Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Tuesday Training

Day 10-TexasSquints
Too Much Too fast.
Since taking Texas out to parks and such like, can be a difficult affair by myself, when a friend of mine brought over their dog, I decided what a great time to work on Texas's "On Leash" reactivity.
I was sadly mistaken.
I should have stopped while I was ahead, but I really wanted to work this as we hadn't had this opportunity, with a strange dog, that wasn't going to live with me.


First mistake, Pompeii and Bubbles had been out interacting with the dog earlier, Pompei was enamored and was following said dog all over the yard. So as I was getting Texas geared up (treats, clicker, harness...) they were also getting geared up. To bolt. And as soon as Texas and I attempted to leave the house, the both dash out as fast as possible. Now Bubbles and Texas feed off of each other, and while Bubbles doesn't have the same "issues as Texas", she does like to hear herself bark. So her barking set Texas off much as faster then had he been by himself. And before I knew it there was a tangled mess of dogs, and humans running every which way.


Once I corralled Bubbles and Pompeii, and got Texas back out, it was pretty hopeless. Even walking two yards (literal peoples yards) away was still too close. This part of the "reactivity" is much harder to work with, as I don't have many people with dogs that are willing to work with this. I'm beginning to think i need to start making friends with some local trainers. :)) 
Oh well. 
Back to the Drawing board.

Erin and company

Monday, August 30, 2010

Texas Log: Starvation Diets

Texas: Hey Mom whatcha doin in the car?
Is dat foods I smell?? 
Oh dat looks soo so soooo yummy cause you are the best cook in da WORLD!
Hmm...dat didn't work....
Ooooh momme I am so very hungrryyyyyy
Me stomach is seperatin' from me backbone....
oops.
Me stomach is touching my very own backbone.
Which is hard to do considering my backbone is above my stomach....
oooooor sometin....
I neeeedddd Fooooooooooooood NOW!
Fine.
I don't love you EITHER.



Erin says: Yes...Texas likes to sing for his dinner...at all the wrong times. :) I have inadvertently taught him to beg..verbally. Unduing that is...the difficult part! :)

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Texas Posts: Yard Checks

Monitoring Ranch Home Sekurerity is a very serious job, and one thats I take very.very. serious. I am on call 6/7...a guy has put in at least 18 hours of rest here, as dis a very stressful job.

Left Yard Check - Clear 


Right Yard Check = Clear 


Center Yard Check = Texas101 to dispatch we have a problem, in da center yard. Unknown and possibly dangerous object You can show me in route. 




Texas101 to Dispatch, foreign object identified and marked. Childs toy left in mom's yard. AGAIN.

Texas101 to Dispatch I'll be doing a watch of the neighboring yard, until further notice. 
Texas 101 to Dispatch...you can show me on break for the next....3-4 hours. 

**Whew** I am wore smack out.
Over and Out.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Pompei Posts

Testing.... Testing...1..2...3....BARK!

So yes....um...this is Pompei, I know you haven't heard much from me lately, cause I have been busy, doing real work and stuffs like that. I had ta go to the grocery store and help mom buy food. THE RIGHT KIND. Den we had to go to a clothes place with mom and my other Auntie and her friend, den a piano store place, and a Zuma place, and a bookstore, and an ice cream shop place .....*phew 


"Me squished in the small space in da car" --->


The Zuma place was kind of scary at first, cause there was all these noises comin from the box things, all over the place, but then I got used to it, and it was ok. But there was like a lotta fun games for everybody! Even me...but mom was a meanie-butt and wouldn't let me. See here the people are throwin the balls and I wanted a turn too!                  


video
Butt now I had to do a lot of "sits" and "Downs" and "STtttaaays" and I couldn't even play wit the little kids, who kept runnin after following mom and me around. I heard mom say something like,she might have to kill someones kid today, butt...i could have magined it. 
But I got pretty bored of just sitting and downin cause it was no fun, so when mom topped lookin, I just crawled away as far as I could, and ate the snacks peoples always leave. But den mom saw me and made my leash really short. *sigh* Outside dare was a lot more stuff for humon's to do. and notin fur us dogs. Which I thoughts was stoopid. Dat is discrimination against service dogs I thinks.
Me in front of a fake hooman house.

I thinks it would make a great doggie house? Don't you?
Mom says dat school will start next week, and dat I will need to be on my "best behavior". She gaves me a "Pep" talk on Saturday, cause of my behavior wasn't "da best", and I have to be still and quiet the whooollle time. Mom thinks this may be hard cause we have lots of classes like bam - BAM- BAM! But I tole her notta worry, cause I wouldn't do anything too get her in trouble. 


hee hee hee


I sure hope we get to see dat other dog while we're dear, he was cool cause he had this harness thingy on dat mom says I'll get to wear one day! And I want to see all the ducks cause they are fun to scare outta the bushes, cause it makes mom scream cause she's not "spectin" it. And I can't wait ta see all my teacher friend peoples, cause sometimes they say I don't have to sit with mom, and I go and sit with them and lots of luvin. And then we can see the FA peoples and get lots of pets from them too! BOY! I can't wait for school!!!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Monday, August 16, 2010

Texas Log: Heros

Every dog has a hero. And mine be the great:


If you's has never heard of Hank, I suggests you go to your Library place and get some of his books, cause BOY are they a BARK! 
I know, I know you be thinking "TEX, uh Hank is NOT a doxie". I know its a sad thing,but we'll let that little detail slide, cause I learnt all my sekurity tips from this guy. I listen to his stuff alla time...well I would if i could anyway. 
Cause just like me, Hank don't like cats.
In his own words here is Hank: "When I took this job as Head of Ranch Security, I knew that I was only flesh and blood, four legs, a tail, a couple of ears, a pretty nice kind of nose that the women really go for, two bushels of hair and another half-bushel of Mexican sandburs.You add that all up and you don't get Superman, just me, good old easy-going Hank who works hard, tries to do his job, and gets very little cooperation from anyone else around here."


Dat is EXACTLY how I feels. I'm just one dog trying to keep two humans and two dogs safe from this vicous world full of cats, and squirrles and trash. its a hard thankelss job to say the least.


Oh. 
Pompei says that he would be Drover...and that's right cause he's just a scaredy cat. LIke the other day, there was sometin on our porch so Bubbles and I went and scared it off and POMPEI RAN RIGHT BACK TO MOM!!!!!!! 
What a dork.



Butt I can let him be Drover cause this is what he would do exactly: 

'Hank to Drover, over. Confirm visual sighting at eleven o'clock.'
'I thought it was only ten o'clock.'
'Roger, but suspect has moved one hour to the south.'
'Time sure flies when you're scared.'
'Roger. Suspect has invaded our territorial territory. Prepare to initiate Growling Mode!'
'Hank, let's don't growl at him. He might think we're being unfriendly.'
'That's the whole point, Roger.'
'I'm Drover.'
'Of course you are. Ready? Mark! We have initiated Growling Mode One and are proceeding toward the target!'"
From Hank the Cowdog 8. The Case of the One-Eyed Killer Stud Horse
(Copyright © John R. Erickson)
BOL!!! Dat is why it takes special dogs to be head of security.
Anyway, now alla I need to get is a badge and i'll be good ta go. 
Prolly can steal one like Puddles did her Preacher thing.
Oh yeah sorry for missin da parties, this weekend...but duty calls ya know. 

Friday, August 13, 2010

IGNORE PREVIOUS POST

So here I am mindin my own busyness and I come to my blog and WHAT DO I SEE?? My very own DOGMA has posted all kinds of rubbish lies stuff about me. Seriously mom? Me!? Head of Home Security, AFRAID OF PEOPLE?!?!? 


I know you guys don't believe a word she said, which is good cause. NONE OF THAT IS TRUE. I laugh at the thought of ME being AFRAID of a human. BOL!


Well...cept for that one lady i was just WALKIN BY Mindin my OWN BUSYNESS when all of the sudden she starts SCREAMING and hITTING at me with her BOOK!? So yeah i didn't even know what she as doin and decided to try and scare her off a little but den mom picked me up so she couldn't even get me any more. So then I had ta tell her off..butt mom cut that short and took me inside. Meanie.


You wanna know if i did bite somebodies? Uh............i have no rekolection of any thing like that. Oh and I plead tha fifth. (whatever that means)


All I gots to say is. Don't believe everything you read. 


Oh and in other news. K so I know you all thinks Pompei some wonderful little angel dog cause mom likes to put up tha GOOD stuffs about him. but I gots evidence that says otherwise!!!!!!


*DUN DUN DUN*


See dis?


Andd Dis>>




and look at dIs! 


I know. I've hopefully completely destroyed your faith and trust in the goodness of Pompei. And restored my good name as well. 
its tough I know. But someone had to do it. And dats what I'm here for. 


Could someone please...

Tell me how this is comfortable?
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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

REACTIONS

All dachshund owners will tell you, that owning a dachshund is a noisy affair. So when we brought Texas home, hearing him bark at everything walking past our house, strangers in our yard, people in our house was all part of the "joys" of dachshund ownership. Or so week thought.

It wasn't long before, we realized what we were seeing, was not your typical dachshund behavior.
  • First was watching him tear from the back of our (at the time) half acre yard, too chase some kids walking past our house. When they asked if he would bite was when some flags were raised in my mind. But I knew Bubbles had done the same thing in younger years, with no intention of harming anyone..but this...something was different. 
  • Next was at work. At the time I was working at a doggie daycare and in the evening we'd let the "staff dogs" into the office while we waited for the remaining few to be picked up. Texas was quickly banned from the office during this time, for shrieking at new customers and snapping at people who were trying to pet him. (Though why anyone continues to try and pet a barking dog is beyond me.)
  • Then in the car, we noticed that he would continually bark and snarl at people "approaching" my car. On the weekends, my job gave us a two hour break so Texas and I would go grab some lunch and sit in my car for a while. I soon began to leave him crated in the building as he was so stressed and overwrought with sitting in the car with me.
This behavior had me completely mystified, as he was only a 4-5 month old puppy! Why is this dog reacting like this at this age?! I tried to talk to my boss, who was a "trainer" but she had absolutely no advice for me. So I kind of let it drop as me just overacting, but for the life of me I could never remember Bubbles acting this badly.

Life went on, we moved to TN, I got a job working service dogs, and began to enter deeper the wide world of dog training.  I began to learn more about the positive methods of dog training and realizing what I was doing was not working (dominating etc..), and we started to see a little bit of progress, in Texas...as he had other issues as well.  I started clicker training with Texas and soon realized how smart he really was. Alas it wasn't until he actually did bite someone before we started realizing how serious his behavior was. 

But when I mentioned it, a lot people had many anecdotal stories about their dachshunds doing the same etc..that Did NOT help me, but just sunk me into a funk, of trying to figure out if Texas was really a dog I should keep, could keep or even could work with. 


Thankfully I follow a ton of trainers on Twitter, and when I posted my panicked "OMG MY DOG JUST BIT SOMEONE" message, they responded with lots of helpful advice. I began studying up on aggressive dogs, causes of aggression, and  soon realized that's not what he was, but "reactive". 


A reactive dog, is a dog that reacts in a fearfully defensive or "aggressive" manner, when faced with certain triggers.  
Looks like: Barking, Growling, Lunging, Snapping, Snarling, wants trigger to go away generally. 
Triggers: Other dogs, strangers, situations and prey
I quickly realized that Texas reacts fearfully in any situation where he feels he can't escape. Examples include: Behind a door, or fence, on leash on in my car.When he'd get in the "zone" there was not stopping him, unless he was removed from the situation completely. The bite occurred, at the door...when he slipped out behind me, and nipped the first foot he saw.

Once I realized this all of his outings stopped. He did not leave my property. He spent a lot of time inside, unless I was positive there was no one outside. Our yard maintenance guys  were also HUGE triggers, and I had to wait until they'd been gone for at least 30 minutes before going outside with him. Let's not even bring in strange loose dogs. Dogs that we intro'd in a controlled situations were fine, but random dogs? No so much.It was tough, he had to be crated when I had strangers in my home, and my stress levels were extremely heighten if we decided to venture out to a park or somewhere.


Between YouTube and Twitter I found some great resources and began working with Texas to help change his emotional reaction to these "fearful" things. We learned how to introduce Texas to new people; He doesn't feel threatened if he's allowed to approach the situation, rather than someone approaching him. I also learned to teach people a "new" way of approaching dogs. "No Touch, No Talk, No Eye Contact." This was quite difficult since people have it ingrained in their heads, that you must "make friends" with the dog, by sticking your hand in their face.


But Like this, Texas was able to make many new friends, and realize the world was not such a "scary" place after all.
Now you can understand a little bit more, why we had such a hard time, during the 4th of July Holiday. Basically Texas we were in the worst situation possible, for a reactive dog, but we all made it out alive, and un scarred. But I think my family will now believe me when I tell them why I don't take Texas out of town.
So anyway I said all of that to intro you into today's situation. Today was our annual church clean up, and we had people all over the place for about 7-8 hours. The dogs were of course in the house as they would have just been in the way, and I wouldn't have gotten anything done.

Last year, I really couldn't have let Texas outside period, until EVERYONE was gone. He wouldn't have been able to focus on doing anything but letting the "intruders" know they needed to be gone. 

Today this is what we get:  

Video Description: Texas, Bubbles, Pompei and Lacy are in the "left side" of my yard, across the parking lot are people, cars, kids on bikes roaming around. Texas is wandering around the yard sniffing, his body language is very relaxed. He does bark as one child whizzes by on a bike, but is quickly redirected by me.






To all of you, this is normal dog behavior, for me this is hUGe...as I keep saying in the video. We've made a lot of progress, but still have a very. long.way to go still. But at this point any progress is awesome. Will he ever be "completely" normal? I don't know, I have my doubts but we're working hard to make his day to day life as pleasant and stress free as possible.

Erin &


P.S. (What I want everyone to take away from this is: SOCIALIZE, SOCIALIZE, and SOCIALIZE.  As early as possible. Your dog will thank you, and so will everyone who comes in contact with him.)

Friday, August 6, 2010

Hello Lacy

Meet Lacy, yeah for some reason my house has a been a dog magnet lately. Something I can't quite figure out. I mean do I just scream "Dog" when people see me?

Actually its more people screaming "DOG" at me, verses the other way around.

But anyway some friends at our church asked me to baby sit Lacy for the weekend. She is about 5 years old, and is a retired breeder. After Zipper my dogs were a little unsure of this new intruder, but she's soon proven herself to be extremely different. She much prefers to rest on top of the couch and survey the other dogs from that position.

She'd much prefer to sit your lap then run around the yard. So she's been a good little house guest thus far. But I'll still be glad when I can go back to my three dog household. Who knew caring for three dogs was so much easier. :))

PS: Does anyone know of any type of solution to help neutralize those dark patches on her eyes? Her owners have been wondering what will work!?
{Checking out the yard}
{No he's not about to hit her with the stick, he just didn't expect her to jump in his lap.]
{Lap or Play....Lap wins! No matter how small :)}
{I KNOWED dare was treats up dare.}
Erin and company

Thursday, August 5, 2010

What do you mean I can't be up here?

Look into my eyes.....

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Excuse me while I grab a tissue...

The note below made every frustration, chewed item, chase scene through my neighborhood, and attacks over the last two months, worth it. As you guys have commented, sometimes trusting your "gut" pays out. And this time we've hit the pot of gold. 


Our trade off went really well, we met at a Petstore in NC, and I showed Zips new mom a few things that I felt would be essential for Zipper. Then Pompei and I walked them to her car, and placed Zipper into her brand new crate, on her brand new blanket and watched them drive away.
I will admit that I felt an acute sense of relief. I know my family thinks I'm being a little over dramatic, but seriously that dog ruled the roost, my time, my energy and everything was spent working with Zipper. 
Anyway I hadn't heard anything from the all day, so being the worrier I am, I emailed them to see how the first night went....


Zip seems to feel right at home! She slept with me in my bed, curled up right next to my leg and only got up once in the middle of the night to play with a squeaky toy, but then I woke a little before 6am and she was fast asleep! We went for an early morning walk, and you're right outside is her doggie heaven! Any chance she can get to go outside she LOVES it. I took her to work from 8-9 so she could meet the people I work with and she loved meeting new people, and after the initial excitement of all the newness of the office she curled up in a chair in my office and napped/watched me work. (Something that would not have happened in my house due to other dogs)I had to run out to visit people so I took her home at 9, and my sister woke up about 9:30am and took her for a 40 minute walk and then they took an afternoon nap, and then I came home for lunch and took her for a mini walk. And we just took her for an evening walk. So, I think she loves all the attention. She is playing nicely, and only chewing on her toys thus far, and she is eating and no accidents yet. She is a happy little puppy I think! Hopefully night two goes just as well!! I'll send you pictures soon! 
We love her! Thank you so much!

I'm thinking this is a match made in heaven. *sniffs*
Erin and company

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

A Sing-A-Long

Theeeeeeerrrre ain't no bugs on meeeee...........
Theeeeeeerrrre ain't no bugs on meeeee...........
There may be bugs .....
On some of you mugs......
BUTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT
There ain't no bugs on ME!!!

Anymore! 

Yah I had some bugs on me. let me tell you THEY HURT! I had to scratch and itch and bit and they wouldn't even leave me alone!! I only got them when I went to stay with my Aunt Libby in NC, while mom was gone away. And she didn't like dat at ALL and gave me and my bed, and her dogs, and the floors and the couch and her car a LOTTA BATHS, so day would go away. I even had that stinky FrontDoor   Frontline stuff, but it didn't even work! Den mom came and took me back to TN and there were no more bugs ...untillllll..mom took me wit her and my other Aunties on a boat trip, cept I couldn't go on so mom had too stay with me, but she said that's cause she weren't going to go rafting anyway. Butt anywooofs, the boat places was in the NC place so gues WHAT!?! When I got home I has a lotta of bug dirt allover my butt.  
So mom had a freak out and gave me ANOTER BATH!?!?! Butt.. it wasn't too to bad cause then there weren't no more bug dirt on me. Mom guessed dat my frontline stuff was working cause she didn't find any allive bugs. Mom now says dat I can't go to NC for a couple months till all the bugs all die off. 

I'm ok with dat. 

PEES. My mom probably shoulda used the Advantage stuffs! I'm just sayin.

                                 

Monday, August 2, 2010

The Decision

After lots of thought, consultations with other trainers, and prayer; we decided not to place Zipper with the family who wished to adopt her. It was a hard decision for me, as while Zip is a great dog, having her in my house has been...interesting.. I was more than ready to see her find her forever home...but at the same time, I had to make sure I was putting her in a home where she could be happy. 


I have no doubt at all, that this family would have loved her too pieces, but I also had concerns about their dogs happiness as well. While Zipper is a cutie, she has made life miserable for my dogs over the last couple of weeks. 


Once I'd talked to the family, I called the rescue group to let them know, that Zipper needed to find another home,  but I'd put out the word once more, and see what happened. At the same time, I let them know I really needed to move her on from my home, as I wasn't able to do much with her, due to having three other dogs.

She's  been spending a lot of time by herself, which breaks my heart. While I don't particularly like her, I can't stand to be the one to be increasing her stress rather than decreasing it. At different points during the day I'll either put my dogs out or take her out alone, just to spend some one-on-one time with her. Wonder of wonder, she's a completely different dog, one that's much more relaxed and calm, when she doesn't have to monitor the other dogs comings and goings; I realized more and more that I did make the right decision. Now if only we could find an adopter who fit our criteria! 

I was preparing to email the rescue and arrange a transport to their facilities for her, when I noticed an email from a lady, asking if Zipper was still available and fit the bill perfectly! No dogs, no kids, very active lifestyle and fenced in yard. We've talked, and emailed back and forth got approval from the rescue and set up a time for the exchange. 

I am so happy that Zipper will be able to start a normal life, and leave the restrictiveness of my house.  I know my dogs will also be glad to freely roam their domain, with out having to constantly hide under my desk, or try and fight off the crazed JRT who is clinging too their neck. 

Having Zipper in my home, has definatly been an experiance and just confirms too me that every dog is not right for every home...but it has changed my mind about fostering pets...but not at this time. :) 


Zipper will depart for her new home Tuesday. Wish her luck!




Erin and company