February 16th 2006 12:21 pm
[ Leave A Comment ]
It's been a long time since I've written an entry for Boyden! He's been with us just over a year now, just the first of many I hope.
We went through a difficult time last fall. Before Boy started the heartworm treatment, his behavior suddenly changed. He became very aggressive. He also had these times where he just acted "weird".
During this same time I became very sick. Headaches, vomiting, dizziness... It was like that for something like 6 weeks. I wonder if we didn't get some sort of sickness from all the ticks we both had on us from our trip in the summer. He went to the vet several times and I went to the doctor several times, but neither was sure what was wrong. I'll probably never know.
Anyway, nearly all of Boy's training went out the window and I had to start all over again. We've both been back to our normal selves for a couple/few months now and are back to going places and doing things.
Hubby and I took both dogs to Michigan with us. We were gone about 5 weeks and they got to play in the snow for the first time. They loved it! Of course all of my family and friends loved Boy. How could they not?!
I haven't really taught him any new things lately because we've been going back over the things he already knew. His recall went down to about 0% from around 99%, but it's back up to around 85% or better now. He had become terrible on leash after the treatment, but he's just about back to where he was before the treatment (ie; loose leash).
I guess that's about it for now. I'm thankful that he's back to his normal, loveable self, that's for sure! I was really worried about him there for a while.
August 7th 2005 12:43 am
[ Leave A Comment ]
I've had Boyden now for six months. It feels like he's been a member of this family for years though! He's really fit right in and we've both become extremely attached to him.
I adopted him from the shelter on January 26th of this year and he was 3-ish at the time, possibly older. He weighed just under 60#. He was neutered, microchipped, and brought UTD on his shots. He fluctuates between 60# and 65# now.
He had some aggression issues, mostly towards dogs and sometimes towards strangers but no one who meets him now believes me! He also had big issues with getting his ears cleaned and medicated but he quickly learned to tolerate it. He had severe seperation anxiety but now it's just bad SA. It's slow going on that front but he is making progress. He still can't be left all alone at all, but he can remain calmly in his crate for several hours in the other room now. He still paces and whines when I leave him with someone else, including my husband, but he's not as bad as he was.
He tested positive for several allergies back in March and began allergy shot treatments. I also switched him to a totally raw meat diet based on the whole prey model and that has done wonders for him. He no longer has chronic ear infections and his undercoat has grown in beautifully! He's not itching and scratching all the time either.
He's currently undergoing heartworm treatment. See previous diary entries about that.
He has learned so many things!!! When I got him he had good house manners and was potty trained, and he also knew how to sit and shake.
Here's his list now:
He no longer begs and will not take food unless or until I give him the ok to eat it.
He waits before entering/exiting doors, including the car.
He is reliable in all basic obedience, on or off leash, despite duration, distance, or distractions, and he's well into advanced obedience.
He knows lots of tricks and is always learning more.
He's recently started being trained as a Service Dog and enjoys all of the new things he's learning.
He's met and played with probably a hundred dogs and gets along with all of them except the young, rude, cocky adolescents. Those he quickly corrects and before you know it, they are getting along great too. He's a really good "teacher dog" for those who have not had socializing or need more of it.
He's become somewhat interested in playing ball, but would not cry if balls were banned for life.
He tried his hand at sheep twice and though he has an interest, he doesn't have much natural talent.
He's a great travel companion!! He's so calm and quiet in the car and he's totally fine in motels and strange places. He loves to go camping or to the beach, though he's not a swimmer so far.
He's got a great nose and has become exceptionally good at finding hidden food on our 3 acres!
He's very forgiving of my husband who is inconsistent with his commands. "Sit, sit down, sit" or "come back here" despite "come" and "back" being two different commands. (Hint: it's easier to train a dog than a man.)
He will willingly jump into the tub when empty now, and will do so with minimal coaxing with a couple inches of water in it.
He's a really great dog. He listens well, never seems to get into trouble, loves to spend time with me, and loves to learn new things. He took a 2700 mile trip with me, camping on the way there and back, and was perfect. It's been a wonderful six months and I'm looking forward to the future. He's come so far in such a short period of time that I can only imagine what I'll be able to report when we hit the one year mark!
August 4th 2005 7:55 am
[ Leave A Comment ]
Today marks two weeks since my Boy started his heartworm treatment. He coughs a little here and there but is otherwise feeling fine. He's bored though!
I've been keeping his activity level very low. He can lay around in the house but if he walks around much at all then he goes into his crate. I take him out to go potty around 5 times a day, on leash, and we don't go far from the door at all.
That doesn't mean he's ignored all day though. We've been doing some training that takes little to no effort. We've been working on his "take it" command. I put an object in front of him and tell him to take it. He really doesn't like putting things in his mouth at all, but will very briefly put his mouth around it (usually his rope toy).
I also taught him to "touch" (paw at an object) and he's really good at that. He gets so excited sometimes that he starts pawing at anything! What I'll do though is place a few objects in front of him and point, telling him to touch. For the last two days I've used familiar objects (the phone and his stuffed whale) and name the object for him to touch. He did better yesterday than the day before, so I think he's catching on.
Another new thing he's learned is to open and shut the bathroom drawers. He always follows me into the bathroom. The other day I went in there to brush my teeth and thought it would be nice to teach him to open the drawer, get the toothpaste out for me, and then shut the drawer. He's not to the point yet where he can retrieve an object for me but I did put a treat in the drawer with it cracked open. He easily nosed the drawer open several times. After while I told him to shut the drawer and I'll be darned if he didn't do it the first time! Talk about effortless training! So now he can open and shut the drawer on command.
He's been getting lots of stuffed kongs to help alleviate the boredom also. We are also spending lots of time snuggled up on the couch watching tv. We have 2 more weeks of very restricted activity, and then another 2-4 weeks of limited activity. He goes into the vet again today for a check-up (and a car ride!). Speaking of which, I've taken him for a few car rides just to help break up the monotony. He's always been very calm and quiet in the car and he loves going bye-bye, so it's just one more way to keep him from going stir-crazy!
We will all be very glad when this is over and I'm anxious to see how much more energy he has! I'm also hoping that his new, healthy condition means less allergies. I am really hoping that.