Saturday, March 29, 2008

Takki comes when called

I've come down with a cold and haven't posted, but have worked with Takki. Thursday night I was not feeling up to taking Takki for a walk, so I let him out in the backyard with my dogs. When I was ready to come in, I opened the door and my dogs all ran in. Takki decided he didn't have to come in. I called him and he ignored me. I grabbed my stock stick (6' flexible pole) and began chasing him. I didn't threaten him or hit him with the stick, I just tapped the ground behind him to make sure he wanted to run. I am a fat, middle aged woman coming down with a cold. I was lucky he was so confused by my strange behavior instead of keeping it up more than twice around the yard, he stopped and turned toward me. I called him, he came to me. I took a hold of his collar and gave him a treat. Then I told him to go play. He trotted away and stopped about 6' away from me (out of reach). I walked towards the door and called him. He came in with me.
The next day I let him out again. I realize chasing a Siberian Husky around my back yard probably takes more energy than walking said Siberian, but he needs to learn the lesson.
I called, he ignored me. I didn't have my stock stick, I just began running towards him telling him to "Move!" He ran, Quinn made himself as small as possible in the middle of the yard and Danny and Missy ran behind me (Missy knows this 'game'). I encouraged him to run once around the yard then called him, he came to me. I took a hold of his collar (no treat) and then let him go and told him to Go Play. He did, I raked the back yard. When I was done, I called the dogs to me and all of them (even Takki) came to me and we went inside.
This is not my invention, I stole this idea from Shirley fair and square. But I do know it works. When my previous dog Gita refused to come to me in the park, I got in the car and drove away. When I got Missy, I knew if I left her at the Dog Park she wouldn't care. My choices were to walk her down or make sure running away from me was not a 'fun' experience.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Takki meets my dogs

Takki met my dogs yesterday. I introduced him to Danny first. Danny's the 'alpha' of my pack, though he's not quite right mentally he does a fair job. Danny chested Takki a few times and Takki submitted appropriately. In fact, I think Takki's in love. When I introduced him to Missy (who is very confident and expects everyone to love and play with her) he bared his teeth and growled at her and Quinn was less than nothing to him. But he wants to be near Danny at all times. Danny was on his bed in the living room and Takki did everything he could to be on the left side of me and doing his down stay by Danny.

Since my goal is to encourage Takki to care more about people than dogs, he hasn't had an opportunity to worship Danny today.

Takki has to work for everything he gets. He has to sit before we go out for walks, etc. He's sleeping in the crate downstairs, and he is unhappy. I can hear him through the heating ducts yipping most of the night. Luckily, I have a white noise machine so once I turn that on it doesn't matter what Takki says.

He did go off his hunger strike--tonight he ate food out of the bowl I was holding. Common to most Siberians, food is not very important, so when I told him he had to work for his food (or let me control the bowl) he made the decision to walk away rather than eat. This morning I had to plot a track for a tracking test so I took Takki with me to the park. When I had some down time, I worked with him offering his food as rewards. He worked for me a little, but was very timid and had great difficulty focusing. When another volunteer came up to talk to us, he actually hid behind me. My goal on this front is to get him to as many new places as possible. I'm not overly concerned about him greeting people, but he needs to become more comfortable in new environments if competition is in his future. I'll be taking him back to the park tomorrow, we'll see how he does with more people and dogs.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

First Meeting

When I first met Takki he came out of the trailer with his ears and tail up. His chest was puffed out and he looked like he was ready to take on the world. I offered to take him over to have a potty break and Lyda let me have his leash. He pulled quite a bit, but he is a Siberian. I love boy dogs they are sooo easy to potty. He went right away and wanted to go immediately back to Mom.
We had some people come up to us in the parking lot to meet the dogs. Takki was a little shy, but mostly the gentleman seemed hesitant so Takki was reflecting his behavior.
When we got home (a 5 hour drive) he came into the house very timid. He seemed almost frightened of everything, but now he's settled in and trying to explore everywhere. He hasn't met my dogs yet (there playing outside right now). He did meet one of my cats, she hissed at him and he immediately backed off.
He's being tethered to me while he's out of the crate. We went for a quick walk in the neighborhood before it got too dark. He keeps looking at me like "Who the heck are YOU!"