All posts for the month November, 2011


Published November 16, 2011 by Shearaha

Been a few days since I posted so time for updates.

Saturday was a busy day for me and poor Wilfred was left with the Hubby most of the day while I was constantly running in and out. But for the first time he went and grabbed his muzzle and asked to play the game with it. He even put his nose through the loop and into the basket a couple of time. Played with Jack again and Pheonix watched us through the fence. I think she may be warming up to him so may try an intro soon.

Sunday I was gone from 5:20am to 7:30pm. Hubby worked at the game store in the afternoon and then spent some time with his dad. Will was alone for a good chunk of the day, but did very well with it. According to the Hubby they played a few games of tug before he left for the day.

Will now loves his Kongs. Filled with cheese wiz and his kibble. The fact that he only gets them when he’s in his crate has made it much easier to get him in when we need him in. Going to be buying a lot of the smaller Kongs so we can always have one filled in case we really need him in the crate and don’t have time to prep one.

Monday morning we made another leap forward. Most mornings after we go out for potty and have a snuggle on the couch I fill his morning Kong. This consists of me filling it while he barks loudly, bounces around and nips at my feet and ankles. Nothing hard, just annoying. I started to stop filling the Kong when he did this. Monday morning he moved to just poking me with his nose. This we can live with!

Monday night another leap. He’s been getting all of his dinner while laying on his bed. Little bits at a time to reinforce laying quietly on his bed while Hubby and I do things like watch TV or play our game systems. Getting dinner out has been the same as the morning Kong filling. Monday night he went and laid down on his bed and barked at me. Improvement! Now to work on him not barking his head off while I’m prepping his food.

More muzzle games on Monday night, but didn’t push any farther than Saturday, especially since I was bad and didn’t work with him on it on Sunday.

Tuesday was another banner day. No nipping while filling the Kong, went to his bed as soon as I opened the food bin, probably time to start adding a signal for that other than me walking to the food bin… and we got the muzzle on for a full 10 sec. Massive rewards during that and I took it off before he started pawing at it. Then took him back and did just a few of the really easy ones where he just has to pop his nose in with the strap pulled back. He looked so sad when I put it away. But that’s the plan, get him to love his muzzle. It seems to be working 🙂


On a mostly unrelated note I nearly hit a Beagle on my way to work this morning. He ran right out in front of me and when I stopped, nearly got rear ended as well, he ran back to where he started. I pulled off the road and grabbed my spare leash and set off after him. He was wearing a collar so I was hoping to catch him and get him back to his owners quickly. He got away from me by going under a fence into a residential area. I really hope he was just heading home and that I don’t see him laying on the road on my way home tonight.



Published November 13, 2011 by Shearaha

Been a couple of days since I updated.

Friday was great, one of the best days Wilfred’s had since moving in. No cat chasing, no going after Peaches, and only grabbed my arm once!

I think he’s finally getting the idea that sitting or laying down quietly and messing with his bone gets him more attention then everything in the above paragraph.

Will did great with his muzzle training, went through the loop 4 times on Saturday. And even brought the muzzle to me before we started. I didn’t ask for it, he just went and got it, so we worked on that a little bit.

He’s going into his crate much easier now that we’ve figured out that he prefers smaller Kongs that he can almost fit the whole thing in his mouth. I fill the Kong toss it an and Wilfred follows. I can leave without him even acknowledging it because he loves that little cheese filled Kong so much.

Relaxed on using all his food for training treats, time to get him started on a feeding schedule. He’ll eat about 1.5cups in a sitting before he looses interest and wanders off. So since he needs 3.5 cups of food a day he’s going to get 1 cup in the morning before work, 1 at lunch, 1 about 4:30/5:00pm when I get home and the last 0.5 used for training. Once he’s on a schedule I’m going to be incorporating puzzle toys for him to eat out of and get rid of the food bowl all together. “A mentally stimulated dog is a happy dog”

Saturday morning I picked up a 33″ tall crate for him purchased off of Craigslist for $35. They only used it for a couple of weeks as then put it back in the box. Talk about a steal, crates that size are at least twice that straight from the manufactures. Now I just need one more baby gate and I should have all my house hold supplies for him.

Saturday afternoon we also had another play session with Jack. This time Hubby helped as MIL wasn’t feeling good. Wilfred played so well, I’m going to have to get a video of it and put it up. Leashes were left on, though Jacks was dropped. Jack has a good recall and we’re still working on Wilfreds, so Jack could be reliably called out of play. Wilfred gave me a few good head turns when I tried to call him out, but immediately went back to playing. We did 3 calls out of play and once Jack was out of reach Will came back to me and sat each time, then we released them to play again.

Stopped after the 3rd session since Jack was starting to look tiered, play was still very nice and friendly, Will hadn’t gone over threshold yet and the both of them managed to throw themselves into a very sturdy young tree and hurt themselves.

After the play session Will came back inside and promptly took a 2 hour nap on 3/4 of the couch. Which was nice because it gave me some time to play my new game. We didn’t make it to the park for a walk because I also had to get the last of our boxes out of storage so we didn’t have to pay for another month of rent there. And to make enough room for the boxes I had to take out Will’s transport crate. Not going to be able to unload the boxes until at least Monday afternoon either, so no car rides for a couple of days.

Today Wilfred and the Hubby are alone all day. I’m going for my normal Sunday with L’Chaim Canine and as I have to work my regular job, I have to leave straight from work to go to training. Coffee will be my friend today.

Up all night

Published November 10, 2011 by Shearaha

Last night one of my good friends Natalie came over. Her intro went great, Wilfred loves the ladies. Once we got inside he decided that she would be great to snuggle on the couch with.

We’ve found that he will actually use his Kong in the crate when filled with peanut butter, or any variety of the Kong Stuffins! This is great for us because everything else we’ve tried to give him to entertain himself in his crate he just buries under his bed.

Muzzle training is going well, especially since I’ve switched to peanut butter as his reward. I ended up putting it away last night because he got too excited. I think with the peanut butter instead of the cheese I should be able to start getting him to go through the loop before he sticks his nose in.

Will did wake us up at 11:45pm alarm barking. Usually when he does this if one of us gets up, checks the window and lays back down he goes back to sleep as well. Not so tonight. He kept it up for 30min. A long 30min when you have to wake up at 4:30am. Turns out something in the side yard at the other end of the house spooked MIL’s dog Jack and his much quieter barking set off Wilfred’s much louder barking. I’m just glad that Wilfred decided that he could stop barking after I got up and checked the doors and windows for a third time.

With luck this won’t be an issue when we finally work out the kinks and move into our new place. Only upstairs neighbors and he’ll be the only dog in the house.


Published November 9, 2011 by Shearaha

Hello, so this is my first blog so bear with me, this may take a while.

The purpose of this blog is to chronicle the training of Wilfred, also called Will my Rottweiler mix that I just adopted.

A little back story. Will was found abandoned in the back yard of a house in Cleveland. He was wearing a choke collar attached to a 3ft chain, he was emaciated, had no food and no water and had not had any access to either for at least 2 weeks except for the rain water. He was heart worm positive and was being eaten alive by fleas, flies and other nasty bugs. Will was taken in and treated by Dogs Unlimited Rescue. A local rescue specializing in neglected, abused and mill dogs.

I met Will 2 months before I adopted him. I am an apprentice dog trainer with Jennifer Mauger at L’Chaim Canine. She occasionally volunteers with local rescues when they have a difficult dog. Will was through his heart worm treatment at this time and was just learning some self-control. He was very grabby and would grab your arm whenever he got frustrated, still does from time to time but not nearly so much. He was being boarded at a horse stable and dog grooming facility as there were no foster homes available for a dog like Will.

I worked with Will many times in the following months and we developed quite a bond. But it wasn’t until I brought my husband, from here on out known as Hubby, to meet Will because Will needed to work though some minor issues with men. The two of them fell in love instantly. The next day we started through the adoption process.

Four days later disaster struck. Will got out of his pen before his leash could be put on and went to greet one of the boarders and a gentleman friend of hers. As he approached he was attacked by the womans Saint Bernard. The gentlemans’ hand was wounded in the melee. An observer said it was Will that did it.

Now those of us who know dogs know that no dog can be blamed for a bite that happens during a dog fight. But because of state laws and the possibility that Will is mixed with, but doesn’t look much like, a bully breed panic ensued.

Will was placed under a 10 day rabies quarantine while his fate was decided. Lucky for him he had a lot of good people in his corner. The rescue called in Ken McCort to do a behavior analysis to see if Will was too dangerous to adopt out. I knew he wasn’t, my mentor knew he wasn’t and the owner of the property knew he wasn’t. But rules are rules, at least until we can get the legislation changed.

Needless to say Will passed his evaluation with flying colors and came home with us on Oct. 31, 2011.

Will has been doing very well with us this first week. He loves our 2 cats, though they don’t love him. He doesn’t like my cockatiel, Peaches, and has to be kept separated from her, at least until I can work on conditioning her to him. We’re working on the state mandated muzzle training and are starting to make strides. He’s not had a single issue with house breaking, though he doesn’t like to go into his crate. Once he’s in though everything is fine. We’ve only had the opportunity to introduce him to a couple of new people, but he’s done well with them. And he’s been introduced to one of my Mother in Law’s, here after MIL, dogs Jack, a Border Collie/English Setter mix. They’ve gotten along so we’re setting up more playdates for the 2 of them.