sleep, and I woke up in the MOST foul mood.

I was up for a few hours and had a cluster of half a dozen simple partial seizures, after which I felt exhausted. I went back to bed, slept a few extra hours, and woke up feeling *great*!

Damn it body, why can’t you ever just work? 😛

Feeling good, we walked the other three dogs and then headed out with Mojo to the pub!

Taking Mojo places is such a different experience to taking Sasha to busy places. With Sasha you must hugely plan ahead, be prepared to tell people to back away from her, and always be scouring ahead for things she may be afraid of. With Mojo you don’t have to worry; you get to enjoy him enjoying himself, and if by fluke anything did go wrong, he can be picked up!

He was SUPER at the pub 🙂

Next door are the two aggressive Labs by the play park. Them and the Terrier were barking just after we arrived. We were on the other side of the wall to them, but the barking was still clearly audible. Guess who didn’t react to them AT ALL?! I was so damn impressed!

I managed to fish out my phone and catch some barking on video:

Mojo claimed the beer garden as his own and enjoyed bombing about.

As we ate he sat by me on the bench and, for a young Terrier puppy, showed amazingly good impulse control. He was rewarded every 5-20 seconds.

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He found lots of treasures (an old shoelace, a stick, and some litter!), and he offered a ton of sits! He didn’t have to be on lead once 🙂

Apple crumble!

At some point a group of four adults and a very young toddler (I wouldn’t guess he was even 3 yet) came to the veranda where we were sat. They were loudly telling their kid about the “doggy” he would get to play with, and I was like FUCK THAT…what parent tells their toddler, who they’re letting walk significantly far ahead, to GO GREET AN UNKNOWN DOG?!?

Hell no.

So I scooped Mojo up, and we began gathering our drinks etc to go sit somewhere else, because they were clearly stoopid. The veranda is very small and them being there would have ruined the meal. Thankfully they weren’t eating, they’d climbed up to look at the view and left within a few minutes.

On our way back home we did a little confidence building in the play park. This thing spins! 🙂

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Mojo is a bloody legend

This dog is motivating me so much!!

Having Sasha as a puppy (and an adolescent hahaha!) who doesn’t want to train or play has been really tough on me. I struggled, and I do still struggle. She just is not a dog that thrives on training, and she’s not a “me” dog at all.

Enter Mojo, this highly food motivated pup who loves nothing more than interacting with me and learning new things…THIS IS THE DOG OF MY DREAMS!!!!

The difference between Mojo and Sasha is night and day, and I also feel huge relief and faith restored in my ability as a dog trainer haha! I say that jokily, but it’s true. Dog training is one of the few hobbies I am still well enough to do, and Sasha made me lose a lot of confidence…then along comes a loves-to-learn mutt puppy, and we click instantly!

I taught him ‘pressure’ 🙂

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Every outing with him is so fab I want to post about it, so you’ll have to excuse all these training posts 😉

Today we walked up through town to the canal. On the way up we did some loose lead walking, and then two Labradors started barking at Mojo from a car about 8ft ahead of us.

Mojo is reactive to dogs and dogs barking. At 9 weeks old he would start yappy-screaming every time he heard or saw a dog, and I’ve worked hard on this for the last 5 weeks. He’s gotten so much better, to the point where he did wonderful engage disengage and didn’t react to these two at all 🙂

Our first stop was the canal; this was to further work on confidence around other dogs, maybe say hi to some, and to experience new things.

Unfortunately Mojo was KNACKERED due to having one of his whingey “I don’t need to sleep” nights, and so after literally two minutes walking he insisted on being carried 😛

He did see some dogs from my arms though, and was curious and not at all reactive, which was awesome to see!

After leaving the canal we went to the supermarket, and I expected Mojo to sleep whilst my partner went and grabbed some shopping – but nope! To Mojo, the supermarket = training, and he wanted to work!

He did some absolutely fantastic training, he offered so much focus, so many sits! He even ignored people that walked LESS THAN A FOOT FROM HIM and cooed at him, and he *still* chose to train rather than go say hi!! As you can see the lead was slack, I didn’t stop him at all, it was *his* choice 😀

A few times when I released him to go say hi, he would rush over all giddy and waggy-tailed, say hi and then hurry back to sit again hahaha!

Great day for socialisation though. On the canal he saw ducks for the first time, watched other dogs, and saw a barge go past. Outside the supermarket he focused around people of all ages and trolleys, and he got to greet half a dozen new people 🙂

And from a wet walk yesterday – note, it wasn’t raining, the grass was just wet!!!

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And finally, a video of a giant puppy (Sasha) playing with a tiny puppy (Mojo)!

An adventure for all!

My seizures are much improved to what they once were.

Whilst I still have clusters, odd behaviour, fogginess, constant memory loss etc, I now only have 9-12 seizures a day on average (although this last week it’s been even lower, about 6!!). My highest recorded seizure count for the day in the past three weeks was 15; 6 months ago I was averaging 20-25 seizures a day, and my highest on record was 35!!

CBD oil works guys 😉

Anyway. Because I’m doing so much better, today we decided to go into town. My anxiety was going to be sky high because I haven’t done something like that in so long, so we took Mojo with us (I always do so much better when I have a dog to focus on, and Sasha’s way too fearful to manage anything like that).

Omg guys Mojo was INCREDIBLE!!!

Throughout the whole day he had one moment of unease, which was when the train was pulling in – it was moving at snail’s pace, as they always do in this area, and it was screeching the entire way.

Other than that he was totally at ease on the train itself (his first train ride!), in a heaving city centre, being carried around a pet shop, then walking back and getting the bus home. He is AMAZING 😀

Train

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Loose lead walking around a city, curiously sniffing everything, no fear of the crowds or noise…he called away from things every time I asked, and held sit stays no problem as people walked past!

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Wandering past the castle

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We made it to the pet shop on the outskirts of the city and had great fun perusing the pets and choosing a new kidlet. I was torn between one of two snakes (Kenyan Sand Boas, which I’ve fallen madly in love with recently, or an African House Snake) OR a Syrian hamster.

In the end we opted for the Kenyan Sand Boa, because she was just too cute 🙂

I’m gonna do a ‘herp’ post soon because we have some lovely herps atm (reptiles/amphibians), so I’ll deviate from dogs for a day.

After the shop it was another walk back through the city centre and then waiting in a PACKED bus station. I’m talking hundreds of people, and Mojo just slept in my arms hahaha!!

And his first bus ride took us right back to our house 🙂

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I don’t know many 14 week old puppies that would do so well. None of my other pups have been so robust or able to focus around such busyness, so that was really cool to see, and Sasha couldn’t cope with half of that now hahaha!!

He was pooped for a good few hours afterwards 😉

And this was a fab day for me as well as Mojo; my first train ride in about 6 months, and my first time into the city in 12-18+ months. I had two small seizures, but everything else was managed successfully. Woop!

13 weeks old, Mojo review!

Mojo is 13.5 weeks old, and is smashing everything 🙂

Mojo is an AWESOME dog to work with. He’s spunky, confident, intelligent, and very food motivated. Currently we are concentrating on socialisation, focus around distractions, and basic obedience (sit, recall, heel etc).

The one iffy thing we’ve encountered is other dogs; he was very reactive when he came to us, and although this has improved he occasionally lets out a little huff, and on the ground doesn’t want to say hello to other dogs. He’s only met one unknown dog so far, and silently sat on my lap and observed – I was hugely impressed, as he didn’t bark, came to me for safety, and was happy to watch ❤

Raiden reacted the same way at about 3 months, and he grew to be an extremely social adult., so hopefully with training Mojo can head in that direction!

Socialisation

He takes in his stride:

– people, observing and greeting (elderly people, children, teenagers, toddlers, people using crutches, wheelchairs and mobility scooters)

– heavy traffic (being carried and walking by busy roads, including loud lorries going past)

– shops, both going in and sitting outside watching people with trolleys etc

– a variety of surfaces (sand, grass, concrete, metal grates, bark chips etc)

– farm animals (cows, sheep, geese)

Training

Mojo has been SO FUN to train 🙂

He’s so quick to learn, and the fact he is extremely food motivated definitely helps haha. So far he knows sit, down, touch, wait, two (front paws on an object) and his name.

Outdoors his loose lead walking is coming on a treat.

His off lead heel is incredible!

His recall is wonderful, because he’s so young! There’s no better time to concentrate on creating reliable off leash behaviour or recall than when your puppy is young. Get them off lead, and get them running to you 🙂

Finally, his focus rocks!

I’m expecting this to vanish in the next month or two haha, but for now I’m working with it and rewarding it as much as possible.

The other day he did an off lead sit stay whilst a man passed us on a path!! He’s 13 weeks old and he can sit and focus around anybody and anything, it’s amazing!

And he also walked loose lead through a park teaming with two dozen kids! He recalled to me when they ran past him, he offered sits, and focused when asked 🙂

He’d just walked through that path you can see behind us!

Although I don’t think he’s going to be an ‘easy’ or even particularly well behaved dog in the future (he’s at least two vocal breeds – Chihuahua and Yorkshire Terrier -, he’s a rescue with a poor past, AND he was reactive / resource guarded at 10 weeks old!!) I do think he’s going to be an incredible dog 😉

1.5 weeks after amputation: first off lead walk!

Toller had her first off lead walk in 3 months today!! 😀

It was amazing!!

She had SO MUCH FUN 🙂 ❤

On top of her pure joy, her recall was perfect, she didn’t stray far, she checked in and sat voluntarily…it was all just amazing!

She did 2 minutes walking on lead, and 2 minutes off lead. We’re still building it up very gradually, but she’s doing great 🙂

I can’t wait until she’s fully recovered so that we can use the Ruffwear Webmaster on her. It’s supposed to be the best harness for tripawds, and a harness would make things much easier as atm she’s so excited that she pulls on a collar and a few times her front leg has skittered out and she’s face planted!!!

Lead work can wait until she’s got a few more walks under her belt though, I can’t blame her AT ALL for being excited 🙂

How gorgeous and amazing is this little one? ❤

Sasha: 9 month update!

I’ve been kinda putting this off, because it’s gonna get lengthy, but I do want to write out all our successes and many, many frustrations 😀

Firstly, here are the cues Sasha knows at 9 months, with tasks in green:

  1. Sit
  2. Down
  3. Touch
  4. Wait
  5. Recall
  6. Leave it
  7. Up
  8. Off
  9. This way (turning)
  10. Let’s go
  11. Back up (too far ahead on lead)
  12. Stop (freeze when walking)
  13. Side (move to the curb and wait to cross the road)
  14. Cross
  15. ‘Tween (between my legs)
  16. Two (front paws on an object)
  17. See (look at me)
  18. Positive Interrupter (stop what you’re doing, come to me for a treat)
  19. Drop
  20. Hoop (sit from down)
  21. Head up (stop sniffing and look up when walking)
  22. Tall (stand on back legs)
  23. DPT
  24. Seizure alert
  25. Check (if you’ve done a seizure alert, do it again so I can be sure)
  26. Stim alert
  27. Panic alert
  28. Over
  29. Circle
  30. Go get daddy

I’ve probably missed a few, but never mind.

Sasha entered a teenage phase over a month ago, and she is AWFUL!! Although entering her teens meant she had some form of personality (and wasn’t just an overly timid, bland puppy) she turned from at least being an obedient little one into a giddy dog that’s testing the boundaries, leaps all over the place, nips bums and is just a gobshite XD

She’s hilariously funny, very spunky, and SO DAMN FRUSTRATING!

This means mainly we’ve been taking things back to basics, because she’s trying her hardest to forget all her training 😉

As a result training sessions are short (eg. on an hour long walk we might start with 10 minutes free time on lead, 10 minutes off lead free time, 10 minutes on lead working etc),  I’ve lowered my expectations, but am making sure Sasha knows she can’t get away with things.

Sasha is actually the worst teenager we’ve had, because before this she was so…beige HAHAHA. She’s honestly like a different dog, and whilst she’s way more fun now and I mostly enjoy the challenge, dealing with my frustration when she’s being a gobshite (eg. refusing to sit and just grinning at me wagging her tail) can be difficult!

Having to get her to do what I want, but without losing my patience, is hard for me.

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Sometimes she seems so fantastically trained, and I’m so proud of her!

We continue to work on impulse control. Her “leave it” is awesome, but in other ways impulse control has taken a huge dive.  She’s started trying to approach people as we’re walking, her stays need building up basically from scratch, and for the first time EVER she blew off recall yesterday.

Ah, teenage dogs…

As a result of her teenage-ness, strict mummy has had to emerge. Any time I ask something of Sasha, I make sure she does it. If she breaks a stay, she’s told to get back into it. If she keeps breaking it, I make it easier for her – but she still has to do it.

Any situations she gets highly excited around, we train and train and train, until she’s able to focus and not act like a loon. Once she’s nailed it, I let her off duty so she can de-stress…she’s still not allowed to pull on lead or go wild, but she can sniff, move away etc.

A good example of this were sheep on the beach about a week ago. They were EVERYWHERE, and some surprisingly close. Sasha lost it when they all started running, and was bouncing about on the end of the lead after them. We spent 10 minutes learning we had to be calm around them; this meant heeling, holding stays even as they ran behind me, and focusing.

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The same thing around cows

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One of our biggest struggles is people.

Sasha is now more confident around people, and so she looks like she wants to say hi – if allowed she will pull hugely towards people. BUT the instant they try interact with her (lean over, reach out, try stroke her head etc) she becomes anxious & scuttles away. So that’s *really* annoying.

We have a two pronged attack; 1) Teach Sasha to stay close and completely ignore people, even when they try interact with her, and 2) COVER her new harness in patches telling people to stop, ignore her, she’s in training etc.

The ‘spoonie side’ of her training is going really well.

She’s nailed stim and anxiety alerts, and responds within seconds of me beginning, even if she’s off lead and distracted. Her seizure alerts are good, and we’re also adding a crying response.

Me having a seizure on the canal, then coming around and rewarding her

Seizure alert, and waiting to feel better

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Deep pressure therapy

Something we’ve been working on are our stays. Sasha SUCKS at stays, she’s just about okay if there are no distractions…

…but any distraction and she’s dreadful.

If we’re stood about talking to someone, she will be looking about, turning, trying to walk fowards or back etc. If she’s doing a sit or down stay with distractions, she breaks super easily!

These are things we’ve been working hard on, which was why I was so proud of her doing this around new people and my partner opening gifts yesterday 🙂

And these were some really tough stays I put her through today!

First, me swinging

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training

Focus around lots of tiny calves ❤

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And finally we’re still trying to get in as much public access work as we can, in pet friendly places. But with a tripawd and foster pup, it’s tough!

I’m not too concerned about getting her everywhere though, because we don’t have the patches attached to her new harness yet anyway, but we checked out a new pet shop recently 🙂

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So we have a good amount of positives. Mainly…

  • she has personality now, and is more fun!
  • she’s enjoying training more than when she was a puppy
  • she’s grown in confidence so much
  • she has loads of energy now, hikes are fun!
  • strict mummy is having a good effect on training 😉
  • her spoonie training is paying off big time

But we have things to work on too, obviously

  • bomb proof recall, seeing as she blew it yesterday!
  • focus, and the fact she has to focus around everything
  • forcing through the teenage gobshite-ness!!!
  • continue confidence building

Aaaand that’s our 9 month update 🙂