Wednesday, February 12, 2014
Thursday, June 02, 2011
Thorne is approaching 3 years old in a few weeks and is our loveable sweetheart and comical brat all in one. He makes our daily grind bearable and happy for us. He is such a love!!
Here are a few pics....some recent and some when he was a pup....one of the pics is from Puppies USA 2012, in which he is published in....YAAAY Thorne :)
Tuesday, January 05, 2010
We took Thorne back up to Tufts open field today....it's been awhile. We tried to avoid other dogs but ended up meeting up with them anyhow and Thorne did great!! Very proud of him. Only a couple of times when he did the between the legs hide, but then went up to them and met with no hackles up, no growls, with just a little bit of unsure type of fear. He was just so happy to be running in the snow!! Seems to be that his confidence is growing as he ages.
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Here's two recent photos of our big "Baby Huey" boy, Thorne. He is a love!! He recently had his checkup and was so patient with his vet. He's a tolerant dog with people. He never grew up with kids nor had much socialization with them as a pup, but he did so good during the holiday parties with my husband's young nephew and niece.
He's such a good boy :)
Friday, October 09, 2009
Our boy's sweet pic I took when he was just a wee lad has won the monthly photo contest through Doberman Talk Forums!! Each month a theme is chosen (this one was "Dobermans and Their Toys" ) and members of the forum all around the world submit their photos. Then finalists are narrowed down and a voting poll is posted and the members choose their fave pic.
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Monday, July 20, 2009
We did go up to NH for another training session with Julia on the 13th and that went very well. She also showed us how to train Maggie up!! Julia is great to work with. She really listens, shows us how and understands. We as owners though, must be some tough customers for her. Hard to train us :( Thorne and Mags are ez, we are the prob.
We wanted to check out the CGC testing up there yesterday but never made it. We aren't ready for Thorne to take the test but wanted to observe. We would like to have him ready for when the next CGC testing comes around though.
Instead, yesterday we went down to the park area around Lake Ave and trained with Thorne a bit. He did very well, considering how aggressive from fear he can be and used to be on a leash. He used to pull a lot as well, but he walks much better now. This training in the video is not his best session to date.... He's not very focused and we have had much better days with his attention more on us. Considering his focus was not right on his handlers, he still did well. Check it out.
Friday, June 19, 2009
For past two weeks we have been in touch with our trainer for Thorne, by email and telephone. She is taking such good care of our boy and everyone that comes in contact with Thorne seems to just love him. He's made quite an impression with them there :) A few of them there say he's a big Baby Huey !! She's sent photos of him training as well as him playing in the yard. He really looks relaxed and happy.
Julia said just of recent that he heels like a dream :) He's mostly choosing obedience over aggression when faced in an unsure situation which is good. We really need to step up to the plate as leaders now. He needs that extra boost of confidence from us on walks now, more than ever to keep him going in the right direction.
What is also very good news is that Julia thinks he should be ok when it comes time for his CGC testing!! Wow!!!
We have been missing him like crazy but almost feel guilty at the same time because we will be taking him away from all his new friends (canine and humans) when he comes home in another week. He really seems to have adjusted well and we are happy that he has a stable enough temperament where he adapted to new situations, routines and environments with ease. That's great. He's got some independence going for him now which he needed away from home. Sometimes, it really is good for a dog to learn away from his usual environment. We are going to change things up a bit at home as well , so he doesn't come back to same old routines.
Very excited for our big loveable goofball :) He is such an awesome boy!!! He's going to be a year old tomorrow... Wish we could be with him for his Bday but he is doing great at school and that's ok by us.... sometimes, you have to make sacrifices.
Anyways, HAPPY BIRTHDAY THORNE, We love you!!!
(UPDATE: Thorne will be staying a fourth week for more recall work...our boy comes home the Fourth of July!!)
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
took photos, donated some items and had the routine shelter tour.
We were in the area on the same day (brought Thorne to Boarding
School) so it worked out good for traveling.
PHOTOS can be seen Here:
" Dogs are our link to paradise. To sit with a dog on a hillside on a
glorious afternoon is pure paradise. Its when doing nothing is not
boring, its peaceful. "
Monday, May 04, 2009
Julia then put her own leash on him and walked him around the large indoor training area. He protested a bit at first but then walked with her and even ended up in a down near her. She gave him ample opportunity in her testing, to see his reactions towards her and he did well. He has a high threshold/ tolerance level and didn't try to bite her, whew. He did have a disturbing, submissive pee and fearful reaction when brought into another room where a Shepherd happen to be waiting with his owner. Thorne wasn't expecting to see the dog and had a difficult time with the surprise. Julia took him back into the room with us and then took him back into the same room with the Shepherd to end the experience on a better note. Thorne fearfully walked in with her and she had him sit. He then watched her to see what to do next. He almost knew she was in charge of things at that moment. She did say his fear/shyness is deep within him :( She also said he is still young and impressionable and obedience training will help his confidence though he will still be the reserved dog that he his but more manageable. She did mention he is a bit overweight, which we had suspected but weren't sure. Her huge acreage yard will get him very toned she said, as there is a hill he will be able to run up and down for extra fitness.
We set up Boarding School to begin for Thorne with her at the end of our meeting. She didn't influence us to set this up right away, she even said we can call her if we want to think about it more. She was such a sincere trainer and everything we have researched on this school, made us ready to make the decision right then and there. June 7th will be the day he goes!!....so excited for him and at same time going to miss him like crazy!! This is really going to be good for him. He will learn focus so much better than at home, too. Going to start a training diary of his progress with them and then with us in the follow up classes.
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Finally it's a real Spring day here in New England and Thorne is relaxing on the patio after running in the yard with Maggie. He looks like an adult but still very much a puppy (playful and happy puppy at that!)....
He is recovering well from his neuter and umbilical hernia surgery. Keeping his excersise to a minimum has been very difficult for this energetic boy. He seems to have calmed down slightly from the neuter so far (he used to pace in the house and pant a lot more) ....His hormones are slowly diminishing. I will update the progress of just how much his neuter will affect him in the next few weeks. Here's a pic of our happy boy :)
(click on photo to view larger)
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Friday, March 06, 2009
Fear aggression typically involves defensive behavior based in fear. For example, the dog growls, barks, and/or displays teeth to make the scary object (person, other dog, noise) go away. The defensive behavior continues because it usually works for the dog! Dog parents should understand the problem from the dog’s perspective rather than assume the dog is being irrational, because dogs are always true to themselves.
There is no one “recipe” for solving fear aggression, as each dog is unique. However, helping a dog with fear aggression generally involves dealing with the underlying issue of fear, using conditioning techniques to help change the association of the fear. The list below defines these conditioning techniques, and describes related suggestions for a total approach to looking at dog behavior:
- Prevent situations that provoke the defensive behavior as much as possible. The more a dog engages in a particular behavior, the better he gets at it. Since the behavior is repeatedly rehearsed, it becomes more ingrained, and is completed (and thereby self-reinforcing).
- Begin regular obedience training. Training increases the communication and understanding between a dog and handler. It also helps the dog learn and perform acceptable behaviors. Use reward-based training, which is giving your dog things she wants for doing what you want, to foster trust and to motivate your dog. Include relaxation exercises, come when called, and loose leash walking in your training regime. In addition, simply pay close attention to positively reinforce any desirable behaviors during the day. Dogs do what works for them, and they will also repeat what works for them. So, catch your dog in the act of doing something appropriate (chewing a bone, being quiet, watching you); aim for at least 25 times per day that you positively reinforce your dog. Some good books for novice dog trainers are Dog-Friendly Dog Training by Andrea Arden and The Power of Positive Dog Training by Pat Miller. For more in depth information, read The Culture Clash by Jean Donaldson, which explains many aspects of dog aggression.
- Utilize classical conditioning with systematic desensitization and counter-conditioning. Desensitizing is gradual exposure to a fear provoking experience, starting at a point that does not provoke the fear--and only increasing the intensity of exposure if the dog is relaxed. Counter-conditioning is the process of associating a previously feared thing with something highly pleasant, like food. Take, for example, the dog who is fear aggressive toward other dogs. The handler would take the dog on a walk, and as soon as the dog sees another dog, the handler begins feeding high-value treats (like roast beef, chicken, cheese). The feeding continues as long as the other dog is in sight; as soon as the other dog leaves, the feeding stops. With repetition, the fearful dog learns that other dogs predict great treats. A good resource for these conditioning techniques is the booklet The Cautious Canine by Patricia McConnell. Or enlist the help of an experienced dog trainer or behaviorist to make sure the timing of the rewards and duration of sessions are accurate. You can search for certified trainers in your area athttp://www.apdt.com/trainers-and-owners/trainer-search/choosing-a-trainer.htm. If the aggression is directed toward humans, a professional dog trainer should definitely be consulted. Changing a dog’s underlying emotional response takes lots of time and patience, but these methods work well on fear aggression.
- Learn to watch your dog for signs of distress. These signs may include a subtle tensing of her muscles, lip licking, excessive panting, head turning away from a fearful situation, yawning, freezing, biting the leash, whining, or growling. (Growling, by the way, should never be punished, since that is an appropriate communication warning from the dog that she is uncomfortable and/or scared.) When you see any sign of fear or stress, protect your dog from the distressing situation. For example, increase the distance from the scary situation, step in between your dog and the object of your dog’s fear, or use a squirt bottle on an approaching dog to ward off further advances.
- Make sure you are relaxed yourself, because your dog will mirror your emotional state. Diffuse a potentially tense situation by invoking Bill Campbell’s “Jolly Routine,” in which the handler becomes jolly (singing a happy song, talking happily to your dog, dancing, etc.) It really works!
- To further increase the responsiveness of your dog to you, try having him earn everything in life (e.g. sitting for petting, getting treats, going outside, getting whatever he wants), and appropriately taking away the reward for any inappropriate behavior (e.g. giving time-outs, withholding treats or attention). This program is also known as “nothing in life is free.” Have your dog sit or down or any other known behavior before he gets his food bowl, go outside, get belly rubs, etc. Dogs seem to thrive when they have jobs. Having a dog earn what he wants also helps to reduce tensions and anxieties that may arise in some situations because of a dog's uncertainties of who is in charge.
- Teach tricks and agility to your dog. As a dog learns new skills, his confidence grows, so he is not as fearful overall. In other words, the dog learns how to make good things happen.
- Do not use punishment for a fear aggression issue. Punishment makes a fearful situation even more unpleasant for a dog, could create mistrust toward you and an increased dislike of the scary object, and increases stress. Focus instead on setting up training so that your dog has successes and positive experiences.
- Don’t try to force your dog to experience the object or situation that is causing him to be afraid. For example, if he is afraid of bicycles and you force him to stand in place while bicycles whiz by, he’ll probably become more fearful, rather than less fearful of bicycles.
- Make sure your dog gets lots of exercise. Exercise does not directly solve a fear issue, but meeting a dog’s exercise needs may prevent other behavior problems. A tired dog is a good dog!
- It never hurts to rule out a medical problem when behavior changes. A dog may benefit from a vet exam to make sure she feels well, and many vets now have behavioral training to help you further.
- Diet is related to many behavior problems, and can affect your dog’s mood, so experiment (with vet assistance if desired) with various high-quality dog foods. Read the ingredients on the label; premium and super-premium dog foods have whole meat sources in the top 3 ingredients, as well as whole grains. Make sure the food contains no corn, no by-products, and no preservatives, as these ingredients could negatively affect behavior. The periodical “Whole Dog Journal” (http://www.whole-dog-journal.com) tests and publishes an annual list of excellent dog foods.
- Since fearful dogs can improve with less anxiety, consider using Bach’s Rescue Remedy, a homeopathic calming aid. It is made from flower essences. The theory is that each flower embodies a certain quality, and if an individual is resisting some quality, he/she is out of touch with that aspect of his/her nature. Rescue Remedy is specifically for dealing with stress. It certainly is harmless to try; you only use 4 drops in the dog’s daily water intake. You can purchase Rescue Remedy at health food stores or natural foods stores.
As a safeguard against the development of fear aggression, dogs should be thoroughly and properly socialized. This means gradually exposing your puppy to different people, places, things, surfaces, noises, and situations. The key is to introduce these novel things as your dog can handle it, rather than overwhelming your dog. During socialization, don’t coddle your dog for acting shy. Let your dog approach a new thing at his own pace, and leave if he wants.Additional information about canine aggression can be found on the Best Friends website, at this link: http://www.bestfriends.org/theanimals/petcare/dogs.cfm
Sunday, March 01, 2009
Never force dogs into meeting others
Allow the dogs to use their language in meeting situations so that they feel safe. Sometimes they will walk up to each other and get along, other times they feel that it´s safer to stay at a distance - after all, they have already read each other´s signals, they do so even at a several hundred meters distance - there´s no need to meet face to face.
In Canada, dog trainers who attended my lecture, came up with a new name of these calming signals: ´The Language of Peace". That´s exactly what it is. It´s a language which is there to make sure that dogs have a way to avoid and solve conflicts and live together in a peaceful manner. And the dogs are experts at it.
Start observing and you will see for yourself. Most likely, you will get a much better relationship with your dog and other dogs, too, once you are beginning to realize what the dog is really telling you. It´s likely that you will understand things you earlier were unable to figure out. It is incredibly exciting, as well as educational.
Welcome to the world of the dog, and to knowledge of a whole new language!
Saturday, February 28, 2009
My last post vented frustration as being proud dog owners to a large sweet dog that has a wonderful personality and is very loving. The frustration is the fear he shows in public around other dogs. This fear sometimes puts him in a state of mind where he feels he needs to bark and growl at another dog to scare them off, which in turn is not good for a Doberman to do because it only adds to their bad reputation, unfortunately.
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
This is just so sad and frustrating for poor Thorne and us. From before he was even born, we were making logs to keep track of his socialization and making sure he's exposed to lots as a young puppy to avoid this in the future. Well, turned out our puppy we picked was a reserved pup from day one in taking him home, very different from his littermates who seemed very outgoing. We had our work cut out for us.
We started taking him everywhere, even before all his shots to view people, sounds, dogs and the world. I bought tons of puppy raising books and read many articles on socializing and thought we were doing everything right, or were we? Maybe we oversocialized at first, too much at once made him overwhelmed and frightened him more than helping him.
- Please be more attentive to your dog and don't let him stray too far.
- Make sure he/she comes to you when called.
- Know your dog- if he is a puppy (such as four months) don't trust him because he has been ok so far, keep a closer eye on your new puppy. Not all dogs get along just as not all people do. All dogs have the natural instinct to be defensive if needed and all dogs are capable of fighting at one time or another, regardless of which dog started it. Keep your dog safe by keeping him with you. One dog owner can't control two dogs that have a conflict with each other. Both dog owners need to be in control. Please take this advice for the good of all dog lovers and don't get defensive about it.
- Keep dog meet and greets short, especially if it looks like the other dog's owner seems to want to keep moving. If two dogs are playing and getting along good, that's great...just keep watch on the interaction. Also, be happy your dog is happily playing :)
- Don't be too quick to judge - All dogs are different and have different personalities, fears and temperments. Please be understanding of that and give the owner the benefit of the doubt that they could be at that moment working with their dog and training them to act differently.....Remember this quote when judging a dog breed as well --> "It's not the size of a dog in a fight, it's the size of the fight in a dog "
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Sunday, January 18, 2009
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
It's been quite the Winter so far, lots of snowfall in New England and it's not over yet. Thorne doesn't seem to mind the snow and likes to eat mouthfuls of it in between play. Here he is yesterday at Tufts (pics taken by iPhone, sorry about the quality) when my husband took him for his walk. He met up with his friend, Herra the Dobie, and enjoyed some playtime. He used to be so much smaller than her, to see him just as big amazes me. It's gonna be a frigid cold week... prob not too much more walking this week. :(
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Since our last post we re-weighed Thorne and he is 74.6 pounds. He's feels so solid when hugged....lots of muscle on this puppy. When he runs, he sounds like a horse galloping :)
Here is a link of the best pics from 2-6 months old (iphone users can view as well )
Monday, December 22, 2008
This past weekend he turned six months old and weighed in at 69 whopping pounds! He is such a sweet boy that loves giving kisses. Life is so much fun for him....all about playing day and night :)
We had some big snowstorms in our area and he seems to like the snow but gets cold quick.
Hope everyone has a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
It's been a little while since my last post....been busy with this beautiful energetic boy of ours. Took him to be weighed at the vet on Nov. 7th and he was 50 pounds :) He's such a sweetheart. His Dobie traits are coming through while he ages.... He watches us a lot (not just Maggie anymore) and he catches onto routines quickly.
Monday, September 22, 2008
Haven't posted in a bit, Thorne's been keeping us busy :) Still taking him to parks for walks and socializing. He's also started basic obedience classes a week ago. His next class is tomorrow. He seems to be getting the sit really well (with a little tug on leash after walking in a somewhat heel) . He always sits at home for lots of stuff like waiting for his dinner, treats, basically if we ask him to sit, most of the time he complies.