My 2 week "Give em a break" Journal

Tricks, obedience, behavior, and more.
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YoungWinsk
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My 2 week "Give em a break" Journal

Postby YoungWinsk » Tue May 01, 2012 2:07 pm

Hey there fellow dog lovers.

I recently adopted an 8 month old Pit Bull. I named her Sierra. She got spayed yesterday along with some other vaccinations, and I introduced her into my home yesterday.

I have read the "Give em a break" thread and decided after seeing how successful it has been with many of you, that I will follow it as best I can.

I don't have the means or resources to follow it to a T but I am working with what i've got.

My current situation: I am 21, I still live with my parents and younger brothers, I work and go to school. I do have time for my dog though and soon when she's ready, she should be coming to work with me. She stays in my room with me, only because we don't really have an extra room and she is MY dog and my parents want me to fully take care of her. We have 2 cats and another dog already. She will be introduced to them in a few weeks after she is already used to me and trusts me.

I decided to start a journal, which I have wrote into a notebook and am typing on here, not only to keep me on track and focused for these 2 weeks, but also to track our progress! I also want others to see this so you guys can offer advice, support, and any other information or comments if you choose to. And I REALLY appreciate the feedback and want to hear what you may have to say.

Day One April 30th

I picked up Sierra at the animal hospital, not a minute later than 3:00. She wagged her tail when she saw me, and I let her excrete outside. She then went straight into my car and laid right on the blanket I had laid out for her and attempted to sleep. I took her to my room after letting her walk around the front yard and I let her out several times the rest of the day. I tried to avoid having her come in contact with other family members or pets. Because she's going through A LOT right now. (surgery, being at a kennel after already being in a home, she was in a heat 2 weeks ago, and now changing homes and trying to get used to me.)


She drank a little bit of water which was encouraging and she didn't vomit once. She is visibly exhausted, confused, and not feeling right. I was able to give her a couple hours of alone time last night which was good, because I had a softball game. After getting home, I let her out, (she had no accidents in her cage) and then she came back upstairs to my room with me. She sat next to my bed for a minute and then laid down. I know that I probably should have put her straight in her cage but she really did not want to move and was comfortable where she was at. I let her sleep outside her cage for the majority of the night but after letting her out at 3 and 4 AM (not sure if she needed to or not but better safe than sorry since I don't know her warning signs) I then put her in her cage and she went to sleep. I got barely any sleep but I have no complaints as far as that goes.



Day Two 4/1

"My room smells like dog" :inlove:


Today started off with an accident. But really it was my accident not Sierra's. Sierra this morning had to go, and she had to go quick. I made the mistake of letting her out of her cage and then leaving my room to put the cats and other animals away. I came back two minutes later and she was waiting for me at my door but pee'd by the door. I should have left her in the cage until I was ready to take her straight out though, because she probably thought I was leaving her for a while. I definitely didn't discipline her, because really it was my mistake in my opinion. And she's in no condition to even be disciplined right now. I took her out a few times, for about 15 minutes at a time.


She is definitely way more lively today than she was yesterday. I think she is in pain though because she walks around with her tail straight down. I try to give her a painkiller with a treat, but she refuses. Right now I am giving her some alone time. I took a walk to get some coffee and listen to music, and I think its good for her to get her time without me. I have to work tomorrow and she will spend much of the day without me, which I feel kind of uncomfortable about but this is something that i'll have to overcome just as much as she will. She does however show a longing for my touch and affection, but I don't overwhelm her with it. I try to let her come to me. She has even given me kisses on the face several times! In about a half hour I will be going back upstairs, and letting her out. This will have given her two hours of alone time.
I can't wait til she gets comfortable with me! The next 12 days will be tough for both of us but I hope they will pay off!



Thank you for reading. :) I appreciate all feedback and advice. I'm trying to do the best I can and do what's best for her and I need your help in doing so!


For more information about Sierra and pictures of her, please visit my first thread about her here:


viewtopic.php?f=2&t=153494

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starrlamia
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Re: My 2 week "Give em a break" Journal

Postby starrlamia » Tue May 01, 2012 2:58 pm

Love it! And I love what you are doing,.great job!

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Ilovethepits
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Re: My 2 week "Give em a break" Journal

Postby Ilovethepits » Tue May 01, 2012 3:08 pm

Sierra is a lucky dog to have such a committed owner. I think your 2 week journal is a great idea!!

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chinchi_&_chupa
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Re: My 2 week "Give em a break" Journal

Postby chinchi_&_chupa » Tue May 01, 2012 4:24 pm

This is really refreshing!! I just wanted to post so I'll see it when you update...thank you for rescuing and being committed to being responsible! She is absolutely gorgeous!! :inlove:

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MissKitty
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Re: My 2 week "Give em a break" Journal

Postby MissKitty » Tue May 01, 2012 6:19 pm

Having a journal is such a wonderful idea! I look forward to all your updates!

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Mooresmajestic
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Re: My 2 week "Give em a break" Journal

Postby Mooresmajestic » Tue May 01, 2012 7:08 pm

I'm so excited to read both of your progress as it happens! It's so refreshing to see a young new owner really going out of their way and taking the time to go the extra mile. I wish you two the best of luck and nothing but positive experiences in your future together!

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luvnstuff
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Re: My 2 week "Give em a break" Journal

Postby luvnstuff » Tue May 01, 2012 9:22 pm

Congrats on your adoption! It will be fun for all of us to see her blossom!

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YoungWinsk
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Re: My 2 week "Give em a break" Journal

Postby YoungWinsk » Wed May 02, 2012 10:21 pm

Thanks for reading everyone and again thanks for the support.

Day 3 5/2

Today, Sierra really came to life. She finally seems to have gotten those meds out of her system, and also she's really getting used to her new environment in a way. Her tail has gone from in between her back legs, to about parallel with her body when she's walking. She also has regained her appetite and has started eating her food along with drinking ample amounts of water.

Something she did today absolutely made my day. I gave her a deer antler and she started chewing on it! I am really seeing her attitude change and just seeing her play with her antler made me so happy. Especially because she hasn't been herself for a few days, of course because of her surgery and changing environment and other factors.


She is starting to show a lot of curiosity for the rest of the house as well, which I have walked her around a little bit so she can get a feel for the area. Also she met a few of her new family members... you should see how fast her tail starts wagging when she jumps on them and starts drenching their faces with her tongue!!

Right now, she's currently sleeping peacefully against my feet at the foot of my bed. I'm really encouraged by her progress. The only hard part today was that I had to work for about 8 hours. My younger brother let her out a few times and I also came home to let her out. It wasn't all that fun spending time away from her but on the bright side she got a lot of time to herself, to absorb everything.



Here's a video of her playing with her antler. Not that eventful but it sure made me happy!!

Sierra sleeping yesterday

Image

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Curly_07
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Re: My 2 week "Give em a break" Journal

Postby Curly_07 » Wed May 02, 2012 11:05 pm

This thread makes me :) you are doing great! I can't wait to see her blossom over the next few months!

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Ilovethepits
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Re: My 2 week "Give em a break" Journal

Postby Ilovethepits » Thu May 03, 2012 8:24 am

:) Sierra is SO pretty!! Love the little video of her with her antler. Keep up the good work!

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YoungWinsk
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Re: My 2 week "Give em a break" Journal

Postby YoungWinsk » Thu May 03, 2012 10:31 pm

5/3

Today was just not my day

Things really didn't go all that great. Not just with Sierra, which i'm not disappointed in her, but just in a few ways.

I had to work and be away from her, and I had my brother take her out a few times for me. I decided to let her stay in my room out of her cage and see how she did. She did good for a few hours and then ended up peeing on the floor. Again not disappointed I just wanted to see how she would do. But my mom found out and wasn't very happy with me. Furthermore, my room got really hot because it was 80's here today (near Chicago) and very humid. My room is upstairs and the air conditioning doesn't get up here real well.

I feel like Sierra was too hot and I felt terrible. So I ended up picking her up from my home and she finished my day of work with me in the delivery truck (I deliver furniture). My friend was with me and I politely told him to just let Sierra be, to let her just relax but he kept petting her and giving her attention and staring her straight in the eyes and talking to her. Which I wouldn't mind but she doesn't know him let alone me and also she was in the work truck which she hasn't been in before.

After coming home and letting her come inside and all, I went to let her out only to find my other dog in the house. I wanted to wait til the 2 weeks was up to even have them come close to each other, but this time it was inevitable. They were smelling each other for a second and it seemed to be fine but all of the sudden one snapped and they both started jawing at each other. Another thing that could have and should have been avoided.

On the bright side she is really getting her energy up and getting better all around. She's really going to need some training though when the time is right because now she is starting to pull on the leash when we go outside and all. No big deal though. She is still progressing nicely. I just have bad feelings about going to work tomorrow and I really hate the fact that she will be in her cage for a few hours at a time but I guess it is good for her in a way. I'm doing the best I can to keep her entertained while not having too much physical activity. It's getting kind of tough though. Any suggestions? All I do outside when I let her out is she goes to the bathroom and then I walk her around the yard a little bit, sometimes jog, but i'm just trying to be cautious because of her sutures and all.

Thanks for reading. I have confidence that tomorrow will go better, and none of this was Sierra's fault, more mine for letting her down. By not putting her in her cage today I let her down- setting her up to fail. I got too confident in her after 3 days and I don't know her well enough to even put her in that situation. I don't blame any of this on her and I tried to not show any of my irritation though it was hard to get rid of that feeling in my mind (Not towards her but just the things that happened today.)

Tomorrow will be better...!

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amalie79
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Re: My 2 week "Give em a break" Journal

Postby amalie79 » Thu May 03, 2012 11:01 pm

Are you giving her Kongs or other food toys to unstuff while she's in her crate during the day? Wet dog food or peanut butter mixed with yogurt and kibble in a black Kong and frozen is the way to go. Make a few of them and then your brother can give her one mid-day, too. They make nice icy pupcicle treats. 8)

Mental stimulation does wonders for wearing out a pup. :)

And don't beat yourself up too much-- real life happens sometimes, whether we want it to or not.

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starrlamia
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Re: My 2 week "Give em a break" Journal

Postby starrlamia » Fri May 04, 2012 12:23 am

amalie79 wrote:Are you giving her Kongs or other food toys to unstuff while she's in her crate during the day? Wet dog food or peanut butter mixed with yogurt and kibble in a black Kong and frozen is the way to go. Make a few of them and then your brother can give her one mid-day, too. They make nice icy pupcicle treats. 8)

Mental stimulation does wonders for wearing out a pup. :)

And don't beat yourself up too much-- real life happens sometimes, whether we want it to or not.

Good post, no one is perfect, you are doing a great job.

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Stormi
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Re: My 2 week "Give em a break" Journal

Postby Stormi » Fri May 04, 2012 1:35 am

I kinda wanna give you a virtual hug. Your dedication to learning and wanting to do the best for your new pup is inspiring. If you are comfortable stating your general location, I'd be happy to suggest a training facility or two nearby that you could look into when you're ready to begin training with her.

A couple of videos to help with the leash pulling:



And for keeping her busy during the day, work-to-eat puzzles and fun training games are your new best friend. Frozen KONGs are a fantastic way to go - mix up some kibble and wet food and put it in a kong and freeze it overnight, then give it to her in the morning when you leave. Not only are you pairing your departure with something pleasant, but it takes them a good 30-45 minutes to clean out that kong. Other toys such as the kong wobbler, tug-a-jug, bob-a-lot, or any of the dozens of work-to-eat puzzles available at pet stores are a wonderful way to teach her to work for her food and give her a mental workout while doing it.

This is one of my favorite training games that utilizes a process called behavior shaping. It's a fun way to get your pup thinking and helps build that bond between you: http://www.clickertraining.com/node/167

You'll also find lots of great information and articles on the other pages of that same site: http://www.clickertraining.com/basics?source=fpnf

And the kikopup youtube channel is full of fun and easy to follow instructional videos on how to train just about anything:
http://www.youtube.com/user/kikopup

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YoungWinsk
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Re: My 2 week "Give em a break" Journal

Postby YoungWinsk » Sat May 05, 2012 8:11 pm

Thanks for the tips they are very helpful!

Yesterday, Friday 5/4

Yesterday went a thousand times better than thursday did! Despite the fact that I did have to work again, my brother was home to let Sierra out and spend time with her. The day went smooth, and I did have anxiety still about her being home alone in the later hours of the day but ended up being able to let her out after only being alone for 2 hours. I know she needs her alone time too.

I spent the whole evening with her, and the whole night with her and she REALLY is starting to get used to me. After feeding her and all, when it was time to relax, she was laying against me and resting her head on me voluntarily. It made me feel like a million bucks!!!

I do think she has kennel cough though? She has that coarse sound where it sounds like she is trying to clear her throat. Almost a choking sound that happens every few hours or so. I will call the vet Monday but they told me to expect her to possibly have kennel cough because, she was in a kennel... Let me know if you think it could be something else please.

Look what she did last night!
Image

5/5 Saturday Day 6

Today I have spent all day with Sierra. I know this doesn't fully comply with the 2 week method but I do owe it to her in a way after letting her down a few days ago. I did give her about an hour and a half to herself. But I had no work today so I spent today in my room with her. She has done great today. No hiccups as far as her progress goes. I just can tell she is getting bored of this room and wants to explore the house more. Which is reasonable. Her health, attitude, obedience, and consistency are all improving!

I bought her a new rope and another toy. After she was introduced to her tug-a-jug and IQ ball though she quickly gave up on those. Is there a good way of showing her how to use them??

Tomorrow I will have just one more week of feeling like i'm boring her to death lol. Then i'm really looking forward to taking her on walks and letting her around the house more. And introducing her to the other pets (which will be quite an experience.) Things are going great. Everyone in my family is impressed with her and they are really warming up with her as she is to them! Her tail has smacked each of them in the legs plenty of times and she's doused everyone's face with kisses. I think half of my face is dissolved off by now. :inlove:

Thanks for reading!


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