November 2nd 2007 5:35 am
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It's day 4 of hand feeding and so far so good. I have worked a pretty decent schedule (I think) for days that I work. Right now, this is Kozi's schedule. Let me add, first, that I work a 3-2-2-3 schedule. Meaning I work 3 days (fri, sat, sun) then have 2 days off (mon & tues) then I work two days (wed and thurs) then I have the next 3 days off (fri, sat, sun) then work two, then off two, and then we are back to working 3 (fri, sat, sun). yes, very odd, but awesome schedule as I get 15 days off a month. I work 12-14 hour shifts and for the next 3 1/2 months I work nights. Anyways... just wanted to set that up for ya. On the days I work this is Kozi's schedule:
I wake up at 4pm. I leave for work around 6:15pm Sachiko get's home around 5:30pm. From 4pm to 10:30, Kozi is being fed approx two meals worth of food. Starting with me, ending with Sachiko.
My lunch break can vary, but usually is around 2am. At that time Kozi gets about a 1/4 of a meal. I get home from work around 7-8am. This is Kozi's dinner. I go to bed shortly after and start the whole process over again.
On my days off, his dinner is spread out more because I have all night to give him the food. He gets a little grumpy sometimes at night, probably because I interupt his naps not to mention he has to wait 8 hours to get a full meal in.
The concern I have right now is he has gotten aggressive a times just by me petting him. I don't know what it is. He does not like me petting him in his crate for some reason. I don't know why that started, but it never was a problem before. I wonder if he has somehow associated my hands with punishment. I don't know who tha could be since I don't hit him. Maybe he is just testing my boundaries... or better yet his reaction since I am testing his. Either way, I'm not letting it distract me. I'm hoping after some patience with the hand feeding and NILIF, this will change.
It was funny today because after radomly walking up to him and offering him some kibble, he looked at me like "are you seriously still making me jump through all the hoops?" You can tell, he really would rather just be left alone to his dish and eat in peace. I wish that could be the case, but he's just gonna have to deal with it.
October 31st 2007 4:59 pm
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A couple days ago I asked the forum how I could get rid of Kozi's food aggression. It's a long story, which most details are included in the thread. So if you want to catch up, click here to read the post.
The general advice was to 1) go back to hand feeding him, but make the commitment to do this for months, or even forever. But at least 6 months. 2) Incorporate a NILIF lifestyle with Kozi. I had done some reading about this before and start some of the techniques, but didn't put all of my commitment into it. So, we are starting over. I have learned to be more patient and am trying VERY hard not to take Kozi's aggressiveness personally.
Kozi is the first dog I have owned since leaving my parent's den. Even then, they were responsible for the dogs, not me. My wife has never had a dog in her household before Kozi. Between the both of us, it's not wonder we have made some mistakes in correcting Kozi's behavior.
Status: Not much to report except that Kozi is doing well with hand feeding. We are doing thing different this time, in that we aren't making a specific meal time. We feed him throughout the day... some meals are hand fed faster than others, due to time restraints. There is no "ok Kozi, time to eat"... just "oh, btw, here's a few kibbles to digest. Sit. Good Boy." This, I hope, has rid the anxiety between all three of us that feeding time had incurred.
I thought I was going to have to wear gloves given how aggressive Kozi was getting. But I think because feeding him was in a completely new and stress-free environment, he had no problems. It was like he was getting a treat. Not like he was eating a meal. Hopefully since there is no meal to guard, there will be no reason to guard. And thus the bonding has begun.
We have been more authoritative over other matters as well. No toys, treats, attention, or outside unless he sits. We are teaching him new tricks. But sit is the main one for now. I've had to teach him 'lay' while feeding him since he now just automatically sits when he hears the crinkle of the ziploc bag that I hold his daily food portions in. You can tell it's getting to him too. He lets out a snort sometimes, like 'omga, I can't believe you are making me do this, again!) haha. It's comical. But also lets me know that it's effective.
I'll keep adding more every couple of days. We have a long journey ahead of us.