Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Bob-a-lot and other toys

Yesterday we went to the Vet's for Denny's booster shot. This time it was a little chaotic from the beginning, with me leaving concerned about how our dogs will do when both are grown up. I understand that a Vet does not automatically know a lot about dog behavior, but statements made from his/her mouth are taken more seriously, until proofen otherwise.
Does anybody with a multiple dog household, where there are a couple of males together (or more) feel comfortable giving advice?

I did read Patricia B. McConnell's opinion on multiple dog households, and I'm still worried.

Oh, and Denny was 10 weeks yesterday, weighing in at 8.8kg. Happy was 8.7kg when he was 11 weeks old. We also weighed Happy last time, four weeks ago with 37.5kg, and yesterday only 35kg. All that horsing around with Denny has cost him 2kg! Even though he gets the same amount of food, but way more treats throughout the day.

May 3 - 6

A few posts back somebody advised to get a bob-a-lot to feet the meals with that device, to give Denny something to do. We did have this big orange treat ball, which both dogs enjoyed using a lot. I gave them both, the orange ball and a Kong stuffed with treats, and off they go, nudging both along, picking up the treats as they come tumbling out. If nudging didn't bring a result for some time, they pick up the ball/Kong and drop it so it pounces a little. It's fun to watch.

May 3 - 11
They know exactly when it's empty and walk away from it.


So here is Denny working the bob-a-lot thingy for the first time. It took him maybe ten minutes to empty it out. There is one hole, which can be made smaller, if it's too easy to get the food out.
May 3-bobs-a-lot-5
He whacked it with his paws left, and right, and tried to nudge it like the ball, but this thing does not roll around. That does not mean it can't be moved like a ball by force!

May 3-bobs-a-lot-11
Happy didn't think at first he'd like to have his meal served like that. He watched Denny for a while, before he tried it out himself. He too wanted to roll it around, and got frustrated when it wouldn't move as he was used to.
After the last sound of the last kibble hitting the floor, they left it right away. It's not a chew toy, so it has to be removed, but they are not interested in it, when empty anyway.

After both were done, they curled up and had a nice long nap. So it must be exhausting to work this device.

I'm happy to say that I was able to spin the 4oz of fiber I started in only the last two days. Denny and Happy both were on the sofa with me for a while, before Denny thought it was too boring and started getting into trouble, which in turn brought him nothing but confinement upstairs, with my son. Did I hear him complain loudly, why yes I did, but Happy and me, just pretended we didn't and kept spinning/snoozing. Me thinks life is getting back to normal around here. :o)


PS I think it's cute, that when the time comes in the evening, and Denny gets tired, he goes upstairs and sits in front of the bedroom door. Same as Sam, and Biko did, as well as Happy. :o)



lexa said...

When it's bedtime here or getting close to it the dogs disappear to the bedroom. I'll go in and find them waiting on the bed. If they do happen to be out and about then as soon as I go to the treat cupboard Jewel is gone, waiting on the bed for her treats.

momsue84 said...

We used to listen to Patricia McConnell every Saturday morning on PBS back in Wisconsin. She is from Madison. We used her advice a lot for Wolfie. I guess time will tell about how Happy and Denny get along. Good luck!

RC said...

I have 3 GSD's 2 white (male and female) and one black & tan male and I can tell you its crazymaking ;) the boys are so rough playing, I would be concerned if I didn't know they love each other.
the bob a lot looks neat, I'll have to look for one for these guys

2paw said...

I gave Tori one of those rolly ball things and she sorted it lout quick smart: she just took the food dropper outerer part completely out and opened the ball up. Labradors are like that!!
I have only ever had girl dogs and they are easy to get on with. Peri has lost some weight too, hooray for puppies!!
I love your rolly ball pictures, Happy is looking at cute Denny with great interest!! I am glad things are getting back to normal, although I expect it is a different normal, like it is at our house.

Anonymous said...

Monika, you've got 2 young dogs, and they bring a lot of action into ones life! Time will calm them for you, but that will take a couple of years! But you will see, that work and playing, where they have to use their brains, will make them more tired than playing, where they have to use their bodies.And offcourse they are fit after 15 minutes relaxing, where you need 2 hours to relax ;oD.
I have 2 dogs, female and male, but more friends of mine have 2 males, and it works fine. I think you don't have to worry about them. Time and your "scooling" them,will fix that all the way through your lives!

From nasty wet Switzerland, Hanne.

Judy W said...

I like having two dogs, although I have only had male/female combinations. We have found that obedience training is very important, and for our more active dogs, lots of exercise is also good. When we get a puppy, we sign up for an obedience class. It seems to me that the techniques and theories change every few years, so it is always good to sign up for a formal class. For example, years ago I used choke collars for training. Now we use a "gentle leader" on our dogs, and it is very effective with their training. At any rate, the exercise and training help the dog become calmer and I would recommend it. Good luck with the dogs! They are both very handsome!!!

Jessica said...

My family has always been a two dog house.. though we've always had one mature dog and one young one, and that changes the dynamic (and with three kids to run the dogs around, everyone ends up tired). My only advice is to work Denny's brain as much as possible (it's never to young to play find-it games) I've found that clicker training fun tricks (like closing cabinet doors, bowing on command, bowling a ball into some soda bottle pins) also tires a dog out like nothing else because they have to use their brains to "figure out" what to do.

Hang in there! Puppies are great!

Wanderingcatstudio said...

We had two dogs when I was a kid - a border collie/shepherd cross and a shephered/golden lab cross. They got a long great - they only time there were ever issues was at feeding or when one had a bone. Duke - the border collie - was very territorial and would snap at Buster, if he got to close - nothing serious tho. And Buster quickly learned that Duke was Alpha Dog, and to stay away at those times. The rest of the time they were bet buddies.

Michelle said...

Nimitz loves his treat ball. I haven't seen the other kind before but I just bought him one of the kinds that you have to slide a door to get to the treat. The "experts" do say that it's not a great idea to get dogs that are too similar (size, sex, age) but it can work. I have a friend with two male boxers and they do have some loud wrestling matches but basically get along just fine. I've heard that two females can't get trickier than two males but it really is just so individual to the actual dogs. Can Denny do a puppy playgroup for extra mental and physical exertion? Eventually he should grow out of the annoying phase. :-)

SeattleAmy said...

I am so glad the Bob-a-lot and other interactive toy is workign out so well! I couldn't live with out mine.

One of my JRTs will spend HOURS trying to get a chicken jerky strip out of a kong (that I had to much on a table so the opening was oval instead of round to get the strip in there)...but she's the only one. The rest give up without immedaite pay off. Of course, she's the one with the strongest hunting instints too.

I'd enroll the pup in a puppy class ASAP...we tell people the risk of them catching something before they have all their shots is way less than the odds of behavior issues that restult in some MAJOR problems the training and other dog interaction could prevent.

Teaching them clicker training will also use their mental energy and make them learn they have to work for everything...and make them even smarter as they try to determine what it is you want them to do.

Looking forward to future updates!

Toby said...

Denny is looking much more like a juvenile than a puppy in these photos. It's amazing how quickly their bodies grow up.

SeattleAmy said...

I couldn't live without my Bob-A-Lot! Glad it's workign so well for you guys.

I routinely live with numerous males terriers without any issues. I have 3 male terriers and 1 female terrier that is mine. Then I routinely have 4-6 foster dogs living with me.

I see far more issues between 2 females than between males. We will routinely get in a female to rescue because the owners said one day they decided they hated each other and 2 years later, they were still carrying a grudge.

Occassionally, I'll have 2 males that don't care for each other when they first meet, but they get over it pretty quick and live together without problems as long as I'm aware of what's going on.

For example, I never crate them side by side. I always have a few crates between them or put them on different levels.

With that said, I never set them up - for instance, I'll give everyone a high value raw bone or piggy twist in their crates to prevent any possible issues. They are all fed in their own bowls - at the same time, but with me there to supervise rather than free feed.

Love reading your updates...and I'm MORE than happy to provide any info I can as you take this journey!


Mr Puffy's Knitting Blog: said...

I read over some of the comments. I think your issue might not be just having two male dogs, but rather the nature of the breeds. I think you are on the right track to consult with a trainer. Denny is just adorable and I do so hope that he will work out.

Anonymous said...

I've never had more than one male dog at a time, but everything I've ever read from "experts" has said that you should never have more than one female dog in the house because they will fight.

I have had a three female dog household and a two female dog household. I never had a fight. I don't put much stock in the opinion of the "experts".

I think a lot of it has to do with how you (the humans in the home) set up the household. I make sure my dogs know that I am the top dog in the house. I eat first, I go through doorways first and when I tell them to do something (sit, down, stay, etc.) it is NOT an option.

I also respect the pecking order that the dogs establish. Sadie is currently the dominant dog over Luka (time will tell if this holds - I think it will, though). That means she is petted first, gets fed first and I always say her name before I say Luka's name. Luka knows that he is the low dog on the totem pole. He learned this within a day or two.

Dogs are smart. We just have to lead them. :)

I love watching your boys grow up. Thank you for sharing all of the pictures.

Carrie K said...

I just have one cat at a time, so I'm no help but they're adorable! Hopefully it's just sibling/baby brat issues and they'll all work out.

Love the stripey sock goodness.

Anonymous said...

Monika, I enjoy your blog so much. The knitting is great, but those dogs, oh my, I just love them. I so agree with "runswithneedles" about the human being the top dog in the household etc. This also is what Cesar Millan and Victoria Stilwell say in their dog training. The pecking order in a pack, and the human is included in that pack, is very powerful. We have an 18 year old MinPin who is still the "queen mama" in our little dog pack. She gets greeted first, gets treats and food first, she is always addressed first. The other 3 know and are quite respectful. We do have a 1year old who needs reminders at times but a sharp a-a will do with him. He is also the only male with 3 females. And puppy training with someone who only believes in positive training is also priceless.
Again, I so enjoy the fotos and stories about your 4legged boys.
Die besten Wuensche aus Indiana, Fritzi