Tug it Up!

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My sister has an elderly dog which has been with them for many years after her roommate threatened to bring it to a shelter after she moved (nasty). Mighty the dog doesn’t get along well with everyone-all of the time and can appear aggressive to strangers. There was no question-my sister and husband (boyfriend at the time) would definitely adopt Mighty.

Mighty doesn’t always play well with others-in fact we’ve never seen him play well with others-until Kai came along. Don’t get me wrong-Mighty doesn’t like to play all the time-but when he does play it’s magical to watch. Kai is a large German Shepard my sister and husband adopted who loves to play (he’s only around 1 year old). Mighty on the other hand is closer to 12 years old. Watching the 2 dogs play is quite the treat. Sometimes Mighty will just growl, turn his head away, or walk away to tell Kai he doesn’t want to play.

However, when it’s tug time Mighty stands his ground, while Kai pulls him around for fun. Kai doesn’t win…ever…but I think Kai wins in his mind. Kai’s goal is not to win the rope, but to pull Mighty around as much as possible (so much fun)! Here’s the link to a short video my sister posted of them playing tug together and a short snippet at the end of Kai listening to the video and saying, “huh?” with the classic head turn. Enjoy!

>https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=f4T4N5QKy2w

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Update

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A big hello from Oreo and I!! Yes it’s been many months since our last post and things have been crazy. I had some health issues over the summer and we FINALLY moved into our new home!!

Does Oreo like it? Of course!! She loves that there is more space and a yard to run around in. However, we have yet to get a fence as they are SUPER expensive. We have the house in the neighborhood we have always wanted, and Oreo’s grandparents are very close (this is good for dog sitting)! I’ve been looking into fence prices but of course the full privacy vinyl fences are the most expensive, but everything else would be a waste for her. She definitely needs to be blocked from seeing other dogs and people.

Another reason I haven’t posted is because things have been quite uneventful (until today). Uneventful Oreo=good Oreo. She’s been adjusting to the new house and enjoying many of her new toys from Christmas. On our walks around the neighborhood we have encountered a few dogs with electric fences. Is this good? Yes and no. I don’t believe in electric fences (even though my parents had one for my dog when I was very young-but that’s another post). The dogs tend to run at full speed snarling at us then stop short. Scares the bejesus out of Oreo and I. Luckily Oreo has been doing well-she will bark a few times then look at me for treats and keep walking. One owner of a large dog with an electric fence yelled to us that “it was okay, the dog has an electric fence”, however, it was not okay to me that his dog was lunging, snarling, and barking at us as we were walking by. 

Oreo’s health has had it’s ups and downs. There was a period of about 2 weeks where we had issues getting her allergy medicine (natural hydrocortisone) but finally received it and she is doing better.

However, Mom (me) hasn’t been doing the best job. I’ve been slacking on my duties. I was getting use to having a somewhat “normal” dog and became lazy. I gave Oreo some food from my plate, let her sit next to me on the couch as I was eating (ugh embarrassingly bad) and haven’t asked much of her. It’s been so cold & snowy we haven’t went on many walks either. Another no-no is a large bay window in the front living room-Oreo LOVES watching & barking at people/dogs/squirrels/anything that moves. So guess what I ordered today? Window film! I plan on putting this on the bottom squares of the bay window to eliminate the barking. 

I haven’t been my training obsessed self for a while and thought it might be okay to let her look out the window-it’s nice in fact that she can without barking 24/7. However, the barking has increased and I’m sure this leads to some amount of stress. Also, I need to bathe her more. I was told to bathe her at least every other week because of allergies but I haven’t. With work, the move, and everything else going on it wasn’t on the top of my list.

I haven’t been asking her to sit and wait before she goes out the door, nor have I practiced “trade with her”. Another thing I really worked hard on with her was insuring that if she was going to sleep on my bed, she would do so without growling if we moved our feet or pet her. However, I haven’t worked on that in a while and it shows. 

In the last week I’ve seen increased growling when we move our feet or pet her while she’s relaxing on our bed. I’ve also seen her growl at my husband when she was chewing her bone and he reached to pet her. She growled at me today for petting her while she was laying down (not sleeping). Then of course the big event-I was eating and she was laying on the couch next to me. My husband went to pet her and she snapped at him-made contact with his skin, but didn’t break it-no bleeding. 

I should’ve seen this all coming from what was going on around the house, however I guess I didn’t want to-I wanted to think I could relax and not have to put more work into having a dog-but duhhh dogs are work-especially fearful ones. So tomorrow we start anew and it’s back to the training realm. 

Practice:

  • trading
  • touch (while she is laying down in different places)
  • say please model-sit before going outside & wait, etc. 
  • Get the husband to train-he seems to set her off more often
  • Put window clings up
  • More baths for Oreo
  • Use the thundershirt when she seems stressed