Nightly Ritual

Every night at bedtime I give A.J. a treat. I used to give it to him to get him into his crate for the night. I stopped making him stay in the crate, but every night he still runs in there and waits for his treat. The other night I decided he needed to do what I told him to get his treat rather than what he decided he needed to do. So after he ran in and sat down in his crate I stood across the room and told him to Come. He came to me and I told him to Sit, which he did. I released him with an OK and handed him his treat. He took the treat and ran into his crate to eat it.

A.J. Has a Very Long Weekend

June 9, 2014

A.J. had a very long, busy weekend. Greg’s niece invited him to walk in the Relay for Life in Richland, WA Friday night/Saturday morning, and he really wanted to go. The relay is a walk around a track that goes all night, from about 7:00 PM to 8:00 AM. His niece said she’d be there walking all night, and Greg insisted he’d out-walk her. (Technically, the “relay” part means you take turns walking, and your team walks all night. But Greg and his niece both insisted they were each going to do the whole thing on their own.) We’d be staying the weekend with Greg’s mom Lucy and his brother Chuck. We brought A.J. with us, but no dogs are allowed at the track so A.J. was going to have to stay with Lucy and Chuck. We weren’t sure how A.J. would handle that. Continue reading “A.J. Has a Very Long Weekend”

A.J. Goes to Overnight Camp

March 22, 2014

A.J. had his first stay at a boarding facility. He went to Doodle Dogs for the first time while Greg and I went to visit family. A.J. was there for a week. It sounded like he did well and had a nice time, but I don’t think he slept much. He was really tired when he came home.

He’s sleeping in his crate now. The week before we left we went three nights in a row where A.J. was up barking, Continue reading “A.J. Goes to Overnight Camp”

A.J. Goes to Dance Class

January 7, 2014

This mail was sent today to everyone in our Reactive Dog class from Mary, our trainer:

“I wanted to share with you just what a star AJ was in the Canine Freestyle Class yesterday.  He came into a building with two moving dogs, was a little noisy but quickly settled down, got in his crate and was quiet.  When the dogs were working, AJ was perfectly focused on Jean and working.  I could not have been more pleased with the teamwork they displayed. No one would have guessed all the challenges they have worked thru.  I just wanted to share their success with all of you.  Congratulations Jean on the results of your great work with AJ!”

What this says it that my little monster is quite the show-off. Here’s how that day really went. Continue reading “A.J. Goes to Dance Class”

My Jekyll and Hyde Dog

Note: This journal entry occurred shortly before my relationship with A.J. hit an all-time low. His leash aggression/reactive issues were making it impossible to walk him; that and our training regimen were making it very difficult to get this energetic young dog the exercise he needed. We were going through some serious growing pains at this point.

November 26, 2013

A.J. is just crazy.

We’ve been to three Reactive Dog classes now. The dogs spend most of their time in crates. Well, all the dogs except A.J. Most of the time I can’t get him in the crate. And whether he’s in the crate or not, he has a little tantrum. He cries and barks, and continues to get louder the longer I ignore him. Our trainer, Mary, has had me do various things to teach him to be quiet. I basically end up standing over him throwing hot dogs at him when he shuts up for a second. It’s not working.

This week we took each of the dogs out one by one and Continue reading “My Jekyll and Hyde Dog”

Crate Training Take 2

November 2, 2013

I’ve been crate-training A.J. for about the last month. It’s been very slow. He behaves more like a wild dog; he doesn’t even like to be in the house, let alone shut in a crate. And our first foray into the crate wound up with a bent-up crate and a dog outside the crate chewing up everything in sight. But we got a new crate, a different kind this time, and I’m trying again. Continue reading “Crate Training Take 2”