Sunday, December 31, 2023

Puppy dreams and what it means for me

So Mikes mom got a puppy. And Mike sent me pictures, but joked it was ours to the point I couldn't tell if he was joking. All this is to say that I almost got my hopes up for a puppy, and started thinking about puppy training and socialization. And this made me realize....

I always say Cashew is undersocialzied. Yet in reality, I am doing very little to socialize her. Much less than I would probably do for a puppy. We talked about bringing her to the park to have people feed her treats (which is still a good idea, but with the weather being cold and gross outside it probably needs to wait for spring when people will be out again), and occasionally bring her to the pet store or my parents house, but that is it. And I realized I should be doing more. It would be pretty easy to take her on walks outside her comfort zone, or even when the weather is bad just try to feed her dinner out down by the lobby where people might hopefully be coming in and out. Anything to get her just seeing and around people more. And why am I not doing that for the dog I currently have but planning it for a new one?

Now I do think that having a confident dog model behavior would probably help Cashew a ton. But as much as a puppy would be adorable, I don't think we are in a situation to get one. But that is no reason to just give up on training or do less just because Cashew is a bit older. Her socialization window might have closed, but that doesn't mean she can't still learn. After upping her anxiety med dose she decided she loved one neighbor, I see no reason why she couldn't learn better social skills in general.

So my new years resolution is to work with the dog I have. To put more effort into making her into the dog I thought we were adopting instead of just occasionally whining when I visit my parents about how she is less friendly than she appeared at the adoption event. Let's see what some training that I thinks seriously about can actually do for her.

Thursday, December 28, 2023

Frustration in dog training handled poorly

So last night Cashew had one of her meltdowns when not getting to see another dog. I thought we had been getting better about this, but of course she saves her biggest outbursts of barking and lunging at full volume (I think it is frustrating at being restrained because she wants to see the dog so badly, but then she doesn't sound friendly) for nighttime when she will wake the neighbors.

And this was on top of the frustration of her barely eating any kibble as I'm trying to switch back to that for training and she wasn't happy about it.

Now there are many ways to handle this, and I'm sure I did it poorly. I am still new to dog training and sometimes my emotions get the better of me. So while she is lunging and causing a racket, I was saying her name in a frustrated tone and popping the leash. I doubt this helped the situation, if anything it might have escalated it, but I was not in a mindset to ignore, especially with it being nighttime and her not shutting up.

I feel bad about this, but I have to remember that while she is having a hard time with things, so am I. She is a much more difficult dog than I anticipated and this was on top of a stressful holiday season where she acted her normal, which was different than how I hoped she might. Ultimately I think we both need a bit of forgiveness.

Thankfully even at her most frustrating, Cashew is pretty darn adorable. Here she is after we got home from her outburst, ready for bed (and stealing the middle of my side as per usual)

Tuesday, December 26, 2023

Cashews training update

 Happy holidays to all who celebrate! 

Cashew has now been two and a half months accident free. Just a lot of patience for that I guess

I bought some Black Friday online courses, but as always I don't always seem the best about doing them. Oops. Hoping to get back on track. We have also been working on loose leash walking with the help of what I call food tube (can post about that soon), but now that I'm trying to transition away from that and back to kibble it isn't going as well. I hope she'll accept the kibble soon as the soaked kibble in food tube was making her breath bad.

I hope to get back to posting more regularly about what we're working on. I am really hoping to hit socialization hard this year, as the holidays were predictably not the easiest with her being so scared of strangers. Not sure how much progress we can make there, but we will see. I suspect progress will be easier when it is warmer too and we can go out in public with more people around.

Best of luck to everyone in the new year!

Puppy dreams and what it means for me

So Mikes mom got a puppy. And Mike sent me pictures, but joked it was ours to the point I couldn't tell if he was joking. All this is to...