Saturday, April 24, 2004

Just so you know how long Mojo's gotten...

Friday, April 23, 2004

We took Mojo on a long walk, and half the way there he was into the bag he went. When we started he was full of energy, and always tried to run ahead of us. When he got tired he'd walk next to us and constantly look up at us, as if to say "hey, are we there yet?"

Mojo grew again. We can't tell if it's his hair, or if he really got bigger, or if he reaches some threshold of perception where we're like "hey, he's bigger." But he mostly fits into the tunnel, whereas before there was much more clearance for him.

We tried some new things with Mojo today. One of the things they say you should do is let your dog walk over a ladder that's lying on the ground. He should step in the holes. Well, after barking at the ladder for a minute or two, we finally convinced him that the ladder wasn't another dog, wouldn't play with him, and wouldn't really hurt him either. Then we got him to hop from hole to hole following a treat.

Wow, he really didn't want to go into the ladder. He did, and each step got lots of praise. It took him a while, though. He did fine until the last one, where the little paint stand/holder is. He wouldn't hop into that at all. He yawned a lot, which was one of the few times we've seen that kind of stresss behavior from him. He also barked like crazy. He couldn't see the carpet? The surface looked weird? Who knows.

Instead, he hopped out of the ladder and ran around the apartment for a few minutes. Then he sat down, and we tried again. In the end, we popped him into the last step, and then he was fine with it. We'll try it later today, getting him to walk across the whole ladder.

It was also porch sweeping time. Mojo didn't bark at the broom (one of the big 2 foot brooms) until I started pushing it across the carpet at him. Before that, he was chewing the bristles. When I went out & started sweeping (with him inside), Mojo started barking like crazy. Was he jealous? Territorial? Who can tell? It was pretty strange, but interesting.

Now he's napping after the burst of mental and physical stress.

Thursday, April 22, 2004

Mojo seems to be using his nose more tonight. He sniffed the air, was sniffing around our bookcases, and around the apartment in general. He was playing with his toys, then started sniffing the air, then kept playing. He's never done that before. Maybe his nose turns on at 3 months?

We fed him some Blue dog food as a treat, and he loved it. He loved it so much that he doesn't really want to eat his Eukanuba anymore. Uh-oh. I was wondering what would happen if that happened. I suppose he'll eat his food no matter what, since it's there.

If we do switch to blue and he likes it that much, what happens if he pigs out on it?

Mojo has some new toys for his birthday! It's a beagle and a beaver, both from Target. He loves playing with them already!

It's Mojo's 3-month birthday today! He's 5lbs 13oz, and a real bundle of energy. He's also starting to bite more, which is kind of annoying. The yipping is helping, but it seems that he just can't help himself. So we got him a pig ear, but he can't chew the thing all the time. The substitution doesn't work as well as it did when he was really small.

We'll stick with the yip and silent treatment and have a large assortment of chew toys at hand.

We discovered tonight that the high yip when Mojo bites really works. He actually did it to us - I think Ela was playing with him, and he yipped. We were like 'whoa.' So when he bit us, we yipped. And he was like "that's weird."

We got him to speak, but then he got lazy and forgot. Heh.

Hmm. Yesterday he growled at Ela when she tried to take away his rawhide. It was another soft, gooey one. So we did a 'no, bad dog.' which seemed to work. Then Ela made him sit, drop it, then she gave it back to him and took it away a bunch of times - just to make sure Mojo knows who the boss is. Then we replaced the rawhide with another, non-soggy rawhide.

After that, Mojo actually came over to her and dropped the rawhide at ela's feet without asking. That's what dog dominance is all about, huh?

He fetches more consistently. And he stays more consistently too. They taught us a neat 'stay' technique in class. We never thought it would work. You sit your dog down and tell him to stay. Then you take a treat, put it in front of his nose, then sort of arc it away from him and put it on the ground (still in your hand). Your hand gradually gets farther away, and stays away longer, and if he stays on each rep give him the treat. Then at the end leave the treat on the floor.

I never thought Mojo would sit still for a yummy treat, but he stayed for two chunks of cheese when they were lying there on the floor, waiting for him. These dog trainers really know what they're doing, huh?

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

A funny Mojo thing happened tonight.

We have these rawhide chews (dingo) that we give to Mojo to keep him busy. Well they're sort of not edible, even though he eats them. I guess that's kind of bad.

Anyway, I gave him one, and he proceeded to soften it (via chewing and saliva). He then ate half of it by the time I noticed. Whoa! My first thought was to get it away from him.

At the first 'drop it' Mojo skittered away, carrying the rest of the dingo. Oh no! I went and got one of the treats from the show. I got the tripe, because he likes that a lot. I tried to substitute it for the rawhide. I said 'down' while holding the dried tripe in front of him. I could see the wheels turning in his head. Big ball of chewy rawhide in my mouth? Or a small cube of tripe in front of my face? Tripe? Rawhide? Obey? Chew?

The first thing he did was try and snatch the tripe. Nope, I was too fast for him. Then he ran a few feet away (where I couldn't reach him) and dropped the ball of rawhide, then quickly picked it up again and ran a few more feet away. Hah! He technically obeyed, but in a way that I couldn't get the rawhide away from him! What a cagey dog!

I had to arm myself with a treat that he liked. The tripe just wasn't enough. I went back into our treat collection and got a little jerky square. With tripe in my left hand and jerky in my right, I approached Mojo and told him to 'drop.' He did, then snarfed the jerky. Success! I guess that's a win-win for both of us. He got a yummy chunk of jerky and I got a slimy, wet ball of chewed rawhide.

He got the tripe later, because we showed him the tunnel we built. Ever since we saw the dog agility at a dog show (there was one earlier this year) I've been fascinated by it...especially the dog tunnel. During the trials dogs would without fail run through the tunnel twice. The first time as part of the course, the second just because it was fun. I've heard that dogs really love running through tunnels. So at Home Depot today I got some lumber and made a simple tunnel out of three 6' boards.

At first, Mojo was pretty weirded out by it, and wouldn't go into it at all. By the end of the night (after the rawhide incident) he was running through it like crazy. It probably helped that we gave him treats every time he ran through it. But it really seemed like the treats were secondary to him. Just running through the tunnel was exhilarating. Maybe Mojo'll be an agility dog when he gets older?

We have puppy class tomorrow, so we'll see if Mojo knows how to play with dogs. We're optimistic, since he now play-barked with a dog at the show last weekend. He also did the same thing with this massage thing we have (the homedics back massager). It was very strange, watching Mojo bark at and run around a back massager.

He'll be 12 weeks thursday. We put the second dose of Revolution on him this morning, and he slept a lot of the afternoon. Guess he gets tired out by meds?

We also realized that the disposable pads might be better than the pooch pads. The pooch pads are a great idea, but they're like cloth diapers for babies; they're good in theory, but in practice it's really aggravating to clean the damn things all the time. Plus, you can get 100 disposable pads for $18, which comes out to around 50 days of pads for the price of a pooch pad 2-pack. A 2-pack isn't enough, because if he poos on one it's over for that pad until you wash it. Sigh.

We'll also see about switching to Innova once we're done with our 20-lb bag of Eukanuba. The marketing on premium dog foods is just too powerful to resist. The woman at the show was so passionate about her dog food company (Innova) that it compelled us (or, well, me) to switch...or at least to consider switching.

One benefit might be that Mojo lives longer. One brand of premium dog food (hund 'n flocken) was developed to extend the lives of great danes in the US, who live an average of 4 years less than great danes in Germany. That's a powerful marketing message, so we'll be giving their propaganda to the woman in puppy class with a great dane.

Oh, and Mojo's poo firmed up and we're still feeding him Innova as treats, so I guess the smelly treats are the culprit. Funny that he didn't have that reaction with the smelly dog food (we used them as treats too). The vendor in question had smelly food, one in a food version (Mojo liked it) and one in a treat version (Mojo liked it, but caused soft poo [stools]). Maybe we'll donate the treat version to someone in class?

Monday, April 19, 2004

Here he is, with booty from the dog show last weekend.

These are blurry due to the brain-dead autofocus on our old Kodak dc4800. It's focused on the 8% of the image that has contrast, and totally ignores the other 92% of the picture - including the center. Grrr.

Just remembered another toy: the laser pointer. We've been using it on and off for the last week or so. He'll really chase it around.

I was reading that the dog's sense of smell is supposed to be hundreds of times more sensitive than his other senses. But Mojo doesn't really seem to use his nose a lot. He uses his eyes & ears more than his nose. He doesn't really sniff for stuff that well. If we're behind a door or something and we call him, he'll look around and be confused because he can't find us. He won't sniff and try & find us.

The only thing he sniffs for right now are crumbs of the treats that we give him. If it's a crunchy treat, he'll snuff around and get all of the crumbs.

Oh, we're trying to teach him to crawl. Crawl is when they're on all fours and, well, crawl. We'll see.

Oh yeah, something else happened this week: Mojo's walk changed. Or he got another style of walking. Or something. We noticed it a few days ago, but forgot about it because now it's normal. It's not like we could describe what his walk was like before, but it seems different now.

We've been experimenting, using the various kinds of dog foods as treats. He likes all the ones we've fed him: Innova, Simply Natural, Black Gold, and Pet Star Northwest (the last may be the distributor). He also likes this tripe treat from another company who's name escapes me right now.

The problem with mixing in treats is his poo got mushy. We're not sure which treat caused this; maybe all of them did? Puppy stomachs are supposed to be sensitive to diet changes, but we fed Mojo treat-level amounts of the food. Actually, I think it was the Pet Star treat that did it, but to find out we have to get him back to firm poos then introduce the various treats.

The mushy poo causes problems with the pooch pad, because the pooch pad is washable, not disposable.

One hilarious thing is Mojo walking. I read that poodles can do this too, but Mojo first walked "a lot" when we offered him some of the leftover whipped cream from a coffe we got (caramel frap). He really loves the stuff, and walked for 2 or 3 feet! Now we try and get him to walk every few days. He also fetches (he actually gets then brings) mostly consistently, and recognizes the hand signals for sit, lie down, roll over. He doesn't like to lie down or roll over, but he'll do them eventually. It's funny, sometime he grumbles when you want him to lie down...he's saying "geez, do I have to?"

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