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Tjido Header

Monday, October 22, 2012

Puppy Classes!

As promised, I took some pictures at Saturday's puppy lessons :)
We are happy with the one we found. It starts at 10am, its in the city (many are in some field out there- hard for us to get there on a bike...) and of course, positive reinforcement!

On Saturday it was our 4th lesson, and we  have 2 more to go! We are lucky that it's only Tjido, a Jack Russel and a Spanish water dog. So there are enough distractions but not too many! Our teacher is there with her cute dog Roef, a Friese Stabij, and he keeps a check on the little ones ;) one bark and they're back in their place haha.

I'm glad we can ask her tons of questions. She gives good tips, thing to read and ideas. The behaviors that the dogs have to learn are for us quite easy (not arrogant intended!) because since day 1 we have been doing our best to systematically train Tjido on obedience 3 times a day. This is because when we decided to get a puppy, we got all nerdy and started researching about everything haha. And well the famous videos of Kikopup are just very motivating!!! (What? You haven't seen them?! GO NOW)

But even though Tjido can do them, being there in a garden with more dogs makes it a new challenge! Yes, the first 2 times he barked and whined to no end in order to play, but now he doesn't bark so much and calms down easier.

In the subject of barking, I am happy to report that barking to other dogs on the street has diminished to acceptable levels: only barking when he hears other barking dogs, but no longer "tunnel-vision".

About the barking in the house before me or my boyfriend leaves: after some tips and ideas, I decided to give him a tasty-tasty chewy thing as I left, and even Joost went out the door. Tjido did-not-care! Yeah! We have decided this week to try it out with a Kong, both of us leaving at the same time and record him (I'm curious what he will do when he finishes the Kong and we're not there...) So thanks for the supporting comments on this issue. We are working on it! It's just hard when you hear millions of different versions of the "right" way to do it.

To end this post and not make it longer, I have subscribed to the "Icelandic Sheepdog Fans" on facebook :) And found an aunt and a cousin of our dog haha. Hope to see your comments on puppy classes and barking! 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Amsterdamse Bos

This will be a bit embarassing, but I have lived in my current home for 5-6 years and have been twice to the Amsterdamse Bos (a huge forest/park) which is less than 10min cycling from my doorstep...

But thanks to Tjido :P we now have been three times, and have decided to make it our weekly trip on sundays. He goes on the bike, so he can have the real walk in the forest.

We keep him on leash until we enter the forest path and leave the grass areas. Here he can go off leash and we train re-call with yummy stuff. But he is a good herding dog ;) keeps an eye on us.

Encountering other dogs has actually helped diminish his barking on-leash in our neighborhood, since in the forest he now goes, sniffs, and leaves. Or other dogs approach him, in most cases when he is very concentrates with digging. So he understands he shouldn't make such a fuss, or that's what we tell ourselves!

After we come back, the rest of the day he sleeps :)
And I must say that I enjoy these days the best!! The walk in the forest is incredibly enjoyable.

I made a small video the other day with my iphone and uploaded it to youtube (1st video ever uploaded haha) so I'm sharing it although quality is not awesome or anything.

I wanted to write about our puppy classes, but I would prefer to have some pictures to make it more fun!

We are also keeping track of the barking, we now have realized he barks for:
- Attention
- Frustration at 'smart' toys or training
- When the door shuts downstairs
- When one of us leaves -> which is worrying us as we don't know how to handle separation anxiety that well.

So this topic will be a completely new post! - Yay for more ideas to keep the blog going!


Monday, October 15, 2012

Pedigree Tjido

This weekend we did some googling to find the ancestors of Tjido:

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Amsterdam Life 1

Hello readers!

Today I would like to describe a bit our lifestyle.
Even though we have a herding dog, we live in the city. Amsterdam, as many know, is a compact city with a high density. Flats are here the norm, and we live on a 2nd floor.

Living in an apartment made us doubt about having a dog. So many people would say "poor dog, you are crazy". And although they are not completely wrong, I have to give my own personal experience. Back in Mexico I had Daschunds in a big garden. They lived outside, since the weather was perfect and my mom hated animals inside the house. I loved my dogs but never took them out to walks, and thorough high school I did not spend much time with them. I am being honest here, because in the journey to get a pup I have realized how I grew up in an "old school" way of treating dogs: Dog are animals, full stop.

Having a dog in an apartment is intensive. But I think it also creates a close bond and you really have to go all-in for your pet. For example, you have to go outside to the street for potty training, and think about traveling a bit to get to the park or forest.

So this is how we have to adapt to city life with a dog.

  • Since our home is not that big, Tjido has his own area and we make sure he knows that it is his. Closing it off and walking away is impossible (barking & whining to the max..), but at least there is a sense of boundaries. 

  • The balcony serves for some birdwatching and a good breeze.

  • Our stairs are a bit steep, so we currently cary Tjido outside. 
  • There is a very nice 'island' close to ours house where the dog can be off-leash, since there is only one bridge to get off it. Here we trained recall off leash for the first time.  

  • To go to puppy classes, we have to bike there. Tjido has a front seat ;) we put a towel and with a short leash hold his harness loose enough for him to stand and spin but not jump off. 
  • To go to the forest we also bike there. Hoping that later we can bike-run there!
  • We are lucky to live in a city where dogs are welcome almost anywhere, and although Tjido cannot be still for long, he has been able to relax when we have a drink or lunch at a terrace (even with pigeons flying by!!!) but this is something we will be working on. 
  • Public transport: our first try in the metro was a disaster... we haven't tried it again, but maybe we will start with trams - less fuss.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Who is Tjido

Tjido the icelandic sheepdog!

Well his real name is Elron von den Kinnwies.. but Tjido is so much cooler! :P

His family comes from Germany, close to Siegen. A small town called Dietzholztal. This is the website of his breeder, a sweet woman who loves her dogs. She is recognized by the DCNH and VDH, the authorities concerned with the breed in Germany.

These are his parents: Fakur fra Klettakoti and Bergdis von der Kinnwies :) 

We have some pictures of his family ;) haha, you can also see mom a bit skinny after taking care of 7 pups! And finally a playful game with one of his sisters. 

He has declaws in all four limbs and double declaws in his hindquarters. He is slowly changing colours so i can't say what his fur will be like (i do think long haired..), but definitively reddish. Great temper & playful. Obsessed with birds. 

Double Declaws :)
Well, that's the official stuff! Next post I will tell a little bit of our little monster's life in Amsterdam!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Week 1

I have been trying to think a good topic to start out this blog, and I end up with so many ideas! But which one should I pick?

It finally came to me: The 1st week.

The main lesson I have learnt is: Do not take for granted your puppy's attitude in the first week at home!

It might sound logical, but the first week has felt like a month! You are paying attention, having short nights, running outside to keep the dog housetrained, reading all the articles you once found about dogs etc.

As you get used to your new schedule, your dog is also getting used to his new home. As to make this point clear, I will give some examples of our surprise moments:


  • Treats: Tjido did not seem very interested in food, which made a me a bit sad because I really wanted to start with clicker training. He even rejected sweets from the owner of the animal shop (which resulted in the old man opening all sorts of bags to find something yummy.. )
  • Barking: Everyone commented on how incredible it was our dog did not bark. The neighbors even asked if we had done something to him (?!) He only barked when he saw a dog and really wanted to go and play with him. 
  • Peeing: We had some trouble at the beginning to get his rhythm, but we realized waking up from naps = going outside. This worked like a charm the first week. 

  • Treats: Food driven dog 100%! Ha! he's learning allot by clicker training, and if we go on walks with treats he's awesome. We try to mix it up since we might not always have yummy thing for him. 
  • Barking: Since 2 days ago he has found his voice... he now sometimes lets out a bark when he gets a bit frustrated/excited at training, on random occasions when the bell rings and hearing a dog bark sets him off as well. The last is the most annoying and we are doing our best to work on it, but he gets in a "tunnel vision" or in a "zone"... 
  • Peeing: Since he's becoming more active and comfortable in the house, sometimes we loose track of time, and this has caused some accidents in the house. 
 I don't know how other things will develop but I can say that it is too easy to describe your dog, but we forget that he is just a puppy and his first year will bring many changes. 

Some things haven't changed yet, and we try to praise these as much as we can! For example, at home he likes to lie down and relax = petting!!! Chewing? Only his toys and mainly on his carpet = petting & playing with him!!! He sits when the door opens to let us go in first = extra good boy praise! 

Hope you liked this first post, don't forget to leave a comment :) Did you have a similar experience? Any tips for the barking part? Do you have an icie and are laughing your ass off at our amateur reactions? :P
Next post I will properly introduce Tjido! Have a great day!