Sunday, February 26, 2012

Lesson 3, Lay Down

Sadly this command is taking longer than his other commands. It's kind of cute to watch him look at the ground then back up at me. When I go to correct him he drops. Just like a child, he'll push you until you decide to follow through. He seems to be in this forever puppy state of mind, I hope he grows out of it. He does truly try to be a good boy.

He went for another car ride, me and my fiance went to return some movies. (part one and two of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows) My fiance jumped out to drop the movies off and poor Titan started crying and screaming in my ear. That sad dobie scream. My fiance never left his site but oh dear the world was ending to him. It was so cute. As she was re-entering the car a man with his son, Titan decided he had to protect his car, and started barking. Silly boy. After that we decided to go to a super market on the way home to get a redbox movie (free rental code!) We parked out in the middle of the lot and we could hear him at the door. Everyone was looking around because he echoed so much. We laughed the entire way to the car.

We have been trying to give him more and more time out of his kennel and so far he's doing well. He seems to get bored to easy and then decides he needs to go back to his room. (kennel) I call it his room, because it sounds a lot nicer. It's his safe place and comfort zone. You see him hear laying on an over-sized bed that he really isn't fond of. I will have to get him a new one some day. You can also see some of the kitty toys in the back.

With his diet we have added a raw egg every other day and also with his evening meal I am trying a new can food we found at a recent adventure
to PetSmart. It's a brand called Simply Nourish. We are trying the Chicken & Beef Stew. Food. For one it looks incredibly good. With actual pieces of chicken and veggies! It also comes with it's own cover to store it! We are adding that as a supplemental as well with his dinner. He really seams to love it. Also Anya has been eating out of his bowl to eat it! We will see how that goes.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

A Whole New World

Well yesterday he had a nice oatmeal bath (thanks Pupperelli!) and for the day his dandruff was gone and he was looking all handsome. The next day he was back to the dry skin. I'm just glad he's not all grimy.

Today was a big day for him, his first play date. We went over to a friend of mine's house and visited for the day. The two didn't quite get a long perfectly but nothing bad happened. So it was a success! I was so proud of my little (well big) nubs. I finally got to try out my Bamboo(R) leash! It's one that buckles into a seat belt. Check them out here, leash. I highly recommend them if you travel a lot with your pet. It kept his head mostly in the car, letting him get his car ride fix, but it also kept him out of me and my finance's  lap, keeping us all safe. 

On our car ride there we were stopped at a light and there were some guys at a car mechanic shop on the corner. Apparently one of them took a step toward our car, Titan started barking and not his normal happy bark. He at least sounded vicious. Even if his tail was going 90 miles a min. haha 

We got to my friends house and let the dogs introduce them to each other. Then we tried to calm them with a little walk. That didn't work to well. Finally we gave in and let them run in her back yard. Poor little Elli was so scared of Titan. He was twice her size though. He was having a ball running around the yard grabbing his toys and running about. Poor Elli just stood there watching him. He's such a moose. 

Once the little puppies were tired we went inside to play a card game called Munchkins. It was really a fun game. The nice thing was Titan laid on a sheet we brought with us. He was a good boy for about 2 hours! He just stayed right next to me. Either laying down or standing with his head in my lap. He was so into trying to help us play. On our way out to the car a woman walking 2 small dogs walked by. They were pulling her, Elli went toward them, and Titan just stood there nice and calm. The big bad doberman was the most well behaved. I was so shocked at his progress!

 Titan did very well on his car rides. We decided he did so well he needed a treat. We stopped at McDonalds and got some chicken nuggets for him. As well pulled up to the first window, where they take your money, and he started barking at the poor man who was standing there. Then we pulled up and the woman at the second window gave us our food and drinks then noticed Titan in the car. She half panicked, he scared her. It was so funny.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Bad Day

Here is a picture of our handsome man. His coat is dry and even though he is on a fish diet I can't seem to get his coat to look any better. Any ideas or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. You can't really see the sore on his chest. As you can see his ribs are not sticking out. I'm so happy with his progress.

While I am happy with his progress we did have a little but of a backtrack today. We were out for our afternoon potty break and his training started out really well. We were working on a sit in motion. Everything was going well, I released him and the leash slipped out of my hands. Normally he comes running back. Well this time he decided to go visit the neighbors pond. I had to go over and correct him all the way back to the pond and then back to me. He realized that he did wrong. We skipped our play time and I just took him in and fed him and ended our day. 

He also decided when he was done with his food he was going to go give Anya some kisses. His nose touched her belly she raised her paw and he thought that meant she liked him. He was wrong. She smacked him again. I'm not sure if he will ever learn. He's just lucky Anya isn't really mean.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Training Beginnings

Well our basic training has been under way since I received Titan and his manners have improved greatly. Today's obedience work included working on a sit command as well as a heel with an automatic sit. He also today discovered how much fun a cat can be.

Sit command, every basic dog should at least know this. Over the past months of work I have been making him sit and wait for his food. Now I do not personally use a stay command. Almost like a child, you would not tell them to go to their room, and then repeat the word stay for the next few hours. The stay is implied in my training methods. Sit has quickly become Titan's bread and butter command. The moment I say sit he wiggles his butt right next to me. He hasn't gotten the concept that sit means to sit where and when I say it, but he will get there.

Heel command, it means to be at my side not necessarily walk. The automatic sit is what happens when I stop walking. When I stop he sits. This comes in very handy when walking in public. Say if you come to a crosswalk you know the dog will sit down next to you (at your side because of the heel command!) and you don't have to worry about him walking into the street. Titan has taken well to this command. He happily prances right beside me only straying to track something. He stays alert and is willing to please anyone. Today his auto sit was right on que. Other day's he slips a bit, but I guess the cold today got him going.

After his training lesson he gets play time. I have a ball on a rope and he adores it. This is his reward for doing good work. He also has the drop it concept down. Sometimes I tend to forget how bad he was treated and when I lunge for the ball, as in a game of chase, he drops it and cowers. Every day he gets a bit better.

He got to meet a new friend today. Our little black cat Anya. She is my furry 4 legged child. haha Titan decided to introduce himself and didn't realize she doesn't like sloppy puppy kisses. In a split second she lashed out and smacked (without claws) him right across the nose. He jumped up startled. At first I thought nothing of it until he looked up at me. The poor boys nose was bleeding. I didn't realize she could even hit that hard. It's a very funny idea. To anyone who says doberman's are vicious let me say this. Here is a cat who just decked him in the face, while he has no training, and he doesn't even curl a lip. The poor boy just sat there looking up at me as if to ask, 'What did I do wrong?' After that he quickly laid down reaching himself out to lay at her feet. Anya sat there touched his nose and walked off. It truly made his day.

I hope you will stay with us as we go through Titan's Trial with him, with me.

Monday, February 6, 2012

The Rescue

This is where the story begins, the saddest thing is, this is no story. It's the truth about how a neglected dog gets another chance at a normal life. I am his trainer, his savior, I will be his voice to you. There might be some dark times but we will strive through this together. I will support him so that he will be able to trust people again. Let his story inspire and uplift others.

Titan started out as any other puppy would have, active and happy. Food was plenty and play time came even more often. Then something strange happened, he started growing up. He's a Doberman Pinscher, and let this not lead you astray about the kind heart he has. He soon reached a large size, nearing 75 pounds. His energy level was to much, and it was soon easier to keep him in his kennel more and more. The something even worse happened, mommy got sick. Titan soon spent more and more time in his kennel soon it became his only spot. He was cramped and alone. With nothing better to do he curled up until his spine was arched and bent. He licked his skin until there were bald patches, chewed his nub to the bone. a massive sore formed on his chest. He hurt and had no one to turn to. His stool soon became runny and his owner didn't feed him to try and clear it up. I don't blame him for that, you wouldn't want to eat on an upset tummy right? His weight soon dropped to well under what it was, his ribs and hips were showing, he needed help and soon.

One day a girl decided to stand up to his owner. She is weak of body and strong of heart and spirit. She was abused as a child. Locked in a closet herself. She couldn't handle him going through the same thing she did. She voiced her opinion and Titan's owner threw a child's fit. He yelled and insulted her, then happily threw the dog at her, saying 'If you think you can do better then fine, here, he's yours.' So now with her being weak she turned to me, her fiancee, and long time dog handler. Growing up my father was a dog trainer and I worked with him from the time I was little. At the age of 8 I had a 140 pound Rottweiler under my control. I have friends with vet experience as well, it seemed he fell into the right hands now.

After looking him over and talking to some friends we planned out a health regiment for him. We started on addressing the runny stool. We changed his food and it helped. We also noticed fast movements made him cower, so I am suspecting that he has been hit at some point or another. From a trainer's point of view he is a good dog, not well mannered but good. Because of the past if he is out of his kennel for long he doesn't know what to do with himself, and messes in the house. That along with manners will keep us both busy for a bit.

He's not dumb by any means, at one point he was out eating and I decided to joke around with a friend playfully hitting her leg, Titian became very upset to the point of grabbing my hand with his mouth. As if to say that this behavior was not allowed. I didn't teach him that, and knowing he came to me without even knowing sit, I don't think his last owner taught him. So this is his humble beginning.

Up to the current date I wasn't sure where this would go if anything would even some of my work with him. It has. I am so proud of the progress he has made. After having him for just 3 months we have his spine straight again as well as most of the bald patches clearing up nicely. His weight is improving, you can no longer see his ribs or hips.

His training started last week (beginning of Feb) and with just a few short days he has learned a sit, heel, and wait command. Along with his manners of not jumping as well as walking in the house.

Sadly I don't have pictures from the start, it might be for the better, they were not to pretty. I will be posting some as we go. I hope you will stay with us as we go through Titan's Trial with him, with me.