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Thread: My silly Bella

  1. #1
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    Default My silly Bella

    Hi all!

    Our first couple weeks with Bella have been fantastic.. I haven't had a chance to post much, as (I think I mentioned before) we had a flood in our basement and have been living in chaos. The contractors are finally finishing up this week and we should be able to move back into our rec room this weekend (yay!)

    And of course, all this happened right after we got Bella. So, there's been a constant stream of workers in and out of the house over the last couple weeks, running noisy drying equipment, cutting out drywall (sheetrock), drills, sanders, painters, etc. But she's taken it all in stride, bless her heart! She's such a happy-go-lucky puppy

    We're already so attached to her. She's not even the 'family dog'. As far as we're concerned, we have 2 children. One 2-legged one, and one 4-legged one

    I can't wait to take some new pics, I really think she's grown, and is getting really leggy, LOL. If I could just find my camera!

    Anyway, I just had a couple things I wanted to ask about...

    We must have a couple of rabbits in our yard at night, because every day I find a couple little piles of.. well, turds. And you can bet Bella finds them too! Much to my dismay, she seems to like to eat them Of course, I try to discourage her, and when I see her eating them I run over and try to kick them over the fence with my shoe... nasty. Is there anything I can do about this? My main concern is that she'll get a parasite or something from eating them. Has anyone else had this problem before? LOL

    My other question is to do with training.. and though I've been through obedience training before and remember a lot of the principles, I'm wondering what you do with a puppy who is NOT food motivated? I could make my last dog do anything if there was a treat involved, but my girl Bella just wants to do what she wants to do, and there will be no bribing involved

    My biggest thing is trying to get her in the house. My neighbours must be getting tired of watching me running around my yard in my nightgown trying to catch my spunky little dog I've been training the 'come' command, and she will come to me from inside the house.. but once she's outside, all bets are off. Treats? "Pfft, who needs a stinkin' treat. I want you to CHASE me, because it's very fun!"

    Any suggestions, or tricks to share?

    Thanks in advance!!
    Bella's Mom

  2. #2
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    bella sounds to be doing great!! i can't wait to see pictures of her!!

    Are you completely sure she's not food motivated? Have you tried "high value" treats with her like cheese and meat? Kosmo was not "food motivated" until I started using things that he liked. Even now I have trouble sometimes. Last weekend I bought him 3 different kinds of treats and he stuck his nose up at all 3 of them!!

    He really seems to like charlee bears (you can get them @ PetSmart or Gobal Pet Foods in Ontario) and I have yet to see a dog that doesn't like them. You can try it? That's what we use for training.. also we got something called "train me" treats that were good..

    I have a system with him (thank God) where I come outside the door with him and say "go potty for cookie!" and he sprints, squats, and he's back in within 20 seconds. It's the best thing EVER! Especially if I let him have a whiff of a "special cookie" such as a small piece of cheese before he goes out.

    I have no clue about the rabbit poop except for i know dogs like poop. Someone else is gonna have to grab the bull by the horns on that one!
    Sara, mommy to Kosmo ~ 4 year blenheim boy and Faith 3 year b/t girl *rescue*

  3. #3
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    Bella may be toy motivated. Some dogs are. Does she love to play?
    Holly - 7years
    Amber- 3 years

  4. #4
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    Hey...if nothing else all of that activity is great for socialization! As far as the rabbit poop....Jake and Shelby say that's not rabbit poop it's a delicacy! I had them up at the neighborhood park last night. Several dogs up there and they could care less. Jake would find a nice pile and Shelby would run over to be sure she got her share. They've been eating it for years will no ill effects. I try to distract them and don't let them gorge on it but they definitely eat a bit of it.
    Cathy
    Loving mom to Jake, Shelby and Micah

  5. #5
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    I love your stories about Bella.

    When she comes to you in the house, what are you doing? Is there anything in common to those occasions? Zack used to be better at coming when i squatted down and held my arms out. If there's anything like that which seems to attract bella to coming when called, you could try repeating that, with and without treats.

    Is she ever interested in food? When you feed her is she interested in what's in her bowl?

    Zack had a trainer who told me to start clapping my hands and call Zack, and then give him a treat when he comes (in your case, you would do this while she's in the house, when she will come) and continue clapping after you give the treat, while she's eating it. Keep clapping the whole time, from when you first call her until she finishes the treat. Repeat that ritual frequently throughout the day, day after day and if all goes as planned, when you clap your hands she'll come. You would then put her outside and practice, after numerous successes indoors. You can start giving the treat intermittently once she gets the idea of coming every time.

    when Zack goes out in the backyard and barks, i need to stop him from barking immediatley because i live in an apartment, so i call him and give him a treat to get him to stop barking, but if i don't have a treat, and i usually don't have one handy, when he comes, instead of giving a treat I say "go get your ball," and that is a treat to him, that i'm inviting him to play. Or if a toy is nearby, i pick it up and offer to throw it for him, which thrills him.

    The main thing is for him to have a happy association with coming to me. it doesn't matter what it is, it doesn't have to be food. I guess the challenge is to study her and find out what things make her happy, and figure out how to provide them to her at times when you want to reinforce or encourage something.

    Maybe you would find downloadable clicker training videos helpful. I haven't tried them but thought they might be useful and bookmarked this page.

    http://www.clickertraining.tv/

    free videos: http://www.clickertraining.tv/subject.html?cat=free

  6. #6
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    Thanks ladies!

    Sara, that's a good point. I haven't actually introduced very many 'treats' to her yet, so there may well be something that motivates her. So far she's only gotten some liver treats, and the Old Mother Hubbard's puppy biscuits. We have a Global Pet Foods nearby, so I'll go look for some Charlee bears. Thanks!

    Lisa, she loves to play and is toy motivated, but her idea of that is "throw the toy, and I'll run with it" She has a real thing about running with something in her mouth, whether it be a leaf, or a wood chip from the garden, or even a toy. If she thinks she's absconded with something, it's a running game for her, lol.

    Cathy, ok, I feel better knowing Bella isn't the only dog who seems to think rabbit poop is puppy caviar! LOL!

    Judy.. yep, I'm usually crouched down, excitedly calling her, and even clapping my hands and putting my arms out. She'll come to me inside no problem, tail wagging! But outside... no way!

    When it comes to food, she's a grazer, and she can take it or leave it. When I put food in her bowl, she'll mosey over, sniff it, but she never just dives into it with her face in the bowl. She'll take a few pieces over to her blanket, daintily eat those, then go back and get a few more.. if she feels like it. She rarely ever finishes what's in her bowl by the time the next feeding comes around. Even when I give her a biscuit, she'll take it to her blanket, lay down with it, nibble a little on it, and if she finishes it in an hour she's doing well. She's growing, and gaining weight, and my vet said she's awesome, so I haven't been overly concerned.. she's just real big on food, LOL.

    I'll check out the clicker videos, thanks for that!!
    Bella's Mom

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chelle
    Thanks ladies!

    Sara, that's a good point. I haven't actually introduced very many 'treats' to her yet, so there may well be something that motivates her. So far she's only gotten some liver treats, and the Old Mother Hubbard's puppy biscuits. We have a Global Pet Foods nearby, so I'll go look for some Charlee bears. Thanks!
    Check out Lamb lung fillets, i get them at the pet store made by Merrick. I saw that on Sit and Stay .com they had another brand of them. Very appetizing to Zack. Liver treats usually go over big with most dogs--but you have to experiment.

    Lisa, she loves to play and is toy motivated, but her idea of that is "throw the toy, and I'll run with it" She has a real thing about running with something in her mouth, whether it be a leaf, or a wood chip from the garden, or even a toy. If she thinks she's absconded with something, it's a running game for her, lol.
    If she loves to chase and run with toys, she should be able to learn fetch, which can be used to make coming to you a fun thing. Zack ddn't know how to play fetch when i first got him but he loved chasing toys if i threw them. I don't remember the process of teaching him fetch, but i remember he learned it in stages. The stage i'm working on now is having him get up on his hind legs and put the ball in my hand so i don't have to bend over. He's got it but not every time.

    What i'd do if i were you is, take her into a small room, a bathroom or any room where it's easy to corner her without any chasing. Take a favorite toy and toss it in the air near you, or a few feet away. In a happy voice, say "Go get it," When she picks it up, say (a lot, with excitment) "Good girl!!" If she's near enough to pet, maybe a light stroke along the back. Then you can just watch her do whatever she does with this toy in this small space. If she acts like she wants you to chase her, just ignore it like it's not happening. You can talk to her in a happy way, don't call her to come to you unless you think she will.

    Then, after a minute or so, when the positioning is right, without any chasing, reach for the toy that's in her mouth and if she wants to play tug of war, play with her, in a happy way. Then when you want, use your strength to pull the toy away from her, saying "Good girl!", and then throw the toy again and say "Go get it!" When she picks it up in her mouth, "Good girl!! You got it!" Watch her run around briefly, then reach for the toy and play tug if she wants.

    Zack loved tugging so he got so he would bring the toy to my hand so i would play tug, he didn't want to let go of the toy, he just wanted to tug. That's the idea. If she gets to the point where she wants you to grab the toy and tug it with her, then the next stage is, don't play tug very long, take the toy right away, throw it again, possibly waving it in the air a bit first, speaking excitedly, and then throw and say "Go get it!", and "Good girl!" when she picks it up, and see if she'll bring it back, if so, play tug for just a few seconds, then take it and throw it again.

    See if that works, over a period of a week or so. If it was me, i'd want to avoid chasing her as much as possible, afraid that would create a pattern in the relationship, a dynamic, that could work against her being well managed in the long run. Rather than chase, i'd probably put a 30 foot leash on her and when i want her to come, call her happily and gently pull her in (while moving closer and taking up the slack, and offering a treat if available).

    Sounds like you haven't tried treats too much yet, so no way of knowing yet if giving her treats when she comes to you will help much. I haven't used treats much with Zack because i had dogs before and never used treats so it's not something i think of or remember to do usually. I always just used voice and praise and fun, playfulness, and sternness under certain circumstances, safety situations.


    Judy.. yep, I'm usually crouched down, excitedly calling her, and even clapping my hands and putting my arms out. She'll come to me inside no problem, tail wagging! But outside... no way!
    Well that's great that she does it inside! Then you have the basis for teaching her to do it outside. She is already able to succeed inside so you can practice inside with high value treats, and maybe try that clapping thing, not just when you are calling her but continue to clap after giving her a treat until she's finished eating it, and do it several times a day, it will take a couple of days of doing that for her to associate a treat she likes with the clapping sound--it's a similar principle to the clicker training, but Zack's trainer said that to a dog, the sound of your clap is distinct, no one else's clapping sounds like yours, and when the dog hears you clapping, from far away, they will come, even if things are too noisy so they can't hear your voice. But this takes some time and practice.

    By the way, the suggestions i made about training, for all i know, those may be considered wrong by various schools of thought, just so you know, i'm not saying i know that it's the right way. It's just an idea i had when i read your post, about having her in a small space where chasing won't be involved.

    When it comes to food, she's a grazer, and she can take it or leave it. When I put food in her bowl, she'll mosey over, sniff it, but she never just dives into it with her face in the bowl. She'll take a few pieces over to her blanket, daintily eat those, then go back and get a few more.. if she feels like it. She rarely ever finishes what's in her bowl by the time the next feeding comes around. Even when I give her a biscuit, she'll take it to her blanket, lay down with it, nibble a little on it, and if she finishes it in an hour she's doing well. She's growing, and gaining weight, and my vet said she's awesome, so I haven't been overly concerned.. she's just real big on food, LOL.
    Zack is just like this, always has been, it seems like maybe his jaws aren't that strong. Although he has acted the same way with canned food, but i don't like leaving canned food down so i can't compare that much. But now, he will eat canned food fast, but i rarely give it to him, i dont' want to mess with a good thing (firm stools)

    But there are soft treats like the NB liver roll or lamb and rice roll that he will eat right up, they're very soft. Anything hard, he takes a long time with and may not eat at all. the lamb lung is easy to chew so he eats that right up, and there is a salmon treat he eats right away, it crumbles in your hand.

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