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  #21 (permalink)  
Old 11-21-2012, 11:15 AM
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Sorry, but I have yet another question.

It seems like when I feed him less, he's more interested in treats outdoors. We had great success when he was on an empty stomach the past two nights.

We feed him 3 cups a day of this: Grain-Free Beef Frittata Veg dog food - Fromm Family Foods

He's currently 65lbs, and hasn't gained any weight over the passed month (weighted at the vet). He doesn't seem to want to eat any more than 3 cups. For example, if we increase to 4 cups, he will leave about 1 cup uneaten.

To keep him "trainable", I need to give him 1/2 cup in the morning and a little under 1.5 cups at night (after training).

Is this enough food? almost 2 cups a day? I have reduced his exercise a bit knowing that we're feeding him a little less, and he is getting treats in between.

Sorry for all the questions. Just want to make sure we set him up in a way were he can succeed.
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  #22 (permalink)  
Old 11-21-2012, 07:15 PM
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I wouldn't decrease his exercise any, if his weight is good (not to bony) I would stick with the same amount.

To me it seems like the loss of focus when seeing people in the fog or at night is a fear thing. Just to be on the safe side, I might want to have his vision checked. I would do what was needed to keep him safe, keep up a reasonable amount of training (don't over-do it but don't slack off) and relax.

Also remember that he is experience a testosterone surge right now (males have the highest amount of testosterone between 11 and say 14 months). That will probably make him feel odd and may contribute to his lack of attention.
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  #23 (permalink)  
Old 11-21-2012, 11:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walnut_the_Nut View Post
Sorry, but I have yet another question.

It seems like when I feed him less, he's more interested in treats outdoors. We had great success when he was on an empty stomach the past two nights.

We feed him 3 cups a day of this: Grain-Free Beef Frittata Veg dog food - Fromm Family Foods

He's currently 65lbs, and hasn't gained any weight over the passed month (weighted at the vet). He doesn't seem to want to eat any more than 3 cups. For example, if we increase to 4 cups, he will leave about 1 cup uneaten.

To keep him "trainable", I need to give him 1/2 cup in the morning and a little under 1.5 cups at night (after training).

Is this enough food? almost 2 cups a day? I have reduced his exercise a bit knowing that we're feeding him a little less, and he is getting treats in between.

Sorry for all the questions. Just want to make sure we set him up in a way were he can succeed.
It sounds like enough, given the calorie count for the food you are feeding. Keep an eye on him, if he starts looking skinny, up his food, mental exercise (training) burns calories too.
Try a few diffent types of treats, and see which ones 'knock his socks off', my dogs go nuts over Rollover (turkey or beef) and Purebites freeze dried beef liver treats (low in calories), and they would 'kill' for cooked beef. Keep the treats tiny (pea sized), they will work for cheap!
LAT training can help, (I have used it successfully, to counter condition my fearful dog) but right now I would focus on finding at least a couple of high value rewards (trial and error) that he gets super excited about (and use them only when training with distractions). If it is 'worth' working for, they will 'work for it'.
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Old 11-23-2012, 09:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Selli-Belle View Post
I wouldn't decrease his exercise any, if his weight is good (not to bony) I would stick with the same amount.

To me it seems like the loss of focus when seeing people in the fog or at night is a fear thing. Just to be on the safe side, I might want to have his vision checked. I would do what was needed to keep him safe, keep up a reasonable amount of training (don't over-do it but don't slack off) and relax.

Also remember that he is experience a testosterone surge right now (males have the highest amount of testosterone between 11 and say 14 months). That will probably make him feel odd and may contribute to his lack of attention.
Thanks for the comments. I don't think he's bony, but then he is smaller than most other Golden's i see around our area. I have noticed that he seems to get tired a little quicker with the decreased amount of food.

Perhaps he knows that he's had enough exercise?

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Old 11-23-2012, 09:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Charliethree View Post
It sounds like enough, given the calorie count for the food you are feeding. Keep an eye on him, if he starts looking skinny, up his food, mental exercise (training) burns calories too.
Try a few diffent types of treats, and see which ones 'knock his socks off', my dogs go nuts over Rollover (turkey or beef) and Purebites freeze dried beef liver treats (low in calories), and they would 'kill' for cooked beef. Keep the treats tiny (pea sized), they will work for cheap!
LAT training can help, (I have used it successfully, to counter condition my fearful dog) but right now I would focus on finding at least a couple of high value rewards (trial and error) that he gets super excited about (and use them only when training with distractions). If it is 'worth' working for, they will 'work for it'.

BINGO! Went to the local grocery store last night and picked up fresh beef liver ($3). Boiled it with a little bit of garlic power, then put it in the oven for 30 minutes at 200.

After training indoors, I took him outside to play LAT game (outside, night), but with no cue.

People walked by, dogs walked by, cyclist, etc. He took quick glances but never lost focus. Every time his head turned away from me, it took only about 1-2 second before his head returned and he made eye contact with me (at which point I clicked and treated).

Last night was HUGE progress. No pulling, no loss of focus (at all..not once), and sat beside me every time I stopped.

I also took the time to play the recall game with my new cue on a long leash, and that was a success too. He responded every single time.


I tried again this morning for a quick 5 minutes (outside, daylight), and although he responded well, he was definitely more distracted vs. last night. Still, not one missed "look at that", and no pulling at all.

I'm going to give him a break today and not train at all, then he has his first class in Foundations tomorrow AM.

edit* On my way back home, I ask out security guard to help me a bit (he LOVEEES our security guy). He offered to be a distraction for Walnut. I was amazed. Not once did he lose focus. My security guy jumped around, called his name, made funny noises. Walnut didn't budge. He took quick glances and looked back.


That being said, when should I stop clicking and treating him for not getting fixated and too hyper? I don't want to have to rely on liver forever.
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Old 11-23-2012, 10:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walnut_the_Nut View Post
BINGO! Went to the local grocery store last night and picked up fresh beef liver ($3). Boiled it with a little bit of garlic power, then put it in the oven for 30 minutes at 200.

After training indoors, I took him outside to play LAT game (outside, night), but with no cue.

People walked by, dogs walked by, cyclist, etc. He took quick glances but never lost focus. Every time his head turned away from me, it took only about 1-2 second before his head returned and he made eye contact with me (at which point I clicked and treated).

Last night was HUGE progress. No pulling, no loss of focus (at all..not once), and sat beside me every time I stopped.

I also took the time to play the recall game with my new cue on a long leash, and that was a success too. He responded every single time.


I tried again this morning for a quick 5 minutes (outside, daylight), and although he responded well, he was definitely more distracted vs. last night. Still, not one missed "look at that", and no pulling at all.

I'm going to give him a break today and not train at all, then he has his first class in Foundations tomorrow AM.

edit* On my way back home, I ask out security guard to help me a bit (he LOVEEES our security guy). He offered to be a distraction for Walnut. I was amazed. Not once did he lose focus. My security guy jumped around, called his name, made funny noises. Walnut didn't budge. He took quick glances and looked back.


That being said, when should I stop clicking and treating him for not getting fixated and too hyper? I don't want to have to rely on liver forever.

Wonderful!!! good job both of you!! Once he 'has' the behavior, automatically turning back to you after looking, in a wide variety of situations, then you can stop clicking, but keep food rewarding, and slowly phase out the treats, over time, but make sure he is still getting lots of praise as a reward. (Also suggest, give a 'jackpot' of several treats in a row and lots of praise, when he 'blows your mind'! Such as above with the security guard.) Be careful not to cut out the food rewards too quickly, this is tough for him, and it will take lots of practice and reward sessions to make it a habit. Far better to practice with success, than to push too much and have him fail. Make sure to reward with praise and or lower value treat, those 'offered' behaviors you do want, even when you are not 'training', you want them to become 'habit'. Never stop rewarding recall, doesn't always have to be food rewards, but an occassional surprise will keeping him coming back.
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Old 11-23-2012, 11:10 AM
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Wonderful!!! good job both of you!! Once he 'has' the behavior, automatically turning back to you after looking, in a wide variety of situations, then you can stop clicking, but keep food rewarding, and slowly phase out the treats, over time, but make sure he is still getting lots of praise as a reward. (Also suggest, give a 'jackpot' of several treats in a row and lots of praise, when he 'blows your mind'! Such as above with the security guard.) Be careful not to cut out the food rewards too quickly, this is tough for him, and it will take lots of practice and reward sessions to make it a habit. Far better to practice with success, than to push too much and have him fail. Make sure to reward with praise and or lower value treat, those 'offered' behaviors you do want, even when you are not 'training', you want them to become 'habit'. Never stop rewarding recall, doesn't always have to be food rewards, but an occassional surprise will keeping him coming back.
Awesome! Will do. I'll be sure to phase him off treats super slow. I do feel like i'm pressuring him a bit, so i'm giving him today off . I can really tell he's mentally exhausted, and just pushing to work for the treats.

I find it really strange that he didn't respond so well with the store bought Freeze Dried Liver, yet goes crazy for home boiled/baked liver. I even got chicken liver ($1.50 for a decent amount), and he seems to like that even more than beef liver. So it's not only MUCH cheaper to just boiled our own store bought liver, but works tons better than freeze dried ones.

Thanks again for all the tips and help. I'll post back our progress as we slowly increase distractions.
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Old 11-23-2012, 12:21 PM
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That is the look at that game I had suggested.

It takes about 500 successful repetitions of training for a dog to really own a behavior. Since there is some anxiety involved with your distraction training and it seems to be associated with more than one thing it may even take longer than 500 repetitions. I would continue to reward for a really long time on this.
What you could do is eventually mix in some of Walnuts kibble with the really high value rewards and use both as the reward.

Once you really think Walnut owns the behaviors you still want to reward but on a more intermittent schedule sometimes with high rewards, sometimes with low rewards, sometimes with praise.
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Old 11-26-2012, 10:24 AM
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We're making good progress!
He occasionally gets fixated on certain things, but not nearly as long or "hard" as before. He'll focus for about 1-2 seconds, and I'll say "Let's go", and we continue walking. No needs to tug the leash. He chooses to listen.

We've also been able to calm him down A LOT. With the help of our security guard, cleaners in the condo, and everyone else he REALLY loves, we are now able to have people approach him without him going insanely happy. He stays relatively calm. We're still working on this.

He also had his 1st Foundations class on Saturday, which went surprisingly well. Our trainer thought he did well, considering he is probably "at his peak with hormones".

We did have an incident over the weekend, which really upset us. We went to petsmart, and he was doing fairly well...until I noticed his leg high up in the air. Yup. He marked. To be fair, another owners dog had peed right there and did not care to clean up. Still. Unacceptable for us. He had marked/peed only one other time indoors (at friend's house). So we went back to Petsmart to pick up some other toys, and this time, he didn't even bother sniffing or anything.

He's going to be neutered in 2 months (will be 14 months old). I'm hoping he remains calm, quiet, and well mannered after being neutered. I've read sometimes dogs can develop bad behaviours after being neutered - but again - that might just be a training issue.
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Old 11-26-2012, 10:56 AM
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"We're making good progress!"

Great news! Don't be discouraged if you have a bad day/minute here or there. Walnut is a very young dog and just like us sometimes we/they don't make good decisions. So, celebrate all the progress and just note when something isn't going right and find a way to change it up. It is usually us getting sloppy in our consistency.

"We went to petsmart, and he was doing fairly well...until I noticed his leg high up in the air. Yup. He marked. To be fair, another owners dog had peed right there and did not care to clean up. Still. Unacceptable for us. He had marked/peed only one other time indoors (at friend's house)."

You are right it is unacceptable behavior. But, everything is a learning curve. Petsmart is just not the same as a home/house and another dog had peed there. It just means you need to have lots of successful training sessions going to petsmart with Walnut. (I think he was in my head when I wrote that) I kept seeing you buying lots of toys.
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