|Barked: Sat Nov 10, '12 4:11pm PST |
|Thank you all again, this is really helping me, mentally, to have a place with informed dog owners to come and talk about this problem.
First, about his leg; I did mention in one of my first posts, but there has been an awful lot of text, that it is an older injury and we did have it checked out by the vet. At the time, we had another dog going through some health problems, a little Boston, who I am sorry to say did not make it thought she was only 6 years old. In an effort to save our other dog at the time, as well as a myriad of scans on Atlas, we dropped a little over $2k for our dogs. That does not include what we were spending on training to try and curtail some of Atlas's earlier signs of aggression. We are not doing well financially, things have been tight, and that was a very rough time. It is one of the reasons why we are scraping the barrel for funds regarding a behaviorist; Atlas really needs one, our family needs one, and although we cannot afford one immediately we are working on saving for one in the near future, as soon as we can.
Details about the leg; when he had him scanned, x-rayed, and physically inspected by the vet, nothing could be found. He has injured both legs at different times in the past, around when he was turning 2. His hips are very healthy, nothing was broken, and no ligaments were torn. Our vet believes that he pulled or strained a muscle or ligament while jumping at our fence. We have worked very hard to keep him from jumping, and try to have someone out back with him every time he goes outside so we can be right there if he gets excited by something outside the fence, and get him back inside. He has not shown any sings of limping for two months now, and we have gradually been increasing the lengths of his daily walks.
@Tiller, Related to the leg, I am wary of adding a second daily walk. He used to not be able to walk more than 20 minutes a day without showing sings of a limp. We now have him up to 40, but over that seems to be pushing it. However, I will test and see if we add a second short walk- maybe 20 minutes in the morning, and do his 40 at night, if there is enough time between for his leg to recover, and then gradually increase the length of his second walk if he seems okay. I will report how that goes tomorrow. Maybe if he doesn't do well, I can shorten his longer walk, but take him out three times, so his leg doesn't have the chance to get stressed? We'll see how the additional shorter walk goes, and hope it doesn't irritate.
@Shiver-Me-Timbers: Yes, I am currently using cat food as rewards during some of his training. I try to set the same bowl that triggered him on the ground beside me, and have some in my hand, and let him eat from my hand while ignoring the bowl. I also use little pieces of it sometimes as a reward for regular commands like 'sit'. This is something new we have just started, so there hasn't been enough time to tell if it is being beneficial or not yet.
I am making a list of items to purchase to help with his training, please remind me if I've missed any:
Cotton Web Training Lead
Muzzle (preferable bucket)
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