Sunday, November 28, 2010
Saturday, November 27, 2010
Well, here in Western Michigan it's been like 30 degrees here the past few days, even colder in the mornings! Yesterday we even had some snow flakes and the puddles and ponds have started to freeze over. So what's a spoiled mutt like me to do on these cold mornings? Well in a perfect Kirby World I would stay in my nice warm bed until I decide it's time for me to get up, however the following discussion is what usually happens. Warning: I don't fare well in the end!
"Come on Kirby, time for a walk." "Um are you serious Mom? You would make me get up out of my nice warm bed to go out there!" "Come on Kirby boy, time to wake up!" "yeah...yeah...yawn...just a minute, geesh it's still dark outside mom!" "You know, if I get up out of bed, she is going to make me wear my coat. She bribes me with a treat and I fall for it everytime...I know, you thought I was smarter than that didn't you?"
"Oh my dog...I heard it...the treat jar! I have to remain strong here...lay on my bed and stay here...beat the urge to go.....get.....TREAT!!!"
"Yep here is where it ends, I cave for the treat everytime! Sorry fellow dog dudes, I am hoping in time I will get stronger and be able to resist the sound of the treat jar. Until then I will be getting up and walking on some very cold mornings....in my coat!"
Sunday, November 21, 2010
Friday, November 19, 2010
Kirby's Mom here-
Well I have been reading up on "reactive dogs." I have found out that Kirby is what they call "dog reactive" meaning he reacts to other dogs by growling and barking out of fear. Everything I've read said the best way to get a dog over this is by reconditioning, basically making the situation a good thing for the dog to experience. I was trying this with treats but Kirby will get so intense barking at another dog that he tunes me out and doesn't even respond to the treat word, which normally he would. I also read about using a gentle leader so that his head would be redirected from the other dogs. Although this is also a good idea, those can be expensive and I would rather find a more simpler and fun way for both Kirby and me to get through this. SO, yesterday on our walk I grabbed Kirby's squeaky tennis ball, I thought he won't listen to me, but he LOVES his squeaky tennis ball! So we headed out on our walk, hoping for an opportunity to try this. At the end of our walk, Lady, a poodle maltese mix was out by her driveway and Kirby started to growl at her. Now, normally he is fine with Lady, but she wasn't on a leash either this time. I reached into my coat pocket and squeaked the ball. Kirby stopped growling and looked right at me! (Yes, Kirby remember I am in control of this situation) I pulled out the tennis ball and he went bonkers...totally excited for the tennis ball! So I bounced it in front of him and he grabbed it and carried it past Lady, totally ignoring her! (Yes, Kirby walking by dogs can be fun!!!YES!!!)
After work today, I stopped by the TSC store close to our place and picked up 3 more! Now I will keep one in the car, one in my coat pocket and two for play in the house. When we went walking tonight I was excited to try it out again, but no dogs were out. Hopefully this weekend we will get to the park and be able to put this theory to the test. I will post to let you know how this goes. My plan is to keep doing this first only when we are out walking. As Kirby gets better on walks, then we will try the pet stores. My hope is that by the time rally starts Kirby will be much better around dogs!
Also, when I researched reactive dogs the author Patricia B. McConnell kept coming up. She is an animal behaviorist. I stopped by the library to get her book "The Other End of the Leash:Why we do what we do around dogs". I am only into the first chapter, but so far I am very impressed. I also picked up her book, "For the Love of a Dog: Understanding Emotion in You and Your Best Friend". I am hoping to be able to read these over the long Thanksgiving weekend. Has anybody else read these books?
Squeaking through with Kirby,
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Sunday, November 14, 2010
This weekend I had the opportunity to go to a local AKC dog show. They had rally obedience trials there all weekend and I was able to go to one this morning! I went to the dog show yesterday, but didn't realize rally was in the morning so I missed it. I did sit in on some obedience trials and those were really interesting. Anways back to the rally trials...very cool! I have watched some on youtube and did it a few times in class but really wanted to see it in person before I decided if Kirby and I should proceed with it. I really liked it. They started with rally excellence and worked their way down. When they got to novice, what Kirby would be, it was very interesting. All the time I'm thinking...Kirby could do this!!! We do some of the exercises on our walk and Kirby is very receptive to it. So I have decided that Kirby and I are going to pursue this. I found a rally instructor, actually not to far from where our obedience class was so I will be contacting her soon. Mary our instructor told us about her, and said she is very much by the book and there is no playtime for the dogs (well this is totally cool with Kirby!) We will probably start next spring, because Kirby has to work on his issues with other dogs. AKC rules state that dogs cannot be snapping and barking at other dogs, so we will have to work on this. I have done some research on trying to get Kirby more socialized so we will see how it goes. If anybody has any suggestions please let me know, this is the only thing that could hold Kirby back from doing rally.
Kirby and I also braved the cold wind today and went to the park. Our ultimate goal was to chase some squirrels, but even the squirrels weren't out today. I think they saw Kirby coming!
Well I felt bad for the boy not being able to chase squirrels, so when I opened the pack of steaks tonight to grill there happened to be a very little one in the package. It had Kirby's name on it! So, Kirby got a piece of it tonight and I'll give him a piece of it every day this week...nice treat huh?
Hope everyone had a great weekend,
Well mom came home today telling me all about this rally thing. I have heard her mention this before and she gets so excited about it. Well if she gets excited about anything it's cool with me. Can you also believe there were NO squirrels in the park. I thought these guys were supposed to be storing up nuts and stuff. There were still lots of nuts on the ground and NO squirrels!!! I was kind of bummed so mom took me to another part of the park to explore...still NO squirrels. Mom told me they probably saw me and they are hiding. Well if you are going to play hide and seek, at least play fair and don't hide way up in the tree! I can't possibly jump that high.
Mom also got the doggy torture thing out tonight, she calls it the "grill." And she put those steaks on it again! But this time she said that there was a little one for me. YIPPEE! But, do you think I get the whole steak...NO WAY! I get a piece. One piece that's it! Mom said I will get a piece every day this week...okay....but if I ever figure out how to open the fridge it's all MINE!!!
Kirby's Halloween Costume...he was a hippie, for about 2 mins! (Kirby here-that's right 2mins!)