Life with Sampson and Delilah….The 411

Archive for the ‘bad dog’ Category

Tick Tick BOOM

Thursday night Delilah and I popped into the drop-in agility class at The Mellow Mutt.

We were a few minutes early so I started my treat shopping, with Delilah’s help of course.

I was checking out the grain-free treats while Delilah tried to steal checked out a pig’s ear.  Sara’s dog, Chuck came over, whether it was to say hello to me or to tell Delilah to back off the treats, I’m not sure.  But before I knew it, they were snapping at each other.

What the BEEP?

I mean it’s Chuck, our buddy, the guy we play with ALL the time.

Chuckers went to sulk in the other room, Delilah and I finished our shopping and then we walked into the agility room.  I looked around and only saw one dog I knew, Brisco a really high-energy little guy.

I walked to the farthest corner of the room.

Dude.  I won’t lie.  That altercation with Chuck really threw me.

So there we are in our corner, Brisco is in one corner, there is a German Shepherd mix in one corner, an Akita named Boots against the wall and this couple walks into the last remaining corner with two Labs, one yellow and one black.

I thought Brisco had a lot of energy, but these two labs had way more and their mom said they’d been swimming and running earlier.  I thanked God right then and there that neither one of my dogs are that energetic.

We were up first and I wish I’d had a video, it was a great run.   All our future runs were mediocre as Delilah was now on the hunt for the treats left behind by the Labs.  In fact, when Sara took the chute up, Delilah spent a bit of time in there cleaning it up.

You can see the little brown treat between her legs, she could smell it but had the hardest time finding it.

During her first attempt at a run the black lab decided to rush headlong into our corner.

That didn’t work well.  She got a face full of chocolate lab.

Thankfully I remembered to scream LOOK, at which point Delilah’s head whipped around and the mom moved her dog out of the line of fire.

After the fiasco with the black lab I tried to keep Delilah distracted with treats.

The A-Frame was set up so when the dogs came over in one direction they could in fact run straight into our corner.

Unfortunately the GSD did not get the memo telling him to avoid the chocolate lab eating treats in the corner.

Yup, he was the next dog that got a face full of chocolate.

By the time we got to our fourth run, Delilah was exhausted and had more interest in cleaning up the leftover treats than she had in running the course again, and I was totally on edge, so we declined a fifth go.

I didn’t get a video of our run, however I did manage to record Brisco’s with his dad.

Up until a few months ago his parent’s were working agility with treats, but he loves the squeaker ball,  so Sara suggested using that instead which works a little better for him.

He doesn’t have the best form but his enthusiasm and energy makes him a joy to watch.  (Mental note to self, don’t hit the stop button quite so soon.)

The Tick Tick BOOM has absolutely nothing to do with this post, it’s a saying I heard on a show and I thought it sounded cool. 😉

Did You Ever Have One Of Those Days?

Did you ever have one of those days, where no matter how hard you tried to be positive, the negative tries to drag you down?

It was really cool here yesterday morning with the weather person predicting it would become more hot and humid as the day wore on.

Rather than turn the air on at 8:00 am while it was cool, I turned the whole house fan on, opened a couple of windows and gave my mother explicit instructions.

ME: After you’ve finished your laundry Cinderella, before you head back down to your dungeon, shut the window and the two doors, and shut off the whole house fan.  You can turn the air conditioning on as you head down stairs.

Now repeat it to me.

MOTHER: Yes, Queen Mother, shut the back door, the sliding door, the window by the pool table as well as the whole house fan and turn the air conditioning on.

She repeated that to me three times.

Okay, you got me.  I did not really call her Cinderella, and she definitely does not call me Queen Mother.

(She may call me a mutha, I wouldn’t put it past her, but she wouldn’t dare say it to my face.)

Sounds like a fine start to the day, no?

I work for an engineering firm, the office we work from is in the basement of a building.   I don’t know what type of business existed here before us, but there isn’t one damn closet in the whole place.  After much whining and crying negotiating on my part, I finally managed to procure some storage and filing cabinets.  Still we’re an engineering firm, we produce a lot of paper, much of it is rolled up plans.

Which have nowhere to go.

I have the ‘eh’ attitude where I just pile it up.  Really if you insist upon saving every scrap of paper (which my boss does) don’t look to me to find somewhere to stuff file it.

We had three hours notice that our biggest client was coming in.  Naturally my boss turns into what I fondly refer to as “Captain Chaos.”

Trust me, it fits.

The otherwise peaceful day has now turned into what can only be construed as aggravating, still I manage to get through it.

As I’m getting ready to leave to drop my co-worker off to his car, I remember we are having some trees cut down today, and the crew will be starting first thing in the morning.

I need to move the survey truck.

I go into my desk drawer where the keys are kept and nothing.

No keys.  One of my co-workers must have used the keys and not returned them.

She’s on vacation this week and her desk is locked.

I frantically dig through my desk as well as the office safe looking for the spare keys and eventually find them.  I move the truck, we hop in the car and I run my co-worker out to his car.  Then I have to stop at Fed-EX to drop off the plans that are going out to a contractor.

The damn thing weighed 17 pounds and I hurt my shoulder as I muscled them to the Fed-Ex box.

Finally, I am on my way home.

As I stopped to get the mail on my way in, I looked up at the house and noticed Cinderella mom had forgotten to close the sliding door to the small porch over-looking the driveway.

What the hell I thought, she thinks I can afford to cool all outdoors? (It sounds like something a mother would say, right?)

The dogs heard me pull in and rushed to door to greet me.

I pulled into the yard and saw the dogs faces at the window.

You know how sometimes things  happen so fast that you sort of see it coming, but not really?

Apparently the neighbor’s cat was kind enough to come over and hunt chipmunks.  Thank you neighbor’s cat, we do appreciate your help!

Poor neighbor’s cat is afraid of cars.

The cat ran across the front lawn to escape the car.

As the cat crossed the front lawn in search of greener, car-less pastures.

Delilah’s head went through the screen door.

WTF Wednesday

Surprise!  My WTF Wednesday is directed at my own house. 🙂

First at Hubby.

What? (He doesn’t read this blog so he’s not even going to know I’m doing it.  Judge me if you want. I’m rubber you’re glue it bounces off me and sticks to you.)

When I say we’re going to bed, why do you get up and get your snack?

W.T.F? Don’t you know you’re hungry before then?  Or is there something magical in the words we’re going to bed that instantly make you hungry?

I’m not like you, I can’t fall asleep in the blink of an eye.  And you coming to bed a half hour later than Sampson, Delilah and I do is disruptive.

It means everyone shifts positions and if I’ve been lucky enough to fall asleep BEFORE you come in, then I’m woken up and have to get the dogs comfortable again.

Maybe I just have to tell you I’m going to bed a half hour before I’m actually ready.

Yeah, that’s it.  That might remedy the situation.

AND Delilah, you didn’t think you were going to get out of this post did you?

Listen, a lot of dogs don’t even have a pillow on the floor, nevermind a sleep comfort bed.  Just because you didn’t get your spot on the bottom of the bed last night does not give you the right to sit at the end of the bed and bark until someone moves!

W.T.F?

How many times have you heard me say I can’t sleep or seen me get up in the middle of the night and move into the other room?

Really Delilah, I think just once you could have sucked it up and slept up near the head of the bed.

Just once.

Besides you know Sampson is going to get off the bed within an hour or two.

Is it too much to ask for consideration from your fellow bed mates?

Thank you.

Tomorrow you will be returned to your regularly scheduled blog post.

Can’t a girl get a little shut-eye around here?

 

Negative Punishment

I’ve become determined to work with Delilah on her down stays.

It’s not an easy  task.

Since she likes to be in the bathroom with me I figure it’s win-win.  She gets to be in the bathroom with me and I get to work on her downs.  The trouble with this is, she doesn’t always stay in the down.

I thought well maybe the floor (being ceramic and all) is too cold and she’s uncomfortable, so I took the bathroom rug and threw it down.  She still got up.

Listen to your readers.

A couple of posts ago Jan said, “Some of the best advice I ever got was not to try to treat my kids or my dogs the same way. They are all different entities, with different needs and all of them have let me know what kind of attention they want from me.

It was hard to do but I finally learned not to reward bad behavior by giving that kid or dog more attention. Praise the good one and the other will want to copy that behavior.”

This comment really got me thinking.  When I’m in the bathroom and I put Delilah into a down stay and she gets up.  What do I do?  I go back and put her in a down stay again.

I asked myself, “What does this teach her?”

I answered, “It teaches her that when she doesn’t do as I ask, I reward her with more attention.”

Jodi Stone, you are a bad dog trainer!

Look, I don’t want to scare you or force you to burn your retinas out with bleach so try not to visualize this too much.  Today I got out of the shower, dried myself off and applied my lotion.

While I was waiting for my lotion to dry, I decided to blow dry my hair.  Since I have short, fine hair I throw a little product in there, bend over and blow it upside down.

As I’m bent over in this upside down position with my hair dryer in my hands, who comes shoving her way through my legs.

Yup.

First I laughed, because I’m dumb and can’t help myself but then I took the rug and put it on the floor and said, “Down.”

She sat on the rug.

I didn’t battle with her at all, I took her by the collar, led her out into the bedroom and shut her out of the bathroom.

Seeing as this is DELILAH we are writing about, I need to make sure there is nothing lying about that she will decide to chew up or I will need to make sure the bedroom door is shut before I banish her.

Negative Punishment.

“Negative punishment reduces behaviors by taking away or withholding something good or something the dog will work for.”

I’ve been using this technique for a couple of weeks in a number of different ways.

When she does not sit while I am preparing her meals, I stop what I am doing and wait.  My motto is “Nothing moves in the kitchen if you’re moving.

When we are eating dinner and she is supposed to be in a down on her place and she gets up, she goes in her crate.

Last night we were watching TV and eating our dinner, it was a pretty intense show and we were both fixated on the TV.  I caught movement and realized she’d gotten up and gone over to inspect her bowl.

FAIL.

In the crate she went.

Get excited about this.

Let your mind soar as you think of the possibilities.

Dog doesn’t respond to recall = Dog stays on leash.

Child doesn’t clean room = Child doesn’t go to birthday party.

Husband doesn’t mow lawn = Wife doesn’t,,,,,,,,,,,

buy beer.

Where did you think I was going with that?

Book Update:  I haven’t updated you about my book in a while.  Truthfully, I wrote a really exciting part of the book and then I didn’t know what to do next, so I put it down for a while.  But I’ve picked it back up and my book now has 25,051 words.

Follow-Up Friday

For those new to the blog, my follow-up Friday provides me with an opportunity to update or revise a post from the previous week.

You know sometimes you post about something and you need an update but it doesn’t warrant a whole blog.  Or sometimes someone made a comment that really resonated with you.  Yup, Follow-Up Friday baby! :-)

Lab Adoption Event – Author’s Note

I did request an update from my friend, asking how many applications were received because of this event, but so far I haven’t heard back from her.

I will be seeing her tomorrow though and hopefully will be able to extract the information from her.  (Doesn’t that sound evil?)

It Takes A Blogville To Raise Delilah, It’s Been A Great Monday, The Post Where Delilah Amazes Me – Author’s Note

This three posts had a similar theme, so I decided to lump them all together.

Yes I threw it out there asking for suggestions for help with Delilah and you responded, I thank you and appreciate each and every comment.

I also realized I was missing a prime opportunity to work on her stays.  Every morning while I’m getting ready for work the dogs come in the bathroom.  Sampson will normally just lie down on the floor, but Delilah is constantly underfoot.

I started placing her in a down and telling her to stay.  It’s a great way to work on her stay since I am usually not more than 3 to 5 feet away from her.  Since the best way to perfect a stay (from what I’ve read) is to do it in baby steps, I think this is helping her.

I did enroll Delilah in the obedience class I mentioned and I signed up for their newsletter so as soon as they schedule the nosework class I can sign her up for that too.

In the meantime, they have stayed out of daycare this week and may stay out for a while.

I have been walking them every day and I feel she is doing pretty good on the walks. I will continue to bring her to drop in agility class when my schedule allows.

Last night she amazed me in a good way and this morning she was……Delilah.  Running and dancing all over the place as I tried to prepare her breakfast.

I’m not worried about it, we shall get there.  She has already come so very far and I am 100% positive she can go the rest of the way.

I’d like to end with one of my favorite quotes.  Wiki answers attributes the quote to John Lennon.

“Everything will be okay in the end, if it’s not okay, it’s not the end.”

But this is.

The end of the blogpost I mean.

We hope you rocked your week.

It Takes A Blogville To Raise A Delilah

Sampson and Delilah go to daycare twice a week for half days.   They don’t do a lot at daycare, they like to lie around and sleep (much like they do at home) and occasionally they get up and play with the other dogs or interact with Sara or her mom, Sue.

Hubby and I know this, which is why we dropped them to half days.  I feel that even though they lie around much of the day they are stimulated more by the comings and goings at The Mellow Mutt then they would be by sleeping their day away on our couch.

I’m not sure if I’ve ever mentioned this here, but Delilah has issues with dogs behind fences.  In the case of daycare it is dogs in crates or dogs on the other side of certain gates.

The Mellow Mutt is set up as such:

(I hope you can get the idea from this ‘drawing’.)

The drawing is not to scale, so along the right wall of where it says “fenced area” there are crates.  These are mostly used for the grooming dogs but sometimes someone needs a time out or certain dogs just like to sleep there.

When I drop Delilah off I have to make certain there are no dogs in the fenced area or in a crate with the door shut, if there are she will charge up to the crated dog, and bark like a lunatic, baring her teeth and snarling.  To say this is disturbing to me is an understatement.  To manage this I just make sure that she remains on leash and is guided through to where she needs to be.

Lately she has continued this behavior at the gate. Which brings us up to Friday.

When I picked them up on Friday a man was coming in with his big yellow lab, Tyson.  Dianne (one of the groomers) had to hold Delilah back as Tyson went through the fence, once he was through she was fine.  Sara clipped her on leash and handed her out to me.  I keep her on a fairly short leash in the retail area because she likes to shoplift shop.

Typically I’ll stand there chatting for a few minutes before I leave, which is what I did on Friday.

While I was standing there, Tyson came up to the gate and Delilah charged him.  I was so caught off-guard that I reacted poorly.  I yanked her and I pushed her down and told her NO! ( I’m not proud of this, but if I’m to help her overcome her issues I need to be honest with myself and with you on how I handled this.)  We left almost immediately after.

Yesterday while working the Labs 4 Rescue adoption event, I had the opportunity to really sit down with Sara and discuss Delilah.  I found out that when Delilah went at Tyson on Friday, she actually bit him through the gate.  Sara said he had a puncture in his lip and two teeth scratches on his face.

I feel horrible.  I offered to pay for any vet bill but Sara says the owner was ok with it.  Really?  (I wouldn’t be, but that is a topic for a different post.)

I told Sara that I don’t think me pushing Delilah down is the proper way to deal with this issue and I don’t believe it helps Delilah with whatever is bothering/scaring her about the fence/gate.

Since Delilah is like the biggest Alpha female I’ve ever heard/seen, Sara thinks she is disciplining the other dogs at the gate.  Sara thinks that Delilah thinks she owns the place and it is her responsibility to monitor it.

We decided it’s in Delilah’s best interest to not go to daycare for a week or so and see if that doesn’t help alleviate the issue.  I’m not really sure a break will work but I’m willing to give it a shot.

I’m anxious to hear what you think about this?  Have you heard of dogs with this issue?  Have you heard of any solutions that work?

I have no problem keeping Delilah permanently out of daycare, but I know Sampson enjoys going and once again it would be Sampson who misses out on something he enjoys because I just can’t get a handle on Delilah.

Whadda ya say, Blogville?  How would you help this dog?

Which Would Scare You?

As I’ve mentioned previously, the local LaCrosse team has commandeered our field, which makes getting into the park on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays a bit difficult.  The way I’ve been managing this is by trying to get home on my lunch hour on Mondays and Wednesdays in order to get our walk in.

On Saturdays I just wait until later in the day.

My friend has it easy, as her entrance is not anywhere near the field.  Today it dawned on me, all I have to do is use the alternate entrance.

DUH!  WHY DIDN’T I THINK OF THIS BEFORE?

I made a very crude drawing of our walking area and the two entrances.  You may laugh if you’d like, I’m well aware that I am not an artist. 🙂

I told you it was crude.

The brown dots represent trees but there are probably a lot more.  There are a couple of other trails as well, but for simplicity sake (and my poor drawing abilities) I kept it to a minimum.

We arrived at the entrance the same time as a man on foot.  I asked him if he’d mind if I let the dogs out.  He didn’t.  He was a thin man, glasses and a golf cap.  He kind of reminded me of a geek.  We sort of walked into the woods together, chatting a bit.

Just after we entered the woods Sampson saw someone and took off.  A few seconds later a jogger ran past.  He was big and beefy.  I apologized for Sampson and he said, “He’s a nice dog.”

Now which man would make you nervous if you were a woman walking alone?

Yup, it was the nerdy guy that freaked me out.  He was heading down the orange trail so I stayed on the yellow. We did a quick cut through and went to the orange trail in the opposite direction.

I usually carry my camera in my back pocket but I switched it out and put my pepper blaster back there.   When we eventually found our way to the orange trail, Delilah’s leash snagged a really large stick.  I picked it up and used it as a walking stick.

Luckily for us we did not run into either guy again, but we did have a scary dog encounter.

It took place up near the entrance we had used.  I was planning on walking the dogs down the orange trail for a bit.  Sampson was up near the entrance while Delilah and I had started on our way.  I called Sampson but he didn’t respond.  I looked and saw him still and stiff.

I started walking toward him and that’s when I noticed Tia the German Shepherd.  We have walked with Tia before but it was a long time ago and Tia has grown into quite the big girl.

Sampson was tall and stiff  and while Tia wasn’t in a full poised to spring position, she wasn’t standing tall either.  I called to Sampson over and over again, but he wouldn’t turn his head.  Meanwhile Tia’s mom was calling Tia with no response either.

I saw Tia’s lip raise in a slight snarl.  I had Delilah on leash and didn’t know what to do.  I couldn’t approach Sampson with Delilah because I know she would have dove right into the middle of it, but I had no-one to hold her either.

Thankfully Tia’s mom got in there and diffused the situation enough so Sampson turned and started back towards me, then Tia feeling brave since Sampson’s back was toward her, ran closer to Sampson to get a good sniff in.

At that point I realized there was not going to be a dog fight and so Delilah and I approached and Delilah rushed right up to Tia who ran towards her mom with her hair all up on her back.

Later as we were leaving the woods I saw Tia’s other mom walking in, baby on her hip and Tia on leash.  I stopped my dogs and put Sampson’s leash on and waited until they had chosen the path leading away from us, then we left the way we’d come in.

Yes there was a bit of excitement but it really was easier than trying to get thru the LaCrosse people to get to the woods.

And I’m happy because I have my lunches free again. 🙂

And truthfully, the two dogs staring each other down scared me way more than the geeky man.

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