Monday, January 10, 2011

Okay, so nobody's perfect...

Ferguson had another good day today and went to his first vet visit.  With a clean bill of health, fecal flotation test tba and the first of two lyme vaccines (all for $68 :D) he did pretty okay.

However, there are a few things I've figured out that we need to work on.

1. Gulping. With kibble, Ferguson gathers as much in his mouth as he can, tries to swallow it, chokes, and coughs it back up, forcing him to chew it.  We've tried to put his meals in a "kibble nibble" toy:
...however, it was actually too hard to get the treats out (even when I would roll it around), and Ferg is not food motivated enough to keep doing it, even after I trimmed some of the inside "teeth" to make it a little easier.  That is, if the toy stays out, he will roll it upon passing to get a few pieces, but doesn't keep at it.  So, we've started adding water to his food to make it softer, and that seems to be working just fine. I wonder though, if this will create more plaque?  For right now, I've been getting him used to me picking at his teeth and he seems ok.  We'll also work on getting him a turkey neck.  Just the same...this gulping thing is a little annoying : /.

2. Stuffies. Ferguson isn't the only one who loves stuffed animals (I do too).  Up to this point, I don't think he's ever met a stuffie that was hands off, so he was quite surprised when I stopped him.  He has learned to behave and ignore mine while I'm in the room with him, but as soon as I leave, he goes right over and carries them in his mouth (luckily, Eric was there to put a stop to it).  So, he understands I claim them, but in dog world, once the claimer leaves, they're free game again.  I suppose we'll just have to not trust the stuffies' lives with him by himself. 

3. Barking/Whining.  Fergus doesn't particularly like to be left alone, or be away from me.  This morning, after I walked and fed him, I put him in his kennel and went upstairs to shower.  When I got out of the shower, I could hear him barking and crying downstairs : /.  I quickly got dressed and grabbed a comb and went downstairs.  As soon as her heard me, he stopped.  I stayed out of his sight for another three minutes, to which he remained quiet, before returning to the family room and giving him another give minutes before letting him out again.  To my grey this progress?  Or is he only quiet because he knew he might get in trouble?  I don't/didn't correct him if I'm not in the room with him (if I am and he makes any peeps, I silence him quickly, and he obeys).  Eric and I went to grab dinner and left him in his kennel, but with my mom in the same room.  She said he whined a little after we left, which she ignored, but progressed into a bark, to which she corrected, causing him to behave.  I wonder if he was just testing her?  IN ANY CASE, alone training will continue.  I do not tolerate kennel barking. 

4. Getting in the car.  I drive a station wagon, so we put Fergus in the back.  He has no interest in hopping in, and won't do anything even if his front paws are placed on the car.  This is something I hope will cease with clicker training (will start VERY soon), but we'll see.  He is fine once he's in the car and just lays down.  But having to lift my 80lb (yes, 80 lbs...the vet's scale said 79lbs and he needs another pound or two) boy into the car a few times a day on work days will be lame.  

5. Come.  I know recalls take time and is something clicker training will hopefully fix, but for now, if Ferg is laying down all comfy, asking him to come, even just to be pet, results in no response.  I will have to find what motivates him and work in into our training.

Other than these few things, Fergus is doing TERRIFIC.  He is SO easy, obedient (when I'm present), and calm.  People approach us with their rude little dogs, and he takes it all in stride.  He now pees and poos on leash with less reluctance (side note: How many times do your greys poo?  Ferguson went twice this morning within four hours, but I think that might be his body compensating for not going much the day once normal?).  He is very polite, coming over to get pet/see if he'll get any attention, but goes back to his bed right afterwords, or if he doesn't get any.  He is sooooo lovable. 

I can't wait to see what tomorrow will bring :).

1 comment:

Never Say Never Greyhounds said...

I would stuff part of breakfast into Kongs so he has yummy entertainment while you are gone. Fill Kong with Kibble and then use a butter knife to mix in canned dog food, creme cheese, or a little peanut butter. Each time he goes to his crate he gets a Kong. If the barking starts after he is finished, I would ignore and not let him out until he's been quiet for a bit. It is normal to vocalize in the beginning... so as long as you are making the crate a pleasant place, not giving him a lot of attention/affection overall right now, and practicing separation... you should be good to go.