Tjido Header

Tjido Header

Monday, November 26, 2012

Using Public Transport

Hello dear readers!

First of all, thank you, this blog has surpassed the 500 views yay! :D

Today I want to talk about public transport. As you have read before, we don't have a car, and well, there are just many places you cannot reach with a bicycle... So how to take your dog in public transport?

I was looking for advice in the internet, but didn't find much so hence why I want to share our experience.

When we got Tjido, on the first week we tried to take the metro with him. But we basically did everything wrong... We were stressed, we carried Tjido and tried to sooth him, didn't have any treats with us, and just to make it more fun.. it was rush hour... So half way our trip we aborted the mission and had to go home. Since then we avoided public transport because of our own fears.

On Saturday we decided to get over it!

We had to visit Joost parents, that means a bus ride (20min) and then a train ride (a bit more than 20min).

  • We took a nice walk so Tjido could do his business before getting in the bus.  We carried him in.
  • We made him sit, but realized he was a bit anxious so we gave him some dry meat to chew. This lasted until the end of the ride. 
  • At the station we had a nice walk and he relaxed enough to pee again. 
  • In the train he got a second dry meat.
The first time in Joosts' parents house, he didn't relax at all. Now we has better, less barking, but still wanting to sniff everything and going outside and inside the whole time. He finally fell asleep after a few hours. 

On the way back we did the same, although he now got his evening meal in a kong at the train.  We also decided to take the metro back. And it went great! This with only sweets and a bit of training. 

So my tips to you: 

  • Do take a walk before you enter the mode of transportation. And if you have to take two like us, take your time, let him relax (mostly, when they finally pee it means they are relaxed) and don't forget to give him water
  • Carry your puppy into the bus/train/metro. Most dogs tend to be scared of the tiny gap and this means they get petrified, then you get stressed because your train will be leaving etc... Not nice.
  • Get some nice treats your dog can chew on. Carry more than you think you need! This also makes you feel relaxed at the thought that your dog can chew and feel happy for hours if necessary ;)
  • Try to sit somewhere were he can lay down and not be constantly alert of everything around him. When we sat at the metro he had to sit under my legs and I think this made this ride more successful. 
I would have to say that if you can, you should start slowly. We will continue travelling short distances as to make him more relaxed and not so dependent on his chew yummies. The goal will be for him to be in any public transportation and feel relaxed enough to lay down and hopefully sleep!

To end this post I leave you with a more decent video of Tjido (he was still quite small then)! Enjoy!

If you want to leave a comment but don't have a blogger account, you should be able to leave comments as anonymous or openID :)

Friday, November 16, 2012

Autumn Fun Ideas

Well before autumn stops for good and winter kicks in, I wanted to share with you some fun games to play with your dog outside and that help allot with re-call exercises. As you know, if sniffing at that tree is more interesting that us, puppy won't even turn to look for us. So we have to spice things up!

Apart from rewarding Tjido for coming to us when called (as well as when he comes on his own) we have started doing the following games (I decided to give them fun names):

Sniffing the Leaves Game! 

You put some leaves together in a smile pile and throw treats in it. Meanwhile dog has to wait.
Then he can sniff them out!

What's on the Tree?

Push some treats on the bark of the tree, so they stay put. Ask your dog to find them!

The classic "come" game

If you are outside with another person you can play the come game, where you stand in front of eacht other asking the dog to come (he gets a treat) and getting further apart every time.


Why not train with your dog in a challenging environment?

The reason I want to share these games is because normally you could fetch or play tug with your dog outside, but I have found that Tjido being a curious puppy, gets too distracted for a proper game.
These are nice ways to give treats in a playful manner. Especially the first two games are very good because your dog needs some self control when waiting and the sniffing is great as mental exercise!

 If you have more ideas leave a comment! :D

 PS: Funny story! We have a strange population of parrots in Amsterdam (.. yeah the green tropical ones) and they have migrated to our small park area. Man they are aggressive! Every time they see Tjido they attack us! And well, this icelandic sheepdog just stares. I thought he would go ballistic but he's like "hey guys, what are we playing at?" haha I made a video so I'll post that later!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Things that are working for us: Part 1

Hello readers!

I'm sorry for the very late post! I have been quite busy but have found a spare moment to update you!

So we have sadly ended our puppy classes.. which is really a shame! We are now looking for a continuation, but many dog schools are very far from our house and we don't have a car. But we are continuing with training :) - I hope I can make a small video soon!

I think today I want to proudly say that Tjido is housebroken! We had some minor accident especially when lots of people come to our house and he gets very excited, and we tend to loose track of time. We trained him to "ring the bell" in order to go outside. In our case we have done this at the balcony, he likes to sit down and look at the cats and birds, but it also helps us and when he rings the bell we check the time and lead him to the door instead for a walk. It is working pretty well. I think when he can walk down the stairs and gets the "going out of the house/building" we will arrange a similar system.

We have made progress in the leaving him alone. With a stuffed kong, he has been relaxed for 15min while Joost when to do shopping and I sat outside in the stairs looking at through a webcam and my mobile (love technology). When he finished his kong he did walk to the door and made two solitary barks before lying down. I decided to go upstairs then in order not to push him over his threshold. So after a few rounds and increasing time, I think we will leave for a bit longer and keep 'recording' what he does... Sadly we are a bit bad with this training, since we are both spending so much time at home.

Finally after giving 2 baths to our dog, I can give some useful tips (I know you should not bath icelandic sheepdogs that often, but when he got to our house he was stinky as hell and the second time he fell into a pond...):
  • To prevent the bath being slippery, I put in a towel. 
  • Tjido was scared of the shower head, so the second time I used and old school, bucket and container to pour the water slowly. 
  • Giving treats makes it a nice experience. 
  • Making drying-off with a towel a game makes it fun and then relaxing for your pup -> dry blower was definitively too much. 
So even though I will not do this often after knowing more about their coat, if you were looking for apartment tips, voila! 

Tjido thought he could walk on water... 

I will stop here in order not to make huge posts! But I will leave you with a great toy tip: Get a plastic container, make holes and put treats/food inside = fun fun fun!