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Old 03-14-2014, 08:08 PM   #18
a good little dog
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Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Sabo's a good guy !!!1!
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Re: Flower, Cinnamon Stick, & Sabo

Originally Posted by MissileDog View Post
Any Questions about Sabo?

Anybody have any questions about Sabo? Or about Flower, or Cinnamon, for that matter? Now would be a good time for me to answer them... before I start blogging in depth about my adventures (and certainly mis-adventures) in Sabo-training.
All righty then... moving right along...

Operation Sabo Training is now underway.

Sabo's first trick/command to learn is "drop it". I was considering "roll over", as he's already been trained to role onto his back (although I don't know his command word for this trick).

In my between dog bravado, I swore I'd train the new dog in Spanish & ASL. However, upon further review, I'm going to use English and recycle the ad-hoc sign language we used with Cinnamon. The idea of using Spanish for his commands is so we don't have this "problem" we had with Cinnamon. She'd pick out the words she knew from casual people to people conversation, even when she seemed fast asleep, and then act accordingly. So... us people ended up having to talk in code around the little girl.

However... Cinnamon literately learned a little bit of the English language by listening to us this way. She really was extraordinary that way, having an easily 90 word vocabulary, and understanding how nouns and verbs worked, as well as categories and instances. Ofc Sabo might not care about any of this shiz... but I wanna give him that chance too, if he wants. So no talking "coded" Spanish to the dog... and us peoples will talk in "code", if necessary.

As for ASL... well all the "dog whisperers" say you should use the real stuff. I can't really understand why, except for perhaps the utility of other ASL users being able to command the dog. But I don't know ASL, or any ASL users... and I already know MSL (Missile Sign Language)... so it's basically LOL @ the dog-whispers on this issue.

Once again, all credit goes to my brother-man "S", for these concepts.

One of his rules was to never tease The Missile. If you told her something, you better be ready and able to follow through (especially, never say "red dot", if you haven't checked the batteries in the laser pointer first). The idea being is that if she starts getting teased, she'll just stop listening. Dogs don't get sarcasm.

The other concept, teaching the dog in sign, is an absolutely must. Cinnamon lost her hearing when she was about eight or nine. But she knew she had lost her hearing (as opposed to thinking the whole world had became quiet), and easily adapted... while pretty much nobody but us even knew she was now deaf.

Doggy-prison mug shot of "Artie"

So... what are the good things about Sabo?

Besides doing what doggies do best: being a wonderful and affectionate companion.

Well so far, pretty near everything. Along with all the good stuff already mentioned (house trained, knows "sit", "back", "come here", knows how to be walked on and off leash, doesn't bolt through doors, is good in the car & bar, etc), he also doesn't dig, hasn't 'humped' anything, hasn't tried to give me a lickin', or whined once. He's already learned, without being trained, that overnight he's got his ol'#8 nest, not my bed.

Also, no puking, piglet sounds, snoring, or farting... which are endemic to Boston Terriers. Cinnamon grew outta the puking, and the little piglet sounds Bostons & pugs make are kinda cute... but I'll tell you, that little Missile could snore louder than a lumberjack, and fart even worse.

Another difference from Bostons is Sabo barks. Now, he's not a 'yapper', his barking is well within acceptable dog, personal, household, and neighborhood standards. OTOH Bostons rarely bark, and when they do it can sound like Cinnamon's silly duck quakes. In fact, people would sometimes ask if Cinnamon was mute. Flower wasn't much of a barker either... except when it came to those pesky meter readers and blimps.

So... what's wrong with Sabo?

Not a lot. It seems he doesn't like toys. The mini-Frisbee was a one day amusement.

He has the habit, when playful, of giving me what are called "play bites"... where he puts his teeth around my hand, but doesn't bite down at all. In fact, he did that when I visited him in doggy-prison. All dogs go through this stage, and I'm cool with it... but most people are not. I don't need someone getting confused and claiming my dog bit them.

I haven't been eating around him much, and he hasn't been in the kitchen while food was being prepared very often. Those few times he's been pretty damn good... but I'm sure at some point we're going to have to review his "no begging" lessons. AFAIK this is also true of all young dogs.

(Cinnamon, like usual, actually figured out a loophole in her "no eyeballing" people while eating rule... she'd come sit right in front of you, but face the other way)

None of those things are big problems. But, he also 'resource guards', and doesn't always act appropriately with strangers. From his doggy-prison rap sheet:

Allow me to introduce myself...

My name is Artie,
And I'm a 2 Year 1 Month, 1 Week old, Spay/Neutered Male, 13 lbs, Terrier, cross

Why I'd make a great companion: I like to take my time approaching new situations. While I am a bit shy with new faces and places, I warm up as I become more familiar with my environment. I love putting my eyes and ears to work, soaking up the sights and sounds of the world around me. I have a curious nature which keeps me exited about the world around me all day long! I approach life with lots of enthusiasm.

Type of home I'm looking for: I would do best in an adult-only home, please!
Both Flower and Cinnamon were great with kids. So why no children with Sabo? It's because of this 'resource guarding' and 'shy dog' behavior that the trainers at the pound warned me about. More from his doggy-prison "permanent record":

... Some dogs show that they are uncomfortable sharing their valued resources with others by some sort of display. Freezing, growling, snapping and even biting can be observed, The dog... has shown such behavior during a Behavior Evaluation... All dogs that have exhibited resource guarding are not recommended in families with toddlers and small children...

This dog seems to have suffered from a lack of socialization during critical puppy development periods and/or has a more reticent demeanor in new situations. This can cause the dog to avoid interaction with new people, dogs or other stimulus. Shy dogs are afraid of new things and can require continued habituation and training to help them become more comfortable. A risk that any fearful dog can pose is that, when forced to interact with a stimulus (person, dog, new situation) they can react defensively and growl, snap, or bite to try to make the scary thing go away... Not every home environment is appropriate for a shy dog...
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