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Charlie's Seizure Journal

January 4th 2012 11:19 am
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Approx. January 2011(have to check vet records to be sure of the dates). - 2 Seizures: approx 2 minutes all together.
- Was cooking/eating dinner at home
- Triggers? Possibly smells? No stress or excitement at the time.
- Was on usual Acana dog food
Took him to the vet and he recommended Rescue Remedy. Started him on that in his water daily.
Notes;; Possibly petite mals? Shaking, stiff, front legs curled into chest, involuntary movement, continuously tried to get back up(possible this was involuntary, but that's what it looked like), was seemingly conscious, didn't relax and lay through it until I began petting him.

Saturday, December 31 2011 - 1 Seizure: approx. 2 minutes all together.
- Was at my moms farmhouse, whole family was there
- Triggers? Stress/excitement
- Was no longer on Rescue Remedy
Notes;; Possibly petite mal? Shaking, stuff, front legs curled into chest, involuntary kicking of back legs, was on the couch between me and a friend when it started - he was laying down, gave him space, made sure he couldn't fall off the couch and stroked him to keep him calm. Jaws were clenched tight, his whole neck went stiff and body was tense, unable to move outside of involuntary movement. Staring blankly but appeared to be conscious? Waited it out, then massaged his scalp and ears to help relax him when he was back to normal. Waited a bit, then took him outside into the snow to let him run around and bring him back to his calm self and to cool him off.

Tuesday, January 3 2012 - Possible partial seizure?: approx 2 minutes.
- At home, was eating dinner
- Triggers? Smells? No stress or excitement
Notes;; Conscious, vibrating really heavily(not his usual light shivering), tense, but was able to be up and about and came to me(seemed to be anxious), and cuddled into me until it went away, but otherwise acted normally.

I placed him back on the Rescue Remedy on Wednesday, January 4 2012.

Notes: Scar on tongue possibly from biting tongue during a seizure prior to ownership? In the right place for his top right canine to have bitten down on it - right size too. Keep an eye on the seizures for bitten tongues. So far, he doesn't appear to have had a grand mal.

*I'm keeping both a digital journal here, and a written paper one at home*


DINOS, MDIF's, among other things.

December 10th 2011 5:33 pm
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I would like to share: "My Dog Is Friendly!" A Public Service Announcement - which can be found at this link My Dog Is Friendly: A Public Service Announcement.

I would like to note the following:
DINOS: Dogs In Need Of Space
MDIF's: "My Dog Is Friendly!" people who are convinced they need to greet every dog on every walk and will often push to do so.

With Charlie being leash reactive, I felt the need to share the announcement and make it known that not EVERY dog has to greet your(generalized) dogs, not EVERY dog likes other dogs. Not every dog is up to meeting or greeting, some may be sick, some may be fearful, some may have had bad past experiences leading up to aggression now - various different reasons why a dog may not be approachable. ALWAYS ask first and if told "No, he is not friendly", leave the dog alone! Many people will often try the whole "Oh, but dogs love me" - this is for those who think that even if they're told to leave a dog alone cause that dog may not like people or may be fearful - LEAVE THE DOG ALONE.

Now, onto the Among Other Things.

I would like to note how much it grinds my gears, agitates my dog, and sets me grumbling when people(particularly those who use different training methods than myself), butt in on my training with Charlie. Whether it's a simple "Oh, it's okay, he can jump up on me, he's cute!" or the person goes as far as to try to take my leash and give my dog a firm Cesar Millan "TSCHT" with a hand bite to the side or neck. DO NOT touch MY dog. DO NOT tell me how to raise/train my dog. I do not tell you how to raise/train your dog or children and if I wanted advice, I'd seek a positive reinforcement trainer, NOT some stranger on the street who just watches dog shows on tv.

Many people seem to think because Charlie is small, that putting his paws on them is okay. NO. What if you're in that lovely work suit and have an important meeting or interview and his paws are muddy? Goodness forbid if he dares to put his paws on you then. Or what if it was my moms 150lb male Rottweiler - would you want him putting his paws on you? They'd land on your shoulders and you'd end up with a giant tongue in your face and probably be frightened by the monstrous dog that just tackled you for hugs and kisses. Just because Charlie is small and cute, does not make putting his paws on people WITHOUT INVITE, okay. Not in any way shape or form.

There is nothing that irks me more than people who think they know someone else's dog better, particularly when they use more aversive training methods than myself.

Oh, and that man who used the classic Cesar Millan move on my dog? My dog stood there, wagging his tail, smiling and probably laughing in his mind, at this silly man, while the man sat there dumbfounded that it hadn't phased my dog at all. Sir, my dog was raised with children, he can tolerate even the worst of idiots and handling and shake it off within seconds, with a smile on his face and a wag in his tail. Enjoy your new discovery that it didn't phase my Beagle and if you had done it to my Rottweiler, Maya, you would have needed stitches to repair your arm.

Thank you to all those who UNDERSTAND that they are to leave alone a stranger's dog and MDIF's need to learn when to back off.


Leash Reactivity

December 10th 2011 3:57 am
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Over the past two years, Charlie has become leash reactive - largely in part because of me. He stopped going to doggy daycares, stopped having the extremely long walks and dog park romps he was used to, lived with larger, more reactive dogs and I grew quite lazy with his training - shame on me!

For the past six months, he and I have been working towards getting him from reacting 10/10 times, to 0/10 times. Through the use of positive reinforcement, building up his threshold and helping to create an understanding between both of us, he's been progressing fantastically.

I started off majorly with the help of a halti because he is such a puller and it can be very hard to get his attention(being a Beagle, after all!), when we're outside without it. First, I desensitized him to the halti, naturally, inside, then desensitized him to wearing it outside. Started off with short walks and lots of treats when he was relaxed while wearing it and building up the lengths of the walks. He became fine with the halti within about a weeks time.

Then we began to find where his threshold distance was(it was over a hundred feet and across the street!). Using this, we maintained a distance where he could see and pay attention to the other dog, but would easily redirect still and wasn't reacting badly to the sight of the dog. If he reacted, we moved back under threshold until he fell back at my side and stopped reacting. Reward for calm behavior - back under threshold if he wasn't calm.

With working on his leash reactivity, we began to work on LLW as well. If he pulled forward, I started walking backwards away from whatever he was pulling towards(poles, bushes, etc with dog smell), until he'd fall back at my side, then I'd ask for a "walk nice" and if he remained loose leash, he got to go to the object of his attention, if he pulled again, backwards we'd go again until he finally managed to stay loose leash to the object he was focused on.

We also began making walks about obedience fun. Random "sit!" with a halt, and then a run and halt, maybe a "down!" here and there. My main goals being to teach him to pay attention to me, and to learn patience as well.

Where Charlie used to react 10/10 times, he now only reacts 3/10 times, which is absolutely amazing. His threshold distance is now the distance of a two-lane street only, across that street from sidewalk to sidewalk, whereas it used to be a hundred feet down AND across the street.

I have successfully walked past a yard that has a yellow lab who ALWAYS fence runs and growls, tense and all, at dogs going by his chainlink fence. Charlie has ALWAYS reacted to this dog. Last time we walked by this dog, Charlie's hackles rose, and he was tense, but within two feet of this fence, he did not react at all. He looked, he grew tense, but he continued walking and sniffing along the walk, for the most part, trying to ignore the rude behavior of the dog on the other side of the fence. He did not react. GOOD BOY! One of my proudest moments of him.

We'll continue to work on his leash reactivity and hopefully, he will get to a point where he can ignore the rude behavior of other dogs and calmly pass by those that are calm as well.


New Tricks

November 30th 2009 8:58 pm
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If you've read his Bio and a little bit about his tricks, you'll know that he knew 19 tricks.

Today, in an hour, I taught him four more tricks in total. Our goal is to have thirty tricks by New Years. From there, we'll set a new goal.

The first to teach him was "Back it up". He did great. I'm slowly weaning him off me walking towards him. He likes to take ONE step back though, if I say "Back up more." because he knows what I'm asking, but he's eager for his treat.

After we got that down, I tossed a bunch of chunks of cheese on the floor while 'ignoring' him. At first, I had to give him trouble with a firm "Leave it!". After that, I was tossing more treats down. He didn't touch any of them and thus, learned the "Watch me." command with his eager puppy eyes. Anytime he stared me in the eyes, I gave him a firm "Watch me." It only took him a few minutes to learn this one.

THEN, I taught him two more. I taught him the difference between taking just ONE treat in a pile of a bunch, versus taking TWO. I'd say "Okay, take ONE." And at first, he was a little nervous. Unsure of what I was asking. But he started to ease towards it(this will be a great time to teach him 'Ease up on it') and I'd give a big "GOOD BOY" and he'd take just the one. He'd eye the others and he wasn't keen about having to take the exact one I was pointing at, but he got it pretty quick. So then, we moved on to letting him take just two in a bunch. "Okay, take TWO." and again, unsure, he'd ease up on it. I'd point in a general area this time and he ran for the two treats as eager as a puppy to a best friend.

So all in all, I've boosted Charlie up to approximately 23 tricks if I've counted right! Haha! We're almost at that thirty! Thirty by New Years, HERE WE COME.

I only, ONLY treat train for TRICKS. All of his obedience has been solely without treats. Such as his leave it, drop it, sit, stay, heel, out, etc. While some could be considered tricks, not all of his 'tricks' are in fact treat trained. I'm now out of small chunks of cheese and he's tuckered out for a nap! Lol. I'm so proud of him.

His other tricks:
1 2 3 Run!, Shake a Paw, Other paw,
Bang(play dead), Wave, Sit Up(show me your paws, sit pretty, etc), Give
me five, Give me ten, Out(leave the room), Get up there(jump onto
something), Over(jump over something), Move(out of the way), Left
side(go behind me to my left side), Stand, Get it, Drop it, Leave it,
Fetch, Dig it.

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