LEGO: From prepared to paranoid...

Tricks, obedience, behavior, and more.
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taurustendency
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Re: LEGO: From prepared to paranoid...

Postby taurustendency » Thu Feb 13, 2014 5:53 pm

My concerns thus far are few, and may just be normal puppy behavior. I've had puppies before, but each one is unique, so I don't have a basis for comparison.

His leash manners are very inconsistent. He will walk when we walk, stop when we stop, and stay to our side...in the house, in any other building, or when walking in parking lots, along streets, or any other type of "business" comings and goings. However, going for a leisurely walk is a whole different story. It isn't leisurely at all. He is a puller, a criss crosser, a dart off the other way type of walker. Treats don't work, he comes and takes it and starts pulling again. If I just hold it and don't give it to him right away, he will only wait a few seconds before giving up and goes back to pulling. He acts the same way whether our other dogs are with us or not. I haven't given up, but here lately we havent been walking at all. The weather has been awful with below zero wind chills as well as almost a foot of snow. In the meantime, I've taught him "follow me" when in the house...so I'm hoping that will help when later this week when it warms up and melts off a bit. But any other advice would be great.

Also, he has a thing for chewing on natural wood. We have a wood stove, so there's always wood being kept in the house, and little crumbs around the stove area. I try to sweep it up just as soon as a mess is made, but sometimes he gets to it first. It's like he's obsessed with it. He watches and waits for it, and finds it, even when I think there's none to be found. He's not eating it. He just chews it up. He has a ton of different chew toys but to him, wood is just another toy. When we are outside, he finds sticks and does the same. So far, I haven't corrected this behavior in any way, because I don't really mind...unless it's harmful. Obviously, I don't want him choking, but are there any other concerns? Puppies chew, so chewing on a stick is kinda natural wouldn't you think?

Another thing I'm unsure about is how when we play in close proximity to his face, he always has his mouth open. Like he wants to bite, it looks like he's thinking about, but he never does. I've even tried to get him to, put my fingers, hand, arm in there...but nothing. He either leaves my appendages in there loosely, or moves his head and kinda does a head roll around rub around type thing, all while his mouth is still open. I've been trying to teach him bite inhibition, and working with mouthing, but he won't bite at all. I see it as a puppy thing for right now, but I'm sure others may be fearful of it. Is this the start of aggression, or signs of a future biter? After he does this, he sometimes gives a stress yawn. He used to yawn like this all the time, when we first got him, but now it's only once in a while. But the mouth open thing, is all the time! He can be just sitting calmly, and you reach down to pat him on the head, and there goes the mouth. I don't know if this will explain it any better,but you know how when dogs play together, they will bump and rub open mouth muzzles together? It's just like that.

But that's it. I don't have much to worry about with little feller...but these are the few things that have me puzzled.

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Re: LEGO: From prepared to paranoid...

Postby BrokenAquarian » Thu Feb 20, 2014 9:21 pm

taurustendency wrote: If I just hold it and don't give it to him right away, he will only wait a few seconds before giving up and goes back to pulling. "


That's the starting point and it's good that he waits a few seconds. You just have to build on that. It's going to take awhile and the walk is going to take forever lol but that's what you have to do to get him to learn.





taurustendency wrote:Also, he has a thing for chewing on natural wood. We have a wood stove, so there's always wood being kept in the house, and little crumbs around the stove area. I try to sweep it up just as soon as a mess is made, but sometimes he gets to it first. It's like he's obsessed with it. He watches and waits for it, and finds it, even when I think there's none to be found. He's not eating it. He just chews it up. He has a ton of different chew toys but to him, wood is just another toy. When we are outside, he finds sticks and does the same. So far, I haven't corrected this behavior in any way, because I don't really mind...unless it's harmful. Obviously, I don't want him choking, but are there any other concerns? Puppies chew, so chewing on a stick is kinda natural wouldn't you think?


Chewing on wood is natural, but you need to be cautious of what kinds of wood he's chewing. Not all are safe - some are poisonous/toxic - like Redwood. Look up what trees/shrubs/plants you have and check on their safety.

Remember that even safe wood is dangerous if ingested, because it can cause blockages. Always watch your dog and make sure he's not actually eating it. Just because he didn't eat it today or for the last 6 years, doesn't mean he won't try it tomorrow. ;)


taurustendency wrote:Another thing I'm unsure about is how when we play in close proximity to his face, he always has his mouth open. Like he wants to bite, it looks like he's thinking about, but he never does. I've even tried to get him to, put my fingers, hand, arm in there...but nothing. He either leaves my appendages in there loosely, or moves his head and kinda does a head roll around rub around type thing, all while his mouth is still open. I've been trying to teach him bite inhibition, and working with mouthing, but he won't bite at all. I see it as a puppy thing for right now, but I'm sure others may be fearful of it. Is this the start of aggression, or signs of a future biter?


No, this is good that he doesn't want your body parts in his mouth. Don't worry about bite inhibition if he doesn't bite. That's only needed if the pup/dog has a problem with not knowing that they shouldn't be using you and others as a chew toy. Don't try to make him bite you.

taurustendency wrote:After he does this, he sometimes gives a stress yawn. He used to yawn like this all the time, when we first got him, but now it's only once in a while. But the mouth open thing, is all the time! He can be just sitting calmly, and you reach down to pat him on the head, and there goes the mouth.


The truth is, most dogs don't like being touched/petted on top of the head. He clearly doesn't like it. There are dogs that will put your hand on their head, because they know that's what's expected and that's how you're supposed to interact, but that doesn't mean they enjoy it. I had to teach myself to try and scratch the side of their ear/neck/side/back area, instead. It's a lot like someone coming up to greet you and palming your face - it's rude and uncomfortable.

taurustendency wrote: I don't know if this will explain it any better,but you know how when dogs play together, they will bump and rub open mouth muzzles together? It's just like that.


That's playful - it's just annoying when they try to mouth/chomp your hands while doing it. You're lucky, your dog is showing good restraint, from what it sounds like. :)


ar

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Sydnops
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Re: LEGO: From prepared to paranoid...

Postby Sydnops » Thu Feb 20, 2014 9:44 pm

I'm working on the pulling thing too. What I found that worked best for me (although it is a very slow process haha) is slowly introducing more and more distractions. For example, start walking on the leash in the house, then your back yard, then your front yard, then the road in front of your house, then around the block, then the parks and things. It sounds like you're doing pretty good with the indoors part, maybe kick the distractions up a notch. Open a door or go on the porch and let him know that you aren't going ANYWHERE until his leash is loose. You could even try getting those squeaky tennis balls to get his attention if he likes toys too. I'm able to go around the block with my girl finally!! I don't know if it's because she knows the route or what but she is perfect walker until we go into a park or off course. OH! I also tried for the first time the bike riding with your dog thing today. She was really great and stayed by my side the whole time even on new roads. Maybe I walk to slow haha. Anyways, just thought I'd put in my little thing I've been trying out since my hard headed little stubby girl decided she wanted to be the same way

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Re: LEGO: From prepared to paranoid...

Postby Sydnops » Thu Feb 20, 2014 9:46 pm

There's a thread on it right here on training and behavior

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taurustendency
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Re: LEGO: From prepared to paranoid...

Postby taurustendency » Fri Feb 21, 2014 10:29 pm

Thank you brokenaquarium, that certainly puts my mind at ease. He does really seem playful when he does it. I don't really think that he doesn't like his head being patted, because when he's calm, he comes up to me with those puppy dog eyes and stares at me until I pet him, then his head goes limp in my hand, and melts into the lovins. It's just when hes excited that he does that. I get annoyed with certain people and even some vets for saying to me that they "tried to bite me" anytime the mouth opens.

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taurustendency
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Re: LEGO: From prepared to paranoid...

Postby taurustendency » Fri Feb 21, 2014 10:43 pm

Oh, and sydnops, I think I have made some progress too. As Jackson galaxy calls it (yes, the cat guy) I have found Lego 's "jackpot treat." On walks, I have been taking peanut butter. Our son has these homemade popsicle molds, and I pack one with peanut butter. They are long and skinny, so it's really hard for him to reach it with his tongue...but just the scent and small sampling of it seems to be enough to keep him by me. Total attention. And it's real easy to reach it down and give him a lick, without even stopping. Our last walk in our area, he was great. Since then, we've been traveling, and I didn't take any treats at all with us. On those walks he wandered a bit, but I could tell that he was looking for it, and checking in...listening better. I had been training him to sit down when cars are approaching or passing, and I caught him doing it a couple times upon me just stopping, without me having to say "sit and stay." So if your baby doesn't have a peanut allergy, it is surely worth a try. I'm having great results with it!

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taurustendency
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Re: LEGO: From prepared to paranoid...

Postby taurustendency » Fri Feb 21, 2014 11:04 pm

Wednesday Lego was neutered. It went flawless. He's doing great! Everyone there fell in love with him and bragged about what a good boy he was. I guess they let him loose while he was recovering/waking up, because when they called to update me, the lady said that while everyone else was raising a racket, that he just calmly followed her from room to room, observing everything. That's my boy, such an observer.

He also had two of his baby teeth pulled, because he wasn't losing them on his own. All his adult teeth are in, and it was getting kinda crowded. Poor guy has a snaggletooth smile though. He's got one tooth that just sticks outward and does it's own thing. They said it's no big deal, unless it causes him pain, or starts collecting food. So we will see.

So far, so good. Great progress, in all areas. I'm getting ready to enroll him in basic obedience class to help with the distractions and such. Will probably go through all stages and continue with agility. Not so much for show or competition, but just to keep him busy and exposed. I had a cute idea, if all goes well, and if he's suited for it...I would like him to start pulling a small cart. Our town has a ton of outdoor events, that I would like to have him sell drinks at...to help raise for our local shelter. At the same time, it will raise pit bull and BSL awareness in our town...because by law, he will be wearing a muzzle. Sell some water on a hot day, do some tricks, people will ask about why he's muzzled, and I can tell them the truth about our towns BSL.

But that's all depending on his progress and if he'd be a good fit for it. And if not, that's okay too. We love him just the same!!!!

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taurustendency
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Re: LEGO: From prepared to paranoid...

Postby taurustendency » Mon Mar 03, 2014 1:06 pm

I'm so ready for some better weather. Ready to take Lego on longer walks, and trips to the parks and rivers. It's either been several inches of snow on the ground, several inches of mud from the melted snow, or below zero wind chills. We are all feeling the cabin fever. Other than visiting family and friends, petco and petsmart have been our only outings of late. Not the most ideal place to go, but it's pretty much the only option for getting him out and about, until the weather breaks.

a few visits ago, we ran across a man with another pit mix, in the store. Who he admitted was dog aggressive. I wondered why you would take a dog aggressive dog to a place like this. However, Lego did good. He didn't get scared, or aggravated. he tried to play bow, and when that didn't work, he just laid in the floor and exposed his belly. Didn't make a peep. This guy was kind of annoying as he wanted to stop and chit chat and engage in long conversation while his dog was barking, growling, chomping, and charging the whole time. I kept trying to walk away, but his document pulling him after us.

Our last visit went surprisingly well too. There was a little mix of a dog, (I couldn't tell you what it even was), that did not act at all happy to be going. Us and them, both approached the building at the same time. This dog was yelping, squawking, and screeching in the parking lot as soon as he caught sight of Lego. Lego didn't care, he was intent on getting into the store, as he knows that he gets to pick out his own toy each time. This dog was charging, snarling, and flinging himself all around on the leash. I felt sorry for the poor dog. The owners, though embarrassed, didnt seem to care that the store was an obvious place of anxiety for him. I kept telling myself not to pass judgement, because I don't know the story, and perhaps this was part of a training exercise or something.

what I did get out of the experience was, getting to see legos priceless reaction. Once in the store, The look on his face was pure confusion. I wished I would have had a camera handy. He kept looking at the dog, sniffing in his direction, looking and returning to our feet, looking at the dog, looking at us. Every time we crossed this dog, he did the same. He just seemed like he wasn't able to understand why this dog was acting like that. Or perhaps he could sense the panic this little guy was screaming at him...And didn't know what to do about it.

But anyways, Lego just keeps continuing to amaze me. He did well with my boyfriends parents dogs this past weekend, who are completely anti-social towards other dogs until a year or so of knowing them. They didnt anything to do with him, and let him know it. And he was respectful. We also took him to the parents furniture making shop. Their dogs go to the shop with them everyday and are totally used to all the noise going. Lego didn't care a bit. He's gotten used to my boyfriends tools going off and on all the time. So I'm pretty proud of this little guy.

I've always felt that exposure and socialization is key, but I'm wondering if repeated exposure to these types of dogs, will teach him bad habits? Is it better to expose him and reward good behavior, or is it better to avoid such situations entirely?

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Re: LEGO: From prepared to paranoid...

Postby BrokenAquarian » Mon Mar 03, 2014 9:31 pm

taurustendency wrote: I'm wondering if repeated exposure to these types of dogs, will teach him bad habits? Is it better to expose him and reward good behavior, or is it better to avoid such situations entirely?


It is good to expose him and reward good behavior - only if you know it's safe and your dog won't be harmed. Taking him to a dog park and setting him free would be a bad idea, because he could be attacked and that could cause him to have unwanted/fearful/aggressive behaviors.

As long as he's acting positively and not getting riled up about the other dogs - that's good! :)

Congrats on your well mannered and relaxed pup. Many wish they had a dog with that temperament.
I also don't understand why people bring their dogs to the store if they are aggressive or having meltdowns. I mean, aren't they at least a LITTLE embarrassed by their dog's behavior? it reflects on them, after all - they're the one's who supposedly trained the dang thing.

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taurustendency
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Re: LEGO: From prepared to paranoid...

Postby taurustendency » Tue Mar 04, 2014 10:36 am

No, I wouldn't take him to a dog park, even if we had one around here. I just mean the locals parks, obviously on leash. It would be an ideal place to work on distractions at. Which he really does need some training with. Our local trainers seem to not be in business anymore or something, I've been emailing, calling, Facebooking, and no replies. They have no recent posts or changes to their website regarding updated classes. So I guess I'm gonna have to do this on my own. I've never needed help with any training before, but being a pit, I thought "the more the better." Plus I wanted to take the tests for Canine good citizen. But since they are not answering, I figure people skating, fishing, jogging, playing volleyball, basketball, softball, the pool, playgrounds, and gigantic flock of resident geese would provide some great challenges.

Until then, I guess I'm gonna just keep his mind as busy as I can, since I can't keep his body busy. He loves hide and seek with our son. And he loves sniffing out treats under shuffled cups. And I keep adding new tricks to his routine all the time. I don't regret snatching him u when we did, but the season was bad timing. It's been an unusually bad winter. I feel we are missing out on the best time to train outside. I remember in February of last year, I was already sunburnt out in 75degree weather, from working in our gardens. Awe...I can't wait. We're gonna build him some agility stuff, because he just can't get enough of our sons play tunnel


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