Training, crating, bedding & food
Yesterday a certified dog trainer stopped by my home to aid us in training Dozer, and helping us ease his seperation anxiety (although she didnt think it was S.A but instead him just being bored/spoiled). She taught us how to leash walk him properly, and after only a hour he is doing MUCH better. He is learning to like being outside and going for walks. We are still baiting him with treats but are hoping that will subside, and he can just enjoy being walked around the neighborhood without the treat incentive.
I'm teaching him to enjoy his 5 foot circle of a playpen that I set up for him...right now it's situated in the corner of the room and being "anchored" down by two of my 50lbs dumbells and my couch lol. He slept in there last night for the first time and seemed to be doing ok; no more sleeping on the couch for me! Although I was awake all night just keeping my ears open for him. This morning after food and potty he went right back in there and fell asleep. I am amazed at how much progress he has made after only 1 day!
The trainer gave us a "No Pull" harness and a citronella anti-dog barking collar. When he's left alone he usually barks for hours on end. After maybe 5 or 6 barks he stopped barking totally. Mind you, my basement stunk of citronella, but atleast he didnt keep the entire house awake in the process. I am hoping he wont need that collar when he is going to be left alone in the future.
The trainer also gave us tips on house breaking him. She told us to get rid of the wee wee pads and to try taking him out every hour. We started last night and he had 1 accident but none so far today. As soon as I woke up I took him out back in the drive way and said "Potty", he looked at me, sniffed around and relieved himself. Housebreaking is our #1 priority now and we are going to work extremely hard in getting him used to going outside.
Dozer's transition to Earthborn Meadow Feast seems to be going well. He vomited once the other day, but we scaled down his food intake and that seemed to do the trick. Starting tomorrow we will be mixing 50/50 of old food and new food, which puts him at 6 days of his first step of the transition. So far he has been pooping less, although his poop is much stinkier we are hoping that goes away soon. I'm very happy I chose this food.
Since he is going to be left alone for several hours at a time I wanted to make sure I got him a bed that would stand up to his powerful jaws in the event that he decides to start shredding it. There is a company called K9 Ballistics that sells super tough doggie beds. Although they are pricey they come with a 90 day guarentee and the material is incredibly tough and able to withstand the toughest of chewers. That being said, I elected to get him the Orthopedic Tuff Memory Foam bed in Tan color and medium sizing (27x33x6). I hope he likes it and is able to have some good night's worth of sleep on it; cant go wrong with memory foam!
Now, I leave you with a couple of pictures of Dozer
Look how small he looks next to my car. We also have the deck that he can go on which you can see in the picture above my car.