Doodle Daze – A blog about a labradoodle

Hand feeding triumph!
April 18, 2012, 12:12 pm
Filed under: training | Tags: ,

I thought I’d post one of our successes of hand feeding plus our latest hand feeding project we have going. As you know from hearing/reading about our pup, Barney can be an anxious dog…when we got him he was fearful of almost anything. Working with Dima, doing hand feeding and patience has helped him a lot.

One thing we wanted to be able to do with him was give him a blow dry when he was wet after a walk. He wouldn’t even come near the thing at first, even when it was off. I used hand feeding around it, then had him touch it to get food, then hand fed him when it was on, etc. now he begs to get a blow dry whenever I use the hair dryer on me!

My current project is to get him okay with the hair razor as we’d like to cut off some of his excess hair when it gets warmer. I’m using the same techniques and he now spontaneously touches the razor if it’s on the floor. He’s still scared of it when it’s on, but he’ll get there. I just wanted to put this out there to show that what Dima talk about really works. Barney is a changed boy from when we got him almost 3 yrs ago from the rescue.  Hand feeding and positive reinforcement works!

I’ll be certain to get a video of Barney doing this soon and post it in the Barney Youtube Channel!

On the road again…
November 1, 2010, 7:54 am
Filed under: training | Tags: , ,

We went running again for the first time in ages.  Mummy had been sick followed by a big trip away followed by what she calls jet lag.  I don’t know what it is, but she wasn’t really with it.  So we just went walking in the mornings.  But she told me last night that I needed to be a good boy as we were going to go running again.   I don’t know what she calls it running.  I’d call it a nice prance or perhaps maybe a trot. Run, no.

Mummy said she had to get back on the running thing again cause of some sort of run she’s doing to try to raise money for the Labradoodle Trust.  I hope she raises a lot of money to help rescue lots of doggies like me.

January 3, 2010, 4:00 pm
Filed under: health, training | Tags:

Today, mummy and daddy put together the gift that daddy’s parents gave to them.  It’s a used treadmill.  They put it in the loft bedroom in front of the t.v. so mummy can workout while watching television.  I don’t know why she needs it when she can just go out running in the park, but she complains about it being too cold or sometin’.  After they put it together, they brought me up to show it to me.  It was a bit scary at first cause it’s this big black thing.  Then they began to give me hugs and kisses when I went nearby. So it didn’t seem too scary. But they wanted me to get ON the thing and step across it.  No frickin’ way.  So they started giving me treats.  Cool.  I put my front legs on it and I got a whole bunch of treats. Then they wouldn’t give me a treat until I walked across it.  I didn’t want to but I really wanted the treats.  So eventually I got my courage up and walked across it.  They pretty much squealed with joy and hugged me and gave me nice yummy things.  So I kept doing it.  And then eventually I went and stood on it the way mummy had – facing the front of the machine.  And they were so excited.  I mean really, excited because I was just standing there?  But I just went with it and ate all the rest of the treats.  Mmm…  I heard mummy tell daddy that this was a first good step.  I wonder if they are going to do something with the big black machine and me? (Whispered from mummy – yes, on those nasty days when you want a walk but it’s icky outside, we’re hoping we can put you on the treadmill for a jog eventually!)  What was that mummy?  I’m going to get more treats on the machine in the future?  Cool.

A few changes
September 12, 2009, 3:03 pm
Filed under: training | Tags: , ,

Barney has had some ups and downs lately.  More ups, to be honest, but the downs have been rough on him.  Last night, when Roy returned from work, he found Barney with swollen shut eyes and a dog who didn’t want to go outside…a very, very rare sight.  He gave the dog an antihistimine which seemed to help, but also got in touch with the vet who had him come over immediately.   She isn’t sure what is entirely wrong, but we have drops and pills for him to take.  We’re hoping it’s either allergies or just a case of conjunctivitis caused by grit or something.  Worse case would be ‘dry eye’ which is a never ending issue and would mean we’d have to put in drops every day for the rest of his life.

On the upside…the dogs training is going very well.  He has gotten much more comfortable with people coming into the house who he doesn’t know.  In addition, he is also getting so much better at recall and his ‘stays’.  For example…today I took him to the park with the long lead and he was really good at his sit-stays and comes.  And in the roundabout park, he came every time I called, even though he was off lead (nothing going on around him, but hey, it’s still fantastic).  And today as we were a few houses away, I dropped his lead and he still walked by my side all the way home (thanks for the idea Jags).  YAY!  Between what we’re doing and our dog walker/trainer is doing, Barney is learning so much!

Good boy
September 6, 2009, 10:17 am
Filed under: labradoodle, training | Tags:

Today, mummy and I got up early (for a Sunday) and went to the roundabout.  On the way, she kept feeding me yummy kibble when I walked by her side.  Believe me, I was by her side a lot.  And then we went into the roundabout park.  And there, mummy did some training exercises with me.  She started off doing a sit-stay with a very short come.  And I got some kibble.  Then she let me run a bit.  Then all of a sudden, I heard the whistle and she called out “Come” with authority.  I saw she had food in her hand too…so I dashed right to her.  Every time I came to see how mummy was doing, she gave me food.  So I didn’t go too far away.  It was kinda cool as mummy knew that there weren’t many things that would take away my attention and she didn’t try to get me to come when there were other things fighting for my attention.  She’s very smart, my mummy.  I did bark at someone, but when mummy told me to stop, I did.  I even sat down.  Mummy was very proud of me and gave me some more kibble.  We kept going until she ran out of food, which was about half of my breakie.  I had fun and she was pleased.  It was a good morning.

August 25, 2009, 6:51 am
Filed under: labradoodle, training | Tags:

Hi.  Mummy wanted me to tell you that she will not be able to get to posting every single day in the next few weeks.  She started that stupid job which means she’s not with me a lot and also it’s the beginning of the school year so it’s a lot tougher for her to find time to post.  But she promised me that she will try to post a lot.  And once she’s done with the first few weeks, then she’ll be back to more regular posting.  And as you may have noticed, daddy forgot to post anything about Sunday (and mummy forgot too…).

So, anyway, this morning I went on a nice 35 minute long walk with mummy.  Because she didn’t need to do her hair, she thought she’d take me on a longer morning walk.  We usually go for 20 minutes, but she had the time to go further.  I was VERY good on the walk.  When we were doing the ‘heel’ stuff, I only pulled once.  And it was cause there was a totally cool bird flapping around about 2 feet from me in the bushes.  I couldn’t help myself.  But mummy pulled me away and got me doing the right thing quite quickly.  Sorry mummy.  Then we went walking in the park.  And I was such a good boy.  Mummy put me on the longer lead and we did some sitting and coming and other movement things and I did almost everything perfectly. (It wasn’t my fault one time cause I just didn’t hear you.  Yes, I know I should be listening, but sometimes I forget.  OK.  Next time I’ll listen.)  And then we were about to leave the park and there was this weird guy hanging outside it.  He got me all aggitated, so mummy walked me a bit more.  He left and then so did we.  Mummy thought he might be staking out the area to steal a car or something.  She’s going to talk to the police just in case to let them know there was a guy being all funny around the park.

So that’s it for my morning.  Dadddy is taking me for a walk too, and then I’ll be on my own for the day until Dima comes to take me out.  Mummy brought out a toy for me to play with from my toy container – a stuffed beaver.  He made my tail go all waggy.  Mmmm….

Doggy Boot Camp
August 19, 2009, 10:56 am
Filed under: labradoodle, training | Tags: ,

Barney is in his first day of walking with Dima.  It is 1-1/2 hours of walking with a bunch of other dogs.  But as Dima is also a dog trainer, Barney is going to get a bit of extra help learning how to walk appropriately.  And I doubt he’ll like it at first, as we’re a bit wussy when it comes to him.  Dima has no pity for the fool of a dog who tries to push his boundries.  Dima is not mean – he’s one of the first people who used handfeeding and positive training…but he also believes that a correction is also necessary.  The correction may be a nudge on the hind leg, a slight jerk of the lead, etc.  It is not harsh, but it does get the attention of the dog and redirects him back to the good stuff…because Dima also hands out treats to dogs who do the right thing.  In my walk with Dima and the dogs on Monday, I saw how happy these dogs were…and learned that they progress from short lead, to long lead, to trailing long lead, to trailing short lead, to no lead walking.  And Dima is patient about it.  He won’t rush the progress.  After that walk with me doing all the work, Barney was exhausted.  And I think he’ll be more so today.

In addition, Barney is going to be going with Roy to Dima’s Dog School on Saturdays in Hendon.  I think it will be good for both of them.

So here’s to a better behaved and happier dog!

Today’s walk officially sucked
August 17, 2009, 8:18 am
Filed under: labradoodle, training | Tags:

I will repeat it.  Today’s walk (in the morning) officially sucked. 

It started off perfectly well. (Whatever mom…you wouldn’t let me do what I wanted…what’s all this “with me” stuff?)  We’ve been working on the heel using the words ‘with me’. (Oh, so that’s what you are trying to do.  Good luck, cause I don’t like it.)  We then got to the park and Barney was walking around on the longer lead.  Until another dog came in that I wouldn’t let him near and he began to bark like mad. (Well, I just was frustrated.)  So fine, we’ll go somewhere else and try to go on the long lead to do some training.  Put him on it, was just putting the lead into my hand and ZOOOOM…he was off with the lead trailing him, after some small toy poodle like dog.  This dog didn’t love him but I was able to run and retrieve him, apologizing to the owner. (Hey, it was fun, I’m a teenager and we just rebel that way.  It’s just too bad for that dog if he couldn’t handle my natural exhuberance.)

We went after that and did a few sit-stay-comes on the long lead but he wasn’t having it. (After the run I was a bit tired, mum.)  So I decided it was time to go.  He kept giving other dogs the hairy eyeball and pulling toward them, but luckily didn’t bark.  (As I said, I was a bit tired.) 

Then we left the park to walk home.  And the biggest idiot of all times came down the road.  This woman ought to be shot.   She had two little yappy dogs on an extending lead, while smoking.  They got into sight of Barney and went NUTS.  They pulled the lead to it’s fullest extension, barking crazily at Barney & were almost across the street.  The woman is trying to still keep her cigarette & trying to pull in the extension lead,which, if you’ve ever had one with crazy dogs, is next to impossible.  Barney also went nuts, but I got him into a sit against a wall & forced him to stay until the woman could finally get her insane dogs to pass.  Getting him back into control was next to impossible after that as he was just so pumped with adrenaline.  (I’m sorry mummy, but those bad dogs seemed like they were attacking and I had to try to scare them off.  I couldn’t help it.  Really.)  I wasn’t upset so much with Barney as it wasn’t his fault entirely.  He’s just not trained enough to deal with that situation without barking & going nuts.  But I do have to get him to that point.  But that lady ought not to have dogs like hers on extending leads & ought to have better control over them.  And yes, I do see the irony when my dog goes running with the long lead flying across the park….I too have to work on it a lot more.

So there’s my walk.  ARHG!

Getting better…
August 14, 2009, 2:41 pm
Filed under: labradoodle, training | Tags:

In two ways!

1.  His iching has stopped quite a bit.  We figured out that we had forgotten to give Barney his antihistimines for almost a week…and now that he’s had them, he’s back to normal.  Yay…just allergies.

2.  Roy and I have been working with Barney on his loose lead ‘heel’.  We say “with me” instead as it feels more natural than “heel”.  And he’s beginning to get it.  We started doing the work on our street where he is best behaved and most focused…and now moving it to different locations.  He’s getting it.  Slowly but surely. 

I also worked on a long lead today with sit, stay and come.  He did decently even if not perfectly.  But considering he’s only been with us for 6-1/2 weeks, I’m quite pleased.

I go back to work part-time next week and then full time the week after.  It’ll be sad not to be able to work & play with Barney all day.  I relax so much more with him (most of the time).  But we have found him a great dog walker and he’ll have lots of fun with the other dogs.  He’ll still get plenty of exercise between the walker and us.  For once, I’m not going to be looking forward to hockey season as it will take me away from my gorgeous boy a lot more.  Sigh.  At least Roy will be around to play with him!

August 3, 2009, 3:19 pm
Filed under: labradoodle, training

First breakthrough: We had a good incident today.  We came across a dog.  A very small dog.  On its own just wandering around a van.  And we made our way slowly past the dog.  I had to stop Barney a few times, make him sit, and be calm…but he did it.  He didn’t bark, though he did whimper, my little wuss boy!  And then we came around the corner to a HUGE group of dogs on a big walk.  But I got Barney facing the other way.  Even after he noticed this group of 15 or so dogs, he tried pulling once, barked briefly, but I was able to get him going on MY way.

Second breakthrough:  Barney, while still cleaning himself quite a bit, is not being as ‘ichy’ as he used to and is not going at his ears.  I think it’s due to keeping his ears clean (thanks to stuff from vet), brushing him regularly, and giving him antihistamines.

Third breakthrough:  he actually came to sniffing people and being a lot more relaxed over the past few days.