This blog was formerly dedicated in 2009 to my Dad who died of Alzheimer's in 2013. It's been three years now...and I find myself missing blogging...so I am re-inventing my blog... because, after all, life is about moving through, and going forward...

Friday, November 13, 2009

50 First Dates and educating Izzy...

My husband said he feels like Adam Sandler in the movie, 50 First Dates. (If you have not seen it, Google it or rent it, it is a sweet movie.)  Every day he feels like he has to start from scratch with Izzy.  She was doing pretty good while he was off work.  She was taking treats from him, and letting him pet and scratch her neck.  He returned to work yesterday, and she sat in the hallway, cocking her head, like she was thinking, "What?  Where's he going? Is he leaving me? What about sharing your toast?"  When he came home, it was almost like she was mad at him.  She acted like he was a stranger and she had never met him. Talk about the cold shoulder!

I talked with the trainer at Pet Smart and she gave me some good tips. Instead of "NO!" She told me to make an irritating noise.  When she bites her lease, when I am standing and talking with someone, because she wants to get movin', I make a sound that sounds like a wrong answer buzzer. If she nips at me when playing, I am to make a high pitched "Ooowwwww" sound, and or hide my hands behind my back.  The trainer also suggested pennies inside a soda can, taped to prevent Izzy from eating the pennies.  Shaking at her to warn her of bad behavior.  She also advocates, a water bottle on stream setting, right between the eyes.  Not sure about that...I may not have the best aim, and would hate to hit her in the eyes...

She is not a fan of the Dog Whisperer, as she thinks he is too gruff with the dogs.  Pet Smart has a more positive enforcement program. She likes some English lady on Animal Planet, who shares their training techniques. When I told her I had put Izzy in Time Out for barking at my husband, turns out that was the right thing to do...who knew?  I sure didn't.  I am flying by the seat of my pants here...

My husband told me, this could be a sign he needs to retire, so Izzy can used to him....we had a good laugh over the thought, but who knows... We will know a lot more of what is going on with his job the beginning of the year.  He used to love his job, and look forward to going, now it is no fun at all.

I had asked the trainer about her nipping when she gets excited, and the stalking stance she takes often when she sees a dog.  She has a "three strikes rule, give Izzy three warnings (high pitched noises/hiding hands) and if she is still nipping, isolate her in her crate with something to keep her busy.  Start with a short time, and if she is not learning, extend the time in isolation, nothing longer than 15 minutes. When Izzy takes the stalking stance, I am to acknowledge it and discourage her. I learned when she is barking at big dogs, and I am talking softy telling her,"It is OK", I am actually re-inforcing her barking.  So yesterday, when walking her, and she started barking and the other dog was barking, I let out a deep, firm, "HEY! HEY!!" and surprisingly, both dogs stopped barking!!!

She told me not to use the laundry room anymore when I go out, to use the crate instead.  I kind of figured the laundry room was not working, because she barks and jumps on the door.  The room looks like a cyclone hit with her bedding all over the place, water spilled and paw prints all over the floor.  When I open the door, she jets out of there like a bullet from a gun.  My art studio is in the garage, and to get to it, I must go through the laundry room.  She used to always follow me into the garage, now she stops at the door to the laundry room, as if to say, "You're on your own on this one, Mom"...

I tested the crate theory last night.  Her crate is in our bedroom at night, but during the day, I leave it out in the living room..  I met my husband for dinner last night, so I put her in the crate, with her Bong bone with treats inside.  She really has to work the bone to get to the treats.  I was gone three hours and when I returned, she was quietly resting in her crate.  Guess it does make her feel safe in there...

I hate to admit it, but I was getting anxious, feeling the pressure of where and how to leave her. I don't want to feel like I am prevented from coming and going, to live my life.  The trainer told me my goal should be to socialize Izzy, training her to be well adjusted and adaptable.  I like that goal, plus, I want her to like my husband!

They have training classes over a period of eight weeks, and I may consider one of us taking the course with her.  Izzy seems like she is so smart and has so much potential.  I really think she is basically a very good dog, and hope we can get her to trust and bond with my husband...

4 comments:

Fran Hill said...

Hey, Donna! Thanks for visiting my blog. I've been reading your very early posts about your Dad and then catching up with some later ones to see how he's doing. You write them well and with humour. Now I'm also wanting to know how things go with Izzy. I think I'm involved! Plus, just one look at your profile photo, with you looking over your glasses so wickedly, makes we want to follow you. Well, not you - I'm no stalker, and anyway, you're in America - but I mean your blog!

Donna B said...

Right back at you Fran! Thank you so much for following me, I really appreciate it. Starting this blog has really been a leap into the unknown, but I have enjoyed it way more than I ever thought! I love meeting fellow bloggers, from all over the world (like yourself). I am so impressed with the talent out there. It invigorates me, inspires me, and makes the world seem so much more connected. Talk with you again soon!

June Saville said...

Good luck with Izzy.
The dog in my life was a corgi with a very long pedigree and a definite mind of her own. We are a family of strong minds, but I think Muffin was the strongest of all ...
June in Ozs

Donna B said...

Hi June, I am sorry your Muffin is no longer in your life..how sad, maybe, when you are ready, a new fur baby will snuggle into your life.