Saturday, March 27, 2004

Oh yeah, here's the deal on biting - from "Good Dog U" and "Petsburgh."

There are four kinds of biting: play biting, dominance biting, and two others. Play biting is when your dog is mouthing you, then starts biting down harder and harder. Now in the dog pack, once a dog bites too hard the bitten dog yips and moves away. So if this happens, you yip and move away. It sounds really stupid, but it works!

The other kind of biting that Mojo does didn't have a name, but it's when he grabs hold of our clothes and tugs. What you're supposed to do in this case is tell him no, pry open his mouth with your hands, then substitute a toy instead. When he's gnawing on the toy, tell him "good dog." The 'no' should be a loud, sharp, startling exclamation. "Hey" works with Mojo pretty well.

Substituting and praising shows him what actions are going to be praised, and what actions won't be praised. It's that simple. Right.

It really works, though.

With Mojo you can use 'drop' instead of the exclamation, and he'll usually let go. We might be able to do that when we get into a tug-of-war, which every book says you shouldn't do. The reasons are complicated, but the gist is that you'll eventually give up and drop the rope, which gives the dog the idea that he just won a dominance game with you...and it'll make him more aggressive in the future. But by tugging for a while, then telling him to drop it when you get tired, well, that may make it less of a dominance struggle and more of a play thing?

I think this dog is taking over our lives. Oh nooo! Even when we were out, in the back of our minds was Mojo...

Went out to get groceries, and when we came back he peed on the floor. Oh no! I think the litterbox has gotten kinda gross again, and he won't use it unless absolutely necessary. So before dinner I got to walk him outside. When we went out, there was this really huge cat rolling around in front of our door, and I thought "I have to get Mojo away from that cat!" If that cat attacked Mojo, he'd have a major complex! I tugged him to the left, and he was fine. He was kind of weirded out at being outside at night, but no more weirded out that being out earlier today (which I'll write about in a bit).

Earlier today, before we took off, we took Mojo for a long walk outside. We wanted to bring him to 23rd street and walk around, but figured we should trial run him in the neighborhood instead. Luckily that turned out to be the right thing to do.

A couple of doors down, there was a woman and her three kids - one in a stroller, one maybe around 6, another around 4. Mojo saw them and stopped cold. "What's that?" We coaxed him over, picked him up, and asked the kids to pet him. Then we put him down and got him to keep walking...and he did, looking back every once in a while to see what the other people were doing.

We walked around in a small park behind our complex. Mojo was fine, maybe a little cold, but chugging away. Then he froze in fear (or shock) when we came upon a bunch of kids at the basketball court. He whimpered a bit, and refused to move. He wouldn't answer to his name, he wouldn't come, he wouldn't do anything except stare over at the bizarre sights & sounds across the path. We got him moving eventually, and just like the kids he would stop and look back every once in a while.

Inside, the scale of everything is probably OK, but outside maybe Mojo's realizing how tiny he really is, and that there's a whole lot of stuff out there that he has no idea about. That means that more walks are in the program for old Mojo. It's getting warmer, so that'll make it easier to go out.

It's his 7th day here tomorrow, maybe we'll give him some ice cream?

Mojo's getting better & better at this dog thing. We left him for 6 hours today, and he poo'd fine. The problem was some of it stuck to him, so there were these little dabs of poo all over the kitchen floor. Yuck. When we got home, he was excited to see us and really nervous/fearful at the same time. He was expecting to get washed, I'm sure. He was in his crate when I came in, which means he didn't want to go out there either because of the mess. He was pretty clean, though, which probably means he cleaned himself off - gross.

Watching "Good Dog U" seems to have paid off. Mojo's pretty calm & relaxed today, slept w/o whining, and even stayed downstairs quietly in the AM by himself for two hours!

I think we've figured out the biting thing, thanks to a mini-marathon of dog TV shows. More later - it's nice, so we'll head out for a walk & such.

He doesn't like running around the kitchen anymore. Instead of chasing me (or ela), he just sits there looking at us.

Mojo looks bigger today too.

Friday, March 26, 2004

At the battle of Midway the Japanese carrier captains decided to change their planes from bombs to torpedoes, then were attacked while fully loaded, fueled, and armed planes were on the flight deck. This unfortunate timing doomed the carrier fleet.

In much the same way, we were blindsided while changing Mojo's litterbox at 6 or so. He peed, we emptied the litter box to clean it out, then he started doing the "I've gotta go" dance. That dance, by the way, is him running around in circles really really fast. There's a religious sect called the spinners (?) that did the same thing...except they did it when the spirit came over them. Mojo's spinning isn't religious, but same idea.

Well anyway, it was panic time. The box was already empty, and ready to be washed out, and the litter was upstairs. I yelled to Ela to get the litter, and she went up and got the bag 'o litter while I tried to distract Mojo. She poured litter into the tray while I distracted Mojo, then I put him into the tray. Doh! There wasn't quite enough litter, so as Mojo snuffled around in the tray I sort of shoved litter under his butt so there's be someting there when he finally let go.

Of course he was majorly constipated at this point, and really had to squeeze it out. It was kinda soft, and he got it all over his butt. Now was the time to remember what the breeder's daughter said: it might be worth it to trim the hair on his rear, so the poo doesn't stick. Doh!

So we tried to wipe it off with a paper towel, no go. Ela said we'd wash it off. So up we went, and we washed old Mojo's butt off in the sink. He wasn't too happy about it, really. We weren't that excited either.

Sorry for the blow-by-blow.

After the wash he was fine. He ate, then peed right on his mat! Ack! All that training, gone. Sigh. We penned him up, then gave him some distractions. We pulled out one of the kongs and put some peanut buttter in it, which he loved. We got the pig's ear out, got him a new rawhide bone, and left him to his own devices.

At that point, we were just tired. Mojo seemed to have forgotten all his training, and it seemed that all that work was for nothing.

We went to dinner, and 2 hours later came home, expecting well, we weren't sure what to expect. There was Mojo, and he peed and poo'd in the litter! Wow!

We played with him for a while, then he got kind of obnoxious, biting and such. I think he does that when he wants us to leave him alone to chew on his toys? Who knows. Right now he mellowed out, and is sitting watching TV, happy to be petted. Go figure.

Doh! We went out for lunch (yum, the imrie roadhouse about 2 miles away) and left Mojo home alone. We used the T-Mobile monitor method again. Things were great, but when we left lunch we could hear Mojo barking & whining.

When we got home he poo'd in the box, but peed on the floor. Bummer :(

Actually, today has been a bad day for peeing. Upstairs in the bedroom, downstairs under the table, and at lunch. Sigh. The under-the-table one might have been because he was tired. He just woke up from a nap, and was like "pffft." The bedroom one was probably because I forgot to watch him. It's getting harder, because sometimes he sniffs like a dog sniffs (catching a scent) and sometimes he sniffs because he's looking for a spot to drop his load. Huh.

He's been asleep for most of the day. It's been drear, raining, and cold, so we haven't really brought him outside. Maybe he's got S.A.D.

Here are some more pictures for you picture junkies.

This is Mojo from the other day, taking a nap in his crate.

He likes twine, and was chasing the twine, not the bone.

Caught right at the moment of pouncing...

Mojo entered his fear period today, at a day over 8 weeks. The fear period is when he, well, gets fearful. From what it sounds like, it's when dogs develop complexes about things that scare the crap out of them. They also get startled by things, even things that have been there for a while. Ela saw him bark at a part of the carpet this morning, which makes no sense. Yesterday it was starting to kick in. Ela left her pullover (llbean-style fleece poncho) on the landing. Mojo noticed it and started barking.

Too bad there doesn't seem to be any instructions on how to manipulate this fear period to our advantage. If we can set some complexes up about things like biting, he'd never bite again. But all the books are pretty vague on the period, except to state "don't frighten the dog." Maybe in the professional dog books there are "fear period secrets" that they don't want us to have because we'll do it wrong and have a dog that's so afraid of water he won't drink.

So anyway, last night we drove to Petsmart to check out their puppy classes. The first one canceled their class due to instructor sickness, but the second one had a class going. We stood there looking, and boy those other dogs look big. Is that safe? Ela'll call the instructor today to ask.

We were looking through our havanese books, and though they're good about some things (like grooming), they're kind of bad at something else: breed-specific stuff, at least how havanese compare to other breeds when it comes to training. The KISS puppy book (from costco) is pretty good, as is the "how to train a puppy you can live with", but they're pitched at all dogs, from the smartest dogs to the ones dumb as posts. So their timelines, etc are by definition average. It would have been nice for the havanese books to show the average havanese timeline for stages, learning, etc.

The biting seems to be under control, sort of. He still bites, but he's starting to realize it's not going to get him a "good dog." Litter training seems to be working - no accidents yesterday, and he's going into the litter box more and more under his own steam. Ela taught him "bring" this morning, but he forgot it when she tried to demo it to me :)

We pulled out a new rawhide bone, and it's kept him busy now for around 30 minutes. The old one was just too chewed. Maybe it lost its flavor? A funny thing: the packaging said there was a chicken thing inside, like a tootsie pop, and we wanted to see what it was. Man, those things are hard to open. We tried a breadknife, a chief's knife, and I finally got a pair of wire cutters out of the toolbox and pried the thing apart. There was this little folded thing that looked like rawhide, but smoother. Guess that was it. It didn't smell like anything to us, but Mojo wanted it. It was too small, though, and he might have swallowed it. So a big new one is OK.

Oh, strange thing: Mojo occasionally takes a litter pellet and chews on it. The litter is made up of these cylinders that are around 1/2 inch to 2 inches long, maybe 1/4 inch in diameter. They're recycled paper infused with this weird-smelling chemical that's supposed to attract dog urine...or attract the dog, and thus the urine. It's probably not a good thing that he's doing that. It may be a passive/aggressive thing, because he only seems to do it now when we put him in the box. If he goes to the box himself, he doesn't do it.

He's really going to town on that rawhide bone.

Thursday, March 25, 2004

I took a nap, and didn't know how tired I was until I woke up :|

We're trying to tackle two things today: Mojo's biting and leaving him. The first we're trying by saying "aack" when he bites us, and it's sort of working. The first time we did that he looked at us like "where'd you learn that?"

When we leave him, he whines, barks, and complains. We were leaving him in the kitchen area (with the gates) all day, and he whined/stopped to a degree. The "quiet" command works, sometimes.

Thanks to T-Mobile (and unlimited phone to phone), we have a dog monitor! We left him @home, went off to the grocery, and well, he was whining and barking for at least 8 minutes. Then we hung up the phone, because it was kind of pointless listening to him bark & whine.

OTOH, he poo'd in the litter while we were away, and he's learning the "no bite" command. He forgot how to stay. Oh well. As we read in horror in the dog book, "it takes hundreds of repetitions." It sure feels like we've done hundreds of repetitions. Ack!

I think we'll abandon the yoghurt treats for hot dogs. They just don't seem to get the kick that hot dogs do.

The bitter apple stuff worked great, by the way! We sprayed this part of the stairs that he likes to chew on, and today he tried to and went "eeeuch."

We shot some video this morning. Ela's doing her bag stuff on the big mac, so no captures until later.

Nothing to report today, except a lack of sleep. Mojo poo'd by himself this morning, and Ela was frustrated trying to get him to do stuff. This was really morning, like 6am.

Our goal is to get him to sleep by himself, preferably downstairs in the kitchen. We've gotta suppress the barking/whining when we leave him (which was happening this morning when she tried to leave him in the kitchen).

It might be that we burn off his energy in the early morning (6-7am) by running around with him? I don't think that's possible at 4:20am, the time he usually wakes up. Ugh.

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Oh yeah, sorry there aren't more pictures. Mojo's lack of contrast is messing with the camera's auto-focus system, and most of his shots are pretty blurry. The camera is pretty old (3 years?), so it's AF system is a one-zone AF, not a 9 or 15 zone AF.

Videos coming soon (there goes my bandwidth limit).

This is from earlier today. We have a pilates step thingy that Mojo really loves to walk on, lick, and chew on. Beats me.

Here's the little guy, still crashed out from a few minutes ago.

These are so you can see what the fenced-off kitchen area looks like. The litterbox is there on the red rug.

Ela & I were talking about Mojo and the biscuits at dinner, trying to figure out why it's having this effect on Mojo. It's almost like puppy speed, these things. So first Ela was like "what do the directions say?" "Directions?"

I dragged out the container, and it said - get this - 3 to 4 biscuits a day! Holy crap!

Looking at the ingredients, nothing really stood out. The first three were 'wheat flour', 'chicken by-product meal', 'chicken fat'. Hey, what's that? My theory is that Mojo's getting carbo-loaded (or getting a sugar buzz), then he crashes. I'm not sure how eating a bunch of wheat and fat would do that.

Eukanuba has a 110% guarantee, so we'll be calling them tomorrow and making some money :)

It's kinda weird, though. Ela was saying that now she understands what Brian, my brother-in-law, goes through with Zorah's food. Like "what the heck made her do that?" The same with this guy: what's making him do that?

Right now, our list of successful toys and treats are: hot dog parts (thumbs up, recommended by the breeder), yoghurt drops (from our old hamster, but they seem to be identical to the dog ones in the store), a nylabone, rope, carrots, and pig ears. So-so toys are the ping-pong balls with balls inside (petco), rawhide bones (dingo), and the kongs. I think the kongs are only good for hiding stuff? He played with the kong when it had a biscuit in it, but that's about it. Maybe when we try peanut butter he'll be into the kongs. Big zeros are tennis balls (I think they smell funny to him) and, uh, hmmm, I guess the kongs are pretty much zeros by themselves.

And his all-time favorite toy is this purple stuffed elephant (budda?) that Ela bought. It's his pillow now. Oh, and her blue slippers.

Oh, the bitter apple seems to have worked! Thanks lanny!

We discovered two things today:

1. if you stop treating, your puppy will forget. Mojo had 2 accidents today, because we stopped paying attention to him and treating him. He was off doing his own thing, and we were doing stuff. Then wham - regression.

2. When havanese puppies (or our havanese puppy) eat Eukanuba treat biscuits, they get a lot of energy around 1.5 to 2 hours later, and get more aggressive. I think this leads to the above behavior. Mojo probably was trying to get our attention with his rougher play, and succeeded.

But running him around the apartment, playing games (come, stay) and treating him (good dog, etc) burned off the biscuit-induced energy and he went back to going to the litter. Amazing.

If you look at it from Mojo's point of view, he was reconditioning us in classic skinner fashion. Heh. Well it worked.

oh no! we moved the litter box, and he had to he just peed! oh well, 20 steps forward and 1 step back. we moved the litter box back to its original location. Both of us saw him look over, and before we could react there it was - or went. Live and learn.

Oh yeah, just thinking what one of our dog books said: set your dog up for success. When we left Mojo, we removed most of the rugs in the kitchen. The only rug was underneath his food and water bowl, so we were pretty sure he wouldn't do anything on it. He wouldn't use the crate as his toilet, since he sleeps there. The litterbox was the only other place...besides the floor.

Funny, Mojo's getting kind of irritated at us about the "go potty" stuff. We get him into the llitter box every once in a while saying "go potty?", and he whined like "crap, not again." But he squeezed it out. He really likes those hot dogs!

He went by himself when we were away, but he had to go again. It looked like he wanted to go into the box but couldn't figure out how to get in...he was just sniffing around it. For some reason I picked him up & put him in the box, which I shouldn't have done. Next time we'll see if he goes in by himself when we're there.

Got some bitter apple, as recommended. I can't tell if it works yet, but we're hoping.

Right now we're stuck watching "Good Dog U," a dog training class on Animal Planet. Our TiVo has around 10 episodes recorded, and so far it's really good. The funny thing aboout the show is that the host is really training the dog owners, not the dogs. That jibes with what a K9 rescue owner told me about training dogs - that you train the owner first, then the owner trains the dog.

Success! Whoo! Our little Mojo went to the bathroom without supervision! Amazing!

We penned Mojo into a part of our kitchen area, and stuck his kennel in there. Armed with a few toys and his food, Mojo was well prepared for the next 2 hours alone in the house.

After lunch, and with much trepidation, we returned home. Maybe he dumped on the floor, maybe he poo'd in his crate and spread it around, we didn't know. Well hey, he poo'd and peed in the litter box! Wow, incredible!

Not only is this a great step for Mojo, it's a great step for us! That means we can leave him alone, at least for limited periods of time. What a relief!

It's morning, and I'm spending more time with this blog than my business plan :(

Last night before going to bed Mojo peed on the carpet. Whoops! After that, he's been fine. We walked over to the fitness room/gym in the next apartment complex over. It was funny: even though I was holding the leash (or lead, as the professional dog people call it) he was following Ela. He walks on the leash fine. We haven't gotten him to heel yet, so he was going back and forth across the path.

The fitness area has a pool, spa, and a bunch of machines. Even better, it's got a long wheelchair ramp to the entrance. Ela went up the stairs, and I took Mojo up the ramp. He whined when Ela went off on her own, but still came with me. How about that?

While Ela worked out (she loves the Precor treadmill), Mojo and I wandered around. He peed in the grass, and we walked and sniffed around the area.

On the way back to our apartment, old Mojo was chugging away. He investigated a couple of things, but mostly stayed on the path with us.

An interesting thing is he doesn't like to see one of us go off without him, even if the other one is with him. Hmm.

Oh yeah, this morning was "no biting" morning. Starting a bit last night, but really this AM after he woke up, he started biting our pajamas, growling, and tugging. This was something new, so we went off to our havanese book to see what to do. What they said is to say "no" and distract him with a toy. Unfortunately Mojo didn't want to be distracted, so a bunch of forceful "no's" and 'aack' noises will have to do. Plus, we lifted him up while saying "drop," to try and show him that biting our stuff was a Bad Thing. It seems to have worked so far, but we'll see. Today's going to be "make sure he doesn't bite people" day.

He hopped into his crate after our walk to take a nap, which was a first. Yesterday, he climbed a stair (we have a one-stair landing with his crate on it) and jumped off the stair. Jumping is good, but the havanese have a tendency towards luxating patellas. In english, that means their kneecaps can slip (ouch) if they jump too far, or more likely if their impact is hard. Still, he really flew off that stair like Underdog.

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

Ela & I were watching american idol, and Mojo was sleeping. The first two contestants sang, and they were OK. Fantasia came on, and Mojo woke up and was like "what was that?" She really is good!

A picture from yesterday.

BTW, that havanese faq was terrible. There's a better one, but I forgot what it was. It's in the google rankings.

We took Mojo on a walk (we went to get the mail) - and while walking on the grass, he just squatted down and poo'd! Amazing! Dogs just like grass better. He also hopped up stairs today, something new!

Went to Petsmart & petco. Nothing major to report, which is a major thing to report. He's been pretty sleepy all day, due to the revolution stuff?

Peed when he got home, then ate. No problems. Repetition really works, the dog books were right.

A strange thing that he's doing now is digging at the carpeting of our apartment. He didn't do that before. Maybe he's just starting to explore more, since the newness of his move is starting to wear off?

This is turning into a full-time job!

No whining last night - he went into the crate, and was next to me today. First, we let him sniff around the bedroom before he went into the crate. That might have been a good thing to do. When he went in, he was already tired because we kept him up until he poo'd. We went to bed at 10:30 or so, then he woke up at 11:30pm to pee, then at 4:30am he woke up just to say hello, I think. Then he woke up again at 6:30am - ela woke up, I didn't, so I'm not sure what. But that time he hopped into the litter box to poo himself. How about that?

Then we went to the vet in the AM, at around 9:30. Mojo was whining in the car, but was fine (kind of mellow/subdued) in the vet. He said 'hi' to a poodle that was there, and got to watch two really big dogs (german shepard/chow mix and some other dog) whine in fear as they came in.

He got chipped, and got the rectal thermo (ouch), and got a parasite check and all that. The breeder gave him his first series of shots, so nothing there. He got a revolution thing which is for fleas and intestinal parasites(?). Go figure.

I think Mojo was a bit overwhelmed at being outside, and was suffering from sensory overload. At one point I brought him outside the vet's, put him down, and he was looking around with this "whoa" expression on his face.

I traded tips and stuff with the other two people who were waiting, which was fun. Ela wasn't there for part of the wait, because we forgot Mojo's stool sample at home. Old Mojo is really an attention magnet.

We'll be bringing him to Petsmart and PetCo later today, we'll see what happens. Maybe we need to let him sniff around the car before we go somewhere, so he's familiar with the area?

Oh, and a friend (hi lanny!) wrote and said the "bitter apple" spray works, so we'll be picking some of that up.

Monday, March 22, 2004

This is Mojo on 3/1/04, from the breeder. He was a lot smaller back then, huh?

There's a havanese FAQ, which I didn't know. Go figure - I didn't look at the rest of the google results and stopped at the first match, Here's the FAQ:

Mojo got his first nail clipping today, and was great. No whining, just kind of sat there on Ela's lap. He's been a pretty busy puppy. He also has an unfortunate fondness for cables after a visit to our home office this morning. Gotta figure out what to do about that. After clipping, he took a nap, and we put him in the crate while we went off to do errands.

Well after all that good news, we left Mojo in the crate at lunch. He was sleeping, so we figured he'd be OK. Wrong! He laid a big-old poo right in there, and got it all over himself. So he got his first bath!

It was pretty gross, scraping dog dung off of the bedding. And he didn't like the bath, though he took it pretty well. He was shivering and whining, but didn't run away or bite us. He really didn't like the hair dryer, even when it was pretty far away from him. Both Ela and I were kind of running around sort of panicy because we didn't want him to walk all over the place. Our apartment is carpeted, and that would have been a disaster.

After the bath, he was up and running around like nothing happened. We used Johnson's Baby Shampoo (a leftover bottle from when Ela's nephew was here) instead of pet shampoo because we haven't gotten pet shampoo yet. He was shivering, but got nice and fluffed, and was as good as new.

He remembered where he needed to "go potty," but only if we put him there. How do we get him to go there by himself?

Boy it's sure hard to work when you've got a puppy. Between this dumb weblog and the dog, there's no time to do anything.

Mojo is his new name - it's official, at least for now...

Hmmm. It sounds like the dog's name isn't quite set in stone. Ela doesn't like koko, so it's back to the drawing board. And I think he already recognizes that as his name. Maybe it won't be such a big deal - if he recognized koko in a few hours, then he shouldn't have trouble with another name.

He slept in the crate last night. Wow, dogs sure can whine. We left him next to the bed first. We tried the clock thing, the hot water bottle thing, then moved him out to the hallway. Then after a while he stopped whining. It's amazing, the number of sounds a whining dog makes!

He peed again in the litter last night. Whoa, this is becoming a trend. Then at around 12:30 he started whining again and Ela woke up and well, no pee, but she put the crate next to her on a luggage rack that we snarfed a few years back and no more whining. How about that?

They (ela and not-koko) woke up at around 5:30am, then he successfully poo'd, then I guess they went downstairs and hung out.

He ate, then peed again in the litter (had to pick him up and put him in, cause he was sort of snuffling around).

Now it's naptime again (2nd nap today). Time to get some work done.

Sunday, March 21, 2004

Here's a picture of the little guy from earlier this afternoon.

Well, we got our puppy today. We drove out to Independence, OR to pick him up from the breeder. We didn't have a name for him when we got there; we thought of hundreds of names, but decided that it'd be better to fit the name to the dog.

So when we got home we came up with a name: cocoa, or koko - they're pronounced the same, so it doesn't really matter which one it is. I guess we'll pick a spelling when we need to.

For today, he responds to his name (wow), learned 'come' (sort of), walked on a leash, and poo'd in the litter pan (hooray!). He still hasn't peed in the pan though (bummer), but we're working on it.

Then as we ate dinner at the TV, he fell asleep beside (and on top) of us. Wow, what a first day with our new dog.

More backstory'll get put in later...but it's bedtime right now. Good night!

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