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Getting a Service Dog.

^Sorry I didn't make myself clear. K. is up to the stage where I can drop all of her stuff in her very own dog basket and she'll not bat an eye lid.
I gather up all SDs toys and put them in his basket and the minute I turn around he is digging them back out and putting them in "his" place on the carpet. It's hilarious really -- because he is very selective about where he puts each one

He gets so sad when I tell him he has to wait to get them -- that whole longing look from me to the basket and back :laugh:
 
Thread starter #338
Success! :hilarious:

I've broken down the steps and finally last night K happily scampered around the lounge room collecting her toys and dropped them very deliberately into the basket. And I gleefully threw them out again.

After she collected and recollected the toys about a dozen times she got pissed off with me... so I praised her up and we had a belly scratch lol...

I don't know why I feel so much joy with manipulating her desire to please and eat treats in that way but anyhow I do. :roflmao:

Clever dog though imo. Evidenced by a few attempts at simply tossing the toy anywhere & waiting expectantly for the treat... not caring that it didn't land in the basket. If I was a lesser human being I would have given in and accepted that. She tilted her head sideways and gave me her most beguiling look... :WTF: No! So after a few heavily expectant seconds in silence, she retrieved the toy and dropped it into the basket. Hmmm.. me thinks I almost fell for it.

Over this lock-down period we've reached a new level of understanding. It's always been developing but still...
It is, I'm really in charge and she's always going to attempt to usurp my position. So, now I make it my mission to be adamant that tasks she's required to do are done properly. Well I mean after she knows what it is she is supposed to be doing...of course :rolleyes:

So, now the command 'In the basket' sets her off picking up those toys. Wow!

Next task we're trying to learn is to balance stuff on her nose. This is a challenge because she always wants to mouth or eat whatever I put there. I think I'll have to break down the steps but primarily the 'leave it' command is going to come into play here? Any opinions on that?

She's happily rolling over, sitting, dropping, retrieving, leaving it & shaking hands now. I can mix them all up randomly and she gets so excited about it.

Today I've started teaching her to 'check in on me' whilst walking. That is to mean that if we stop and she's permitted to sniff, then she needs to check on me frequently. So far it's working well. She's surprised she gets a treat and praise for looking back at me. So that's progressing really well.

Unfortunately she didn't want to drop onto the footpath tonight despite all my efforts. When she did, she didn't want to stay there. I think it was the amount of distractions going on all around and also I've not asked her to do that before. She was fine with sit but not so much with the drop. This is good. Failure tells me what we need to work on.

K is also working well in terms of her real job too btw.

K has been really restless this last five weeks on account of my inability to walk very far. So the importance of brain work has really been brought to the fore. We were walking about 4 - 5 km's a day. Now, I think we'd be pushing it to do one, Hopefully, I'll recover steadily and we can go back to our forays around the reserves, forests and streets.
 
Thread starter #340
Well I think she's awesome @Freida constantly amazed at how she works stuff out and then remembers. I think my last dog S.. who was a wonderful dog is so many ways and whom I had for 16 wonderful years... was really very smart but completely untrainable. He saw no reward in doing stupid things like sitting when standing would suit him more. Staying when he knew his job was to be with me...etc - get my idea?

So training him was not an option. But K is trainable. She enjoys our training sessions and looks for more. and yeah I guess she likes the treats because she's highly motivated by food. If I don't initiate a game she starts bringing stuff to me in her mouth. Sometimes I look at my feet and almost everything that normally lives in the basket is at my feet... teach me for ignoring her.. lol..

But tonight we had a little hiccup... I gave her a puzzle ball - brand spanking new - to work out.. and somehow it broke.. it's made of rubber so if she ate any of it, and I've checked nothing seems to be missing but probably it will migrate to the 'other' end.

However now she's vomited up tea which is not her...!! Far too soon to have an obstruction..from the toy.. so this is weird.

Hmm.. taking the toy back to the shop when I get mobile again.

K can just drink water till tomorrow afternoon and see if it passes.
 
Thread starter #345
I'm totally sold on the Kong stuff. It costs more but it's much more durable. I don't think K would be considered the strongest of all chewers but she's still pretty good at it. So next time I'm near my dog food outlet I'm going to purchase a Kong wobbler to add to her collection of Kongi? ... if it can keep her using her brain then I think it would be worth the money.

I will get my money for this stupid toy that broke. It was a good idea...but the construction is crap. I suppose you can all guess where it was made?

Late last night K was going to her dinner bowl repeatedly doing sweeps...I guess she felt hungry? But she slept well over-night.

Her sleeping routine is getting more and more elaborate. She has a bed and two blankets outside of her crate. The last three nights she's been digging and fluffing around till completely satisfied it is just so? And she has dragged the bed about five feet closer to the end of my bed too. Not sure why - being protective perhaps..

If I get up at night I have to manoeuvre around her. And it's been way below zero here so idk why she thinks she doesn't need those blankets either.

This morning she's happily gone out side to play in the sunshine. She's not excessively drinking or doing anything abnormal.

sometimes dogs just vomit, hope that's the case here.
^I hope that's the case here too. I sort of panicked a little inside.

K is a big grass eater too. I wonder if the kibble is too rich for her? I've always thought that eating grass meant that they wanted to either vomit or settle their stomach but again, idk...

She only has one meal a day plus any training treats & they're Kangaroo jerky that I've cut into tiny little pieces. But I got a tray of raw bones recently. I intend to feed her one per week to help satisfy that inner wolf in her. lol

The sponsoring organisation are really strict about obesity. I've already had to reduce her dietary intake by fifty grams per day.

I may have to reduce it again at least until I've recovered sufficiently to start walking her properly. Poor K I guess she must long for an owner/human who knows what she's doing. :cry:
 
You're doing awesome - K is a lucky gal, and sounds like she knows it. I had a border collie x at one point where I wasn't able to go for runs, and I used to wear her out with a good old stick. She'd chase that thing till she collapsed. There's always that (I'd probably need a thrower given my crappy shoulders these days!).

I recently took the plunge and changed doggo's kibble. So I get the nerves - maybe run it by the trainer? Because yeah, eating grass usually indicates an upset tummy, but then Beagles and their eating...?? I've had labs before, and they have the same genetic issue as Beagles with the over-eating, but even so my lab only ever ate grass to induce vomiting.

Current doggo is very precious about what he eats. Kangaroo is rich, and will give him the runs if he eats to much, but anything raw he just vomits straight back up (which is super gross)!

I think Kong-plural is probably Kongs😂. My little gem can't manage the wobbler (too cumbersome - he can't be arsed working that hard for treats!), but I reckon it would be about perfect for K:). My mum's poodle cross is a bit like K, loves to destroy anything remotely toy-like, so she only ever gets dental chews, raw bones and horns (which you have to pick right, or yeah, black runny stools - ewwww)!
 
Thread starter #347
K has been having a great time taking toys out of the basket and then putting them back in. lol But she does look for praise and treats when she does it. We practice it for real every evening and she's collecting and putting all the toys in the basket before getting a treat.

I've now started training her to hold her nose perfectly still & balance a rubber toy ring on it. It's amazing to see her concentrate so hard and we're up to about 40 seconds now with her not even batting an eyelid. I'm asking her to look at me, stay still & then I gently lower the ring toy onto her nose. She's got the idea.

Today I bought a travelling crate for her. I had to assemble it and you know, she seemed so excited about it! She sat on my lap, while I was reading instructions, wagging her tail non-stop. & sneaking the odd kiss... ugh... Then she stuck her nose in every bolt and wingnut and when it was finished she ventured inside to check it all out. You'd think she put it together by the attitude.

I've started throwing treats in there randomly and she's already happy to lay down in it, with her feet hanging out of the door and get fed treats. I can see her brain ticking over thinking, 'my human is crazy, this isn't hard to do at all but if this makes her happy I'll eat those treats!"

So, we've had a busy day doing some training - purposeful training not party trick training lol... We've got another remote link-up in a week or so for another assessment. I think she'll do ok. I've had to reduce her daily food meal by another 10 grams because I'm still not capable of walking very far... but I'm working on it. Healing is so slow when my body is crappy and old.

I'm going to start giving her little periods of time in her proper training crate from tomorrow because my local pool is now open and I need to start swimming again. Her training crate is still in my bedroom and though she hurtles into it at bedtime, her bed is now next to it or in various places around my bedroom...depending on where she drags it during the night.

I cannot take her to the pool. I mean I can, but two problems... if she managed to get off her lead or some fool unleashed her she'd probably jump in the pool and the whole complex would be shut down. :oops:

Or, while I'm swimming in the lap lanes somebody may steal her. Dog theft is so common where I am... especially hound type dogs. I suppose they're used for hunting feral deer & pigs. Anyway, too risky to take her & not be in immediate possession of her. And too risky to leave her in my backyard without shoring up the boundaries some more... from human beings.

But, with a little bit of practice I think I can build up her tolerance to being left alone in her crate for about an hour or so while I go and get the damn exercise I need so desperately. But first, five minutes here and there... building up so she's content and thinks it the normal way to be. I'm frightened of setting up separation anxiety with her because we've not been apart since she arrived... I mean literally not at all.

I just so love my dog. She's such a good sport and has filled an enormous gap in my life that frankly was probably so painful I couldn't even admit to myself that it was there. Now, she's like my right hand. I don't think about much except furthering my relationship with her, training her and generally hanging out. But at the same time, we get out and do stuff that I like to do and she's happy to go do it too.

My ptsd symptoms have diminished dramatically since I started 'leaning' on her and she seems to be getting right into doing just that. My other disability will not get better but she knows I rely on her for that and isn't backward at taking charge and doing her job when required. So in lots of ways she's more than smart, she's blended into my life quite seamlessly - she's just accepted me the way I am and we get along. It's odd - every now and then I look over at her lounging on one of her beds and she's just watching me... such a serene look imparting peace and acceptance. It's so calming.

I'm so grateful that she was delivered prior to Covid happening because honestly I don't think I would've managed so well with all of the restrictions etc without having her around. So I'm such a fortunate person to have her.
 
Really happy for you having her. It’s fantastic she’s filled that hole and lessened your ptsd symptoms and all. Seriously tempted to think of having a dog in the future, but it think I’m too introverted to keep a dog company..
 
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