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Forum Replies Created

  • RUBY288

    Member
    July 24, 2010 at 8:56 pm

    Mike,

    Not only is your information SO helpful, you do such a great job of organizing it so that it’s dummied down enough for “we non-trainers”. I shared it with my husband and he was extremely interested in going into your site to study its contents. Up until this time, I have been taking the bull by the horns, with him carrying through with my requests/suggestions. I’m glad you could inspire him to be an active student. 🙂

    Moxie is going to stay right where he is. We’re in it for the long term. We have been working very hard to learn/train in a manner that leaves no question who is in charge. I am grateful that Moxie has come into our life, so that we can fully appreciate the changes that need to take place, if we intend to continue with our rescue efforts. For the past 32 years we have always rescued Bedlingtons and Bichons. Up until now, the focus of our efforts has always been on socialization and basic obedience. Our dogs have been puppy mill products or those who have been rescued from neglect/abuse. We have been fortunate in that none have had aggression issues…UNTIL Moxie. He has taught us a lot about what we could be doing much better! Your insight has been invaluable.

    Since our changes, Moxie has made GREAT progress. There has not been an attack in five weeks. He and Bubby have shared spaces and rooms, without conflict. They have even been greeting each other, nose to nose, and blitzing around the house together (especially after baths). In addition to the doggie Prozac, the differences in our household have allowed him to become a much more relaxed and well adjusted dog. Even his obsessions have decreased. He is still air snapping while communicating to us, but ignoring it extinguishes it. I’ve seen our geriatric dogs do “fly biting”, but have never had a younger dog use it as communication. It’s very strange. I am not naive enough to think that it’s time to let my guard down when supervising their “together time”, but the tension level has definitely decreased.

    With our changes in training, the most obvious change has been in Bubby. I’m not certain what he is communicating with his actions. He spends much of his time during the day just standing and staring at me or pacing and watching me, no matter what I’m doing. He has always been one of those velcro dogs that does lengthy eye contact, but it has become more exaggerated. He will stand and stare, inching toward me a few steps at a time. Then he’ll walk away and come back and start it all over again. He never really lies down to settle or relax until evening. It’s that behavior that makes you feel like you’re being yelled at or given instruction, by the look he’s shooting you. I ignore and go on with my activity, but he is relentless. I have sent him to his place, in another room or part of the room and he stays for a short while and then heads right back into his guard duty. The other day it was so annoying that I crated him in the other room, just so he’d respect my space. He has always wanted to be in my company, but would be happy to lie down and snooze. He was just content with being able to see me. Those days seem to be over. I’d appreciate your insight on this change.

    Once again, thanks for your help. I’ve put Joe on your site so that he can learn from your teaching and information. He’s enjoying it. It helps him understand why I’m doing what I’m doing, instead of just carrying through with what I request him to do. I just retired from 32 years of teaching, so I guess he thinks I might want to keep the skills fine tuned…so he depends on me to instruct. 🙂 Thanks for helping me out with that!

    Donna

  • RUBY288

    Member
    July 14, 2010 at 12:11 am

    Thanks for getting back to me Mike. I’m not a savvy forum user, so I probably went about it incorrectly. Your reply confirmed the beliefs that my husband and I have about Moxie. I’ll start by answering your questions.

    *None of our three dogs are aggressive towards people and all three seem to love children and babies. Moxie is the only one who exhibits aggression towards any living creature. He is friendly with some dogs, but is sometimes aggressive to dogs when we approach them on a walk. He is doing better now, in response to a “leave it” command that we use as the dog(s) approach. Moxie is also aggressive towards squirrels and chipmunks, but especially cats. When we first rescued Moxie he loved to mouth hands, but responded quickly to correction and no longer attempts to do that. He also growls (sometimes lunges) at moving objects (bikes, scooters, motorcyles, skateboards) that pass us while we’re on our daily walks. It seems that once he realizes what the object is, as it moves more into his direct vision, he relaxes and “leaves it”.

    *Bubby and Pacer have lived together for seven years and have always gotten along beautifully. Bubby is the more demonstrative of the two, however, I’m not certain if “in charge” is the right way to phrase it. Both seemed to look to Joe and I to lead the way. Our 18 year old blind and deaf female, passed away in September. She lived with us for eight years and was the “head honcho” until the last six months of her life.

    *Background on Bubby and Pacer:

    Bubby – puppy mill dog (pet store purchase), removed from neglect situation (malnourished, drank dirty water, lived outside, children were also removed by social services, had to be wormed numerous times, intestinal cysts due to Giardia Lambia infection, etc.), very intelligent and perceptive about the people around him, quick learner, athletic, velcro dog, lots of skin allergies and food allergies, marker (goes months not doing it and then will start marking again), UTI’s with stones, tends to be a “humper” when dogs enter his territory, high food drive and a dog that appears to constantly stare at his humans, waiting for instructions, attention or direction. It is very unusual that you glance at Bubby and not find him looking at or watching you.

    Pacer- puppy mill dog (pet store purchase), abuse case (came to us hand shy and hugging walls, seven years ago), quiet, very fearful of sounds (even a cough or sneeze), has meltdowns with storms, fireworks, smoke alarms, horns, etc., now very friendly and enjoys togetherness with calm and peaceful people, tail wagger, enjoys limited amounts of attention but also likes his alone time and likes to play with Bubby and tries to initiate it (with little response from Bubby). Bubby will only play with him, if BUBBY initiates it (I guess that’s a sign of dominance???) We teasingly refer to Pacer as our autistic dog, as he tends to live in his own world and suffers from severe noise/sound anxiety/aversion.

    *Moxie has not attacked Bubby in a month. We work hard to include anyone who enters our home, to do so calmly and interact with the dogs in a way that does not reinforce excitement. Also, I have been working with Bubby and Moxie on daily Protocol for Relaxation training. They train together and do so successfully. All of the dogs get two long walks a day, at least one mile each walk, and they walk peacefully, side by side. When we leave the house, we gate Moxie at one end of the upstairs hall and Pacer and Bubby at the other. At bedtime, Moxie is locked in his crate, Bubby sleeps in his crate by choice and Pacer sleeps under the bed. Pacer has meltdowns if locked in the crate.

    Since I last wrote, a very strange thing happened. Our Pacer only has four teeth and seems to be afraid of his shadow. However, after a walk or meal, Moxie loves to wallow on a rug and rub his back. While doing so, he talks, moans, etc. Pacer has been going to him and “fussing at him” and then walking away. MOXIE STOPS AND LIES QUIETLY! What? The toothless wonder is in charge of THE MOXIE? Now I wonder if we’ve underestimated Pacer all along and if we’re misreading dog communication. We’ll look to your knowledge to clarify what we’re seeing. 🙂

    Thanks again! We live in Virginia, but our son lives in Larchmont, N.Y. We need to haul the dogs to his place and come consult and get some training from you. 🙂 Thanks for your long distance training/consultation and I’ll work harder to shorten my correspondence and become more “forum savvy”.

    Donna
    Bubby, Pacer and Moxie