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Summer Activities for the shibas
  • tsukitsunetsukitsune
    Posts: 6468
    Tonight we have (possibly the last) session with our behaviorist. I have learned a great deal about effective communication from him, but I feel that possibly it is time to learn some new lessons from other canine professionals.

    This summer we have started Kitsune with agility basics in the backyard while trying to push a non-fearful approach to strangers on his behalf, and so far we've made fairly good progress with both. Our goal is to hire an agility trainer to help us work with Kitsune's natural ability on the equipment and to introduce him to an actual course. I'm really excited about this!

    For Tsuki, I'm not really sure where we want to concentrate with her, I think she'd be a great hiker, possibly light pack carrier, because she has endless energy. BUT - she has grade 1 LP, what sort of advice can anyone give me about weight distribution in a pack for her?
    We have an empty pack that we put on Kitsune that fits Tsuki, and occasionally we'll put empty plastic grocery bags in it for clean up but that's all we would put into it.

    Hachi, she still has a ways to go, she's not quite blossomed yet. But she is letting us see more and more of her true colors as the days go by. We have noticed that she A. LOVES to walk, B. is food driven and C. is more tolerant of meeting new people than she is new dogs. She put a dog into his place yesterday that was off lead (I hate people that don't care) and came barreling up to her, in her face, she snarled and should and could have lunged at him but only snapped quick to get him away from her. It's amazing the language barrier that is no longer since seeing the behaviorist! I knew what she was doing!
    Since she is low key and very good with people of all ages, I'm thinking perhaps therapy dog once she gets through her obedience certifications.. which we plan to start in early August.
    What types of traits should I be looking for in her to be a good therapy dog?
    Or is there such a thing that someone in a wheel chair can walk her or something where we can use her walking in her therapeutic services?

    What other training options are there for 18lb dogs?
    Are your dogs doing much over the summer?
    Post edited by curlytails at 2012-05-29 03:28:11
  • Akira InuAkira Inu
    Posts: 19
    Akira is a little odd from what i understand about Shibas. He loves water and swimming. So I try to take him places we can hike and go for a swim usually creeks and rivers and such. I have also thought about the pack thing for him I heard some dogs really take to that - it gives them a task and makes them feel good about helping the pack out. I try to do something at the very least once a week with Akira otherwise he starts getting weird about people and new things he would become a total introvert if i let him. Also Akira does much better with strangers away from the house.
  • brandon_wbrandon_w
    Posts: 3433
    Nemo will probably spend most of his summer under the bed, as it must be cooler down there.

    You have a lot planned for your Shibas, and it all sounds like fun.
  • scarletscarlet
    Posts: 562
    Brandon, you are just too funny, too funny.

    Jake will spend his summer playing as often as possible., socializing with people and other dogs, and just having fun during these young years, probably 'cause that's all his little attention span can handle right now.
  • tsukitsunetsukitsune
    Posts: 6468
    akira inu - my tsuki LOVES water too!! although she hasn't technically swam yet. When we hike near a lake, she takes a running leap into the lake, no hesitation! Its hilarious!
  • HarlowHarlow
    Posts: 579
    Putting our two Shibas in agility classes did so much for their self confidence. Both were wary of people they didn't know. Being in a class with other people and dogs where they had to concentrate on doing the obstacles anyway was one of the best things we did for them.
    This summer, Koshi and Harlow will be going to dog parks with a lot of shade and will probably be enjoying early evening walks when it has cooled down. We also know every trail around here where you can walk mostly in the shade of trees. Shibas seem to not take direct sunlight heat very well. Our Malamutes did fine on sunny day summer walks, but maybe their double coat worked better as an insulator against heat than the Shibas'
    We'd take them to the beach but neither one is very excited about going in the ocean or the river that flows into the ocean.
  • Akira InuAkira Inu
    Posts: 19
    Akira sleeps on the bathroom floor because it is cool. I have a feeling he is not much for summer. This is his first summer and he has gone from moderate energy to down right lazy for the most part he even sleeps in now.

    I take him to a park near our house and it has a small river. Soon as he sees the water he starts running and pulling on his lead. I wish i could let him off his leash but i dont trust him. He is a bolter. I bought one of those 16' retractable leashes for him just so he could swim. I go in to my knees and he goes crazy swimming and climbing on rocks and jumping in. I would like to take him to the ocean sometime or a lake or something where he could really swim. Or if i had a pool i guess....
  • RomiRomi
    Posts: 2722
    Wow, that is quite a bit of activities you have planned for your pups. Sounds great though, im sure the agility will help a lot for kitsune. Im glad Hachi is warming up to you and you are seeing her true colors. Its really great that she is now food driven, I remember you saying she wasn't food driven when trying to make her go in the kitchen tile flooring, maybe since she is more comfortable and food driven, you can start conditioning her with food and the kitchen tile flooring?
  • tsukitsunetsukitsune
    Posts: 6468
    yes, romi! We are pleased to say that Hachi has become much much more enthusiastic about food rewards. I think the initial adjustment made her very nervous and distracted and not even pieces of chicken could sway her but now - look out! She is nutty for food! We've used that to teach her sit and we're working with stay and she'll come about a food onto the tile before she gets nervous. little by little. But she's visibly becoming more comfortable with me. With John - it varies on the day.. she won't even take treats from him sometimes!
    She is going to be difficult to train I think, she's eager to please and food driven, but she's still so distracted. I think a small, formal obedience class will really help us make headway with her!!

    How has Ninja been doing?
  • JessicaRabbitJessicaRabbit
    Posts: 2217
    As far as things to look for in therapy dogs...

    Non reactiveness first and foremost. MY trainer tests by banging canes and walkers very close to the dog. She honks horns, shouts, rolls wheel chairs, even has shot starter pistols. The dog must remain CALM amongst the chaos.

    Then your dog needs to be able to be handled by just about anyone, just about anywhere on their body.

    Your dog cannot jump on people. And needs to be able to hold a quality sit-stay, and down-stay.

    She also needs to at least be dog-tolerant.

    Once I learned about what was required of my dogs, I ruled out Moto, and most likely Miko (I am training her for it, but won't bother to certify her until she is probably about three, and only if she calms down.)

    Piglet will begin her certification testing in the next couple months.
  • tsukitsunetsukitsune
    Posts: 6468
    hmm. I would certainly rule out Kitsune. He is not good with people and reactive to noises he can't see. But he's fine with the vacuum and t-storms!

    Tsuki, maybe, but like Miko, I wouldn't try to certify her until she was older, she's the only dog in the house to get her CGC. But she's still a jumper!

    Hachi I can't rule out yet, I think she has that potential, she is dog tolerant, just will not shy away from putting a rude dog in its place. I hope that in the coming months, or years, she will be less reactive to new scenarios and noises and perhaps we will pursue it when she is ready.
  • tsukitsunetsukitsune
    Posts: 6468
    argh. well it seems Hachi is having a 'split-heat'?? so we are waiting at least another 2-3 months before spaying her.
    How many times a year do female shibas go into heat?
    Are split heats common among younger female dogs? I hadn't heard of split heat until this morning!!
  • brandon_wbrandon_w
    Posts: 3433
    I had not heard of a split heat until I just read that.
  • tsukitsunetsukitsune
    Posts: 6468
    its news to me, too!
    Post edited by tsukitsune at 2008-06-24 22:34:45
  • AnjyilAnjyil
    Posts: 776
    I hope some one can help. I am from Washington State so I am not familiar with the hot and muggy weather of Japan. I really want to engage in some activities with my shiba, Coal, but I am not sure what to do. We walk him in the early morning and late evenings, but afternoons are well into the 90s (sometimes almost 100!) plus heavy humidity. Can't play with him inside, either. Living room is too small and upstairs usually adds about 5 degrees (no AC upstairs. We are debating it, but lots of issues with that)

    Our front yard is cemented as a parking space for the classes I teach. Getting to the park is about a 5-10 minute walk with zero shade and almost no grass. I don't want to hurt his feet walking in the afternoon just to go to the park and play for five minutes, but I want him to be active and play, of course! Our hose is too short, too :( and the nearest dog runs have no shade, either (no pools either).

    And finally, so far, haven't been able to find any activities like agility or barn hunts, etc. The only thing I found so far is once a week training classes about an hour or two from our house.

    Coal will chase a ball for a few minutes, then just sit in the shade. We give him plenty of water, but he stores up all his energy for the nice, ACed living room..... really need to give him a safe outlet!
  • spacedogsspacedogs
    Posts: 361
    Hose is too short, but try a bucket or a little splash pool for him. My dogs also really like the frozen socks they favored while teething in the summer, too. A nice frozen/cold thing to chew on and play tug with. Laika appreciates ice cubes to crunch up, Rhyz doesn't care for them unless they're already crushed up and then he might lick them a bit lol.

    I live somewhere where the temps are similar to you - hot, often humid, and I don't have AC. I just have a lot of fans, and thankfully a lot of trees for shade. On the particularly hot days the dogs don't go outside much, they lay under a fan, chew on frozen things, eat some ice cubes, and relax. Once the sun starts to go down and the air cools a bit we'll go out in the yard and get them to run some, and once the sun has set and the pavement's cool we'll go for a walk around the neighborhood. Seems the common thing to do, nearly everyone in town is out walking their dogs after 9 p.m. here in the summer.

  • LilikoiLilikoi
    Posts: 1272
    Where we've been spending the last month in Texas is super hot and humid lol. Often over the hundreds and the humidity is like trying to breathe peanut butter. :)) But there is a "cold front" of a high of 90 degrees coming next week! =D> You know you're in Texas when you're excited about a cold front that drops temperatures into the 80s. :D

    We wake up early every day to walk Ozzy before it's too hot, and walk him at night when it cools down. I bought him a kiddie pool to play in, but he really doesn't like water lol. He likes to play "bobbing for toys" in it, where he doesn't get wet, but he can reach in and grab toys to take in and out. I bought a cooling vest made by ruffwear (swamp cooler) specifically for this trip, and he wears it on his walks if it's particularly stagnant / sunny / hot. Even in the morning and evening, the temperatures stay in the 80s, but it's much better than during the daytime. I also use musher's secret to protect his paws. It's made for protecting paws against salt and ice in the winter, but it also helps in the summer. I also have a spray bottle that I can bring on walks for a refreshing mist (mostly I use this for us humans lol). But everyone here has AC, so we play a lot indoors with the AC. I have a flirt pole (like one of those cat toys with a pole and toy on the end of a string, but built for dogs), which he loves lol. He loves fetch and playing chase.

    Physical exertion and running around does not tire him out lol. It gets the ball rolling and he can go forever. But mental stimulation really tires him out quickly. We practice tricks / learn new ones, play with a puzzle toy or hide a few treats around the room / house, and one of his favorite games is "find it," where he sits and waits while I hide one of his toys out of sight. He's relentless and will never give up until he finds it lol. It really tires him out.
  • AnjyilAnjyil
    Posts: 776
    Bucket might work...he is a little iffy around water,I learned XD coal loves ice. Maybe let him play around with the cube more. It's difficult to play in the evening because our neighbors are mostly old people who go to bed earlier (and friends of my in-laws, which means they might get an earful if we are too noisy) But yeah, we wait until the sun goes down to walk him.

    @Lilikoi Wow, I never pictured Texas as a humid place! We are lucky if it sinks to mid 80s now in the evenings, and I am seriously dreading August this year XD that musher's secret thing sounds like a good idea. I have been worrying a lot about his paws. Upstairs is super hot, so playing indoors is out. Hubby may or may not break on getting AC, depending on how our new fan goes, but doubt it. he worries too much about how it affects my asthma. Coal DOES eventually wear out with enough activity coupled with mental stimulation. we almost got the mental down with all the training activities and puzzle toys I am collecting for him. Coal still has trouble with find it in a room sense. Good with hands and people, though haha.

    I guess we will just have to ride it out. One more month and the temp should start to drop..I hope....this year has been weird.
  • LilikoiLilikoi
    Posts: 1272
    @Anjyll - Texas is massive of course, so some areas are more humid than others. Where we are, very far south east, it's like bayou / swamp haha, so it's super muggy and hot. Doesn't really have a winter. xD I'm glad I don't live here anymore lol. I'm really itching to get back to Idaho for some hiking and other outdoor activities! Ozzy is very adaptable, though. He's content to relax while indoors and go for hours outdoors. And he's pretty easy to entertain and holds focus pretty effortlessly.

    I think Coal will improve as he matures, too, and will become more well adjusted. :) in Ozzy's adolescent days, he was more challenging. This time last year, we were in North Carolina. Which can be hot in the summer, though not as miserable as Texas. We still walked in the mornings and evenings and even sometimes during the day (there's tons of shady paths). His access to space had to be heavily managed since he was a little hyper in his youth and we were visiting my very frail grandparents, so he was always either napping in his crate or tethered to me. But we spent a lotttt of time on walks and playing when at my sister's apartment. I think this summer will be your most challenging. :D hopefully after this year, it'll get easier.
  • AnjyilAnjyil
    Posts: 776
    @Lilikoi I hope he does adjust. I worry about his health a lot, and even mornings can be soooo hot. He just seems so lethargic, too. I think part of that is the fluxoitine, but we are reducing and going to eliminate that soon and he is still kind of just lazy in the afternoon. Even during walks, he doesn't make it long. I will look forward to next year, then. He will be almost two years old by then, and I hear that two is around the mark where Shiba start to...calm down (relatively speaking).

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