We've worked on his fear of people over the last ten months (Wow, it's been ten months already??!!). He LOVES women! And he's getting used to men. I pretty much supplied everyone with treats to give him, and I bring him everywhere I possibly can. There are surprisingly few places to bring dogs. Obviously you can't leave them in the car during the summer, so it would be nice if more places would allow well-behaved dogs in their establishments. Maybe I'll start keeping a list of local dog friendly places. Anywho... We are still helping him realize that men are cool people, are capable of a good ear scratching, and frequently have treats (even if I'm the one that supplies them).
Jake has learned to walk on a leash. When we first got him he was like a crazy 20-pound fish on a line. I often walk him on a long retractable leash and he would go to the furthest extent in one direction, and run as fast as he could in the other direction for a running start to see if he could rip the handle out of my hand. He never succeeded in escaping, but he almost succeeded in pulling me over, and a couple times I was afraid he'd do damage to my shoulder (but he didn't). Today's walk was a little over a mile and a half. He no longer tries to attack all the horses, birds, squirrels, cats, dogs, butterflies, bugs, or the variety of poop along the way. He actually heals fairly well (don't worry, he hasn't been injured, I'm referring to walking on a leash), and is learning not to pull when he's not on the heal. It will be quite some time before he's allowed off-leash on our property. He's still a flight risk. I'm looking forward to when we can take a leisurely stroll around the property without him running off. And we don't ever allow dogs off-leash when we're off the property. There are way too many fascinating things that could get them in trouble.
I'm meeting with a trainer on Monday to make sure I'm dealing with his separation anxiety properly. He doesn't mind if I'm completely off the property, but goes crazy when I'm still on the property but not with him. Kong's stuffed with treats help, but ultimately won't help his weight. He needs to stay fit to keep up with all the doggy guests in the kennels. :)
Updates at the kennel...
Yard Lighting - to allow for more hours of play we installed lighting for the play yard. We aren't going to let darkness cut into our playtime!
Heaters for the dog houses - your dog will stay warm no matter what the temperature outside at night is. Each dog house now includes a dog safe heater inside. It will keep it warm, but not too warm, and always cozy.
Cameras - when I'm not actually playing with your dogs, I can keep an eye on them (particularly at night) with the newly installed cameras (complete with infra-red for night vision). When I hear a noise at night, I had been going out and disturbing the dogs to find out there was nothing to be concerned about. Now I can quickly check and see that they are all sleeping peacefully!
Personal Kennel Lights - each kennel now has it's own light in case of a need for after dark care (special feeding times, meds, etc).
Kennel Roofing - with the Pacific Northwest's wet weather, we have installed roofs to completely cover the 5'x15' kennels. They stay dry and comfortable, AND still make the most of the daylight hours.
And last but not least...
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MY NEW OFFICE! Patrick and I decided to build our own kennel office/shed. It's well under way and I can't wait until it's finished. It'll be great to get everything organized in there and have a warm, comfy place to meet with all of you! You can see the progress so far in the slide show to the left. Check back for more photos as it progresses...
And, Something a bit different...
Fill a spray bottle almost to the top with Apple Cider Vinegar, leaving enough room at the top for a 4 count squeeze of lemon juice. I use ReaLemon, but anything citrus will work.
I've sprayed this mixture on the dog house corners and edges, arms and legs of furniture, and the edges of the mats in the kennels and haven't had any more chewing so far. If I do, I'll add a little white vinegar to the mixture. It tastes worse than the apple cider vinegar. So far there has been no damage to the color of anything I've sprayed it on, but for the safety of your things, test a small area first to make sure.