Today marks 2 years since we welcomed Kane into our family. He has brought us a lot of joy and we have also learned a lot about dog behavior and anxiety. Kane came to live with us right in the middle of covid restrictions and lockdowns, so a lot about what I know about fear windows and socializing and exposing him to different things and people we weren’t able to do. It definitely showed me how important they are, and how much work it takes to try to work your way through it after the fact and help him to be a confident happy dog.
The people he met and got to know in his fear windows are his best friends. They get to see his true personality…the goofy, loving playful Kane that we live with everyday. They also get to see the little bugger who often has selective hearing when he is doing something he wants that we don’t…
Where he struggles is with new people…and being left alone. 2 separate issues that I will delve a little further into.
He is unsure of new people. He doesn’t know if he should be scared of them, protect us from them or run for cover. Thankfully he is slowly improving…with a lot of work. One of the main thing we focus on is telling everyone who meets him to ignore him. Don’t look at him, don’t talk to him, just completely ignore him until he is calm and brave enough to come and see them himself. They still need to ignore him until he bugs them for attention. Usually that works fairly well. If it’s a really busy setting, and we have a lot of people around that is usually overwhelming and I either put him and Rosco in our bedroom (which is the easiest way), or I make him stay by me and lie down. I’m not sure which is better, but if I can’t focus on what he is doing I would rather him be set up for success by not having something happen that sets him back. And really a bit of time in the bedroom isn’t a bad thing either. It helps us with his other major problem. Being away from us.
He doesn’t LOVE his kennel, but we did a lot of work on that and now he tolerates it. Our end goal is to have him be loose in the house or cabin when we leave…like all our other dogs have been. Our Rottweilers were kenneled the longest…we couldnt trust them free in the house until they were 2…so I hope that means Kane will outgrow this and one day soon we will be able to leave him alone.
Right now every chance we have given him has led to him destroying something. However he is fairly well behaved when I leave him alone in the truck. Not always good, he has eaten a lot of the cookies I take to my clinics that I meet with and he has shredded my notebook as well as a box of masks. But recently he seems to be improving…or I’m leaving less temptation for him. Which makes me hopeful that he will soon settle when we leave him in the house or the cabin. In the meantime we will continue to kennel him and try him for short times alone. When he does those without incident we will extend the times he is free.
Time is flying by…how is he almost 4 months old already?
We went to our first puppy class on Wednesday. He was a little nervous at first but it didn’t take him long to come out of his shell and show off his smarts. There were some things that covid19 affected and some things that were the same as last time I did puppy classes. The one thing that covid19 affected is the puppy free time at the beginning of class. At every other class I have attended the puppies got a bit of free time before class to play and socialize on their own. I loved that aspect because they got to play with other dogs their own age(ish) in a controlled environment. But because there are so many strict rules with covid19 we aren’t allowed to pet each other’s dogs or come within 6 feet of each other, and of course hand sanitizer and masks are mandatory. Kane was eager to meet the other puppies and spent a bit of time crying to let me know that he was disappointed with my “rule” that didn’t let him go play and meet the other puppies…if only he knew how disappointed I was as well.
Covid19 rules and limitations aside the class was a huge success. I learned a few new things to help him build confidence and I also think training in different environments with distractions is so important to having a well rounded dog. This class is focused on positive reinforcement and encourages clicker training. There were a few people that chose not to use a clicker, but the majority of us did. The other thing I like is that the trainer still took time to work with all of our dogs so that they experienced different trainers and realized they have to behave and follow commands from other people.
We came home with “homework” which we have been doing numerous times throughout the day. He catches on to things really quickly. So I’m anxious to see how he does this week.
The weekend was bitterly cold (-30 Saturday and -44 Sunday), there wasn’t much wind, but both dogs weren’t interested in walks…And neither was I. So we enjoyed some cuddle and couch time and worked on our homework. I was looking forward to working on leash walks, but I guess we will have to do those this week when it warms up a bit. I also missed his weekly picture to track his growth, but we can try and get one this week I guess.
Kane was 14 weeks old this past Friday, I continue to be amazed at how quickly he is growing, and how time is flying by. He keeps us busy (and entertained). The poor guy loves the snow, but really struggles with the cold. Lucky for us he is very cooperative with getting dressed in his boots and jacket to go out.
We have been working on all his existing “tricks” and added in shake a paw last week. He is doing so well with clicker training, he has all the things we have taught so far down pat. His first puppy class is tomorrow, so I am very excited about that. Not only will I get to see people, but it will add in some normalcy into getting a new puppy.
I wanted to take a minute to talk pet insurance in this post. I have had Insurance on almost all of my pets and can’t say enough good about it. When I was in clinic I saw hard decisions made because of financial issues and I never want to be in that situation. Brogan maxed out a $10k insurance plan and I only paid 10% of that. I wasn’t thrilled with the company I was with for Brogan, and realized a plan with a limit wasn’t great so before I got Kane I did a lot of research on insurance plans. I decided that Trupanion was the best fit for what I was looking for.
If you are getting a new pet or have one and have been thinking about insurance I definitely recommend you take a minute to check them out:
My pet is protected with Trupanion and I thought you should check them out! They offer medical insurance for cats and dogs and it gives me so much peace of mind. Use my link to check them out: http://r.trupanion.com/3fzjLZ
Well he is almost 14 weeks and I’m just writing his 13 week post…but I committed to one post a week (to myself) so better late than never…
We started clicker training with him this week. I had done it with my 2 rottie’s and with Brogan and Rosco in puppy classes, but had since lost my clicker. I ordered a few off Amazon and we introduced him to it this week. It’s amazing how easy it makes marking and shaping the behavior you are looking for. I had to refresh some of my timing, it’s pretty easy to click and reinforce something incorrectly. I accidentally got him looking away instead of lifting a paw (for shake a paw) and now he randomly offers that. I will definitely work on something to go with the look away though. Maybe are you ashamed or embarrassed…something that can be a cute trick. He is eager to please, but has a short attention span, so training sessions can only be a few minutes before he loses interest or quits trying. If it’s a trick he knows that’s a different story, but learning something new is kept short and sweet so no one gets frustrated.
He now happily goes in his kennel and doesn’t seem to cry much. I’m not always home once I put him in now, but he seems to be okay in it. He still has his calmeroo puppy in his kennel and a stuffed Kong and of course some treats. He goes in and out randomly throughout the day, but doesn’t go to sleep in it on his own yet. He would rather sleep with Rosco or by one of us.
We still haven’t gotten a lot of leash walking in, just on our way home from our off leash walks, but I did get him a new harness that should work well. I like front clip harnesses for training. I’ve used head halters too, my 2 rottie’s loved them, 2 bordeaux’s hated them and Rosco is okay with them, but the front clip harness worked great with my 2 bordeaux’s so that is what my plan is for Kane.
All in all Kane is growing like a little weed, but is still SO affectionate and loving. He is learning new things every day and we couldn’t love him more.
Tomorrow he is 14 weeks old, so I better save something for next week’s post 🤪
Hard to believe we have had him in our lives for a month. It seems like just yesterday I was on my way to pick him up. He continues to fill our lives with love and laughter. And we are so thankful to have him.
We continue to work on the basics. Sit is offered anytime he wants something and he does it the second you say the word, lie down isn’t offered as freely but he definitely knows it and does it when asked. Wait is still a work in progress, he can do it, but the word confuses him. So we are working on him doing it and rewarding it without a word. The word will come.
Kennel training is being worked on daily, he runs to his kennel as soon as you mention the word, wonders in and out numerous times throughout the day but still spends a bit of time crying once he is in it and alone. This emphasizes how important kennel training is to having a well balanced dog that doesn’t struggle with separation anxiety when he is older. It’s hard to be consistent with it when I am working from home, but because I understand how important it is we will continue until he is completely content in his kennel (and can be trusted unsupervised). I can’t stress how important it is to have a kennel trained puppy. It helps then when they are at the groomer, or the vet clinic, or if they ever need to be boarded. Most importantly it helps them be calm and relaxed when you aren’t there. I don’t know how many dogs that we saw that had some level of separation anxiety when I worked in clinic, but even one is one too many. If you are one of the many people that got a new puppy during this pandemic and are working from home please make sure you set your puppy up for success by making sure he is kennel trained and is left alone some of the time. It will make your life so much better once your dog is older and life gets back to normal.
Another week with our new family member. He is definitely bringing a lot of joy and happiness. His joy is infectious… everything is fun and exciting and it’s hard not to laugh at his antics.
He went for his 2nd vaccination appointment this past week and weighed in at 20.8lbs. He won’t end up being as big as Brogan, but still should be in the 100lb range. He definitely has more energy than Brogan (or even Rosco) did as puppies…He actually reminds me a lot of Kira, our first rottie puppy. He is a fast learner and I’m sure I will be reading up on all sorts of trick training once we have the basics covered.
Rosco has been the best big brother. He tolerates Kane’s constant biting and wrestling and allows him to cuddle with him when he is tired.
Kane doesn’t love his kennel, but is definitely improving, he goes in happily and the crying doesn’t last long now. I think in part to keeping it fun (The best treats), and short and in part because of his calmeroo puppy. It is a stuffed toy that has a battery operated heart beat and a heat pack to make it warm. Kane snuggles with his “Teddy” whenever no one else is available.
He has sit and lie down perfected and is working hard at wait. That one is a little harder, but is so important in life. We are doing a little on leash on every walk to get him used to walking nicely on a leash, but since we are at the cabin we still do the majority of our walks off leash. His recall remains perfect. He can’t come back fast enough when I call. Almost beating Rosco back some of the time.
Puppies are so much work, but they are definitely worth it all.
I hope that all of you had a very Merry Christmas 🎄
Well we did it, we got a new puppy. He is busy, smart and the most cuddly dog we have ever had. But the most important thing is that he was exactly what we needed to bring joy back in our lives.
This time we got a cross. We have always gotten purebreds when we have chosen them. Gunner and Rosco came into our lives, and weren’t purebred and we couldn’t have loved them more, so this time we figured we would try a mix of 2 breeds I’ve always loved. Kane is a pitbull English mastiff cross.
We got him a couple weeks ago and are pretty impressed with how quickly he catches on to things. He has sit down pat, and sits anytime he wants anything…
He is pretty consistent with lie down, house training is going well, he still is hit or miss for asking, but definitely goes to the door. We are working on wait (he struggles with that one because he doesn’t have a lot of patients). He has the best recall and walks like a champ off leash. We are working on walking on leash, but since we are mostly in secluded trails lately and he has a great recall and doesn’t go far I will worry more about leash walking when we need it.
He HATES the cold, but loves the snow when it isn’t too cold. Luckily he is very happy to have his coat put on and is also not so big that I can’t carry him when he is too cold and needs to be carried to warm up.
We are working hard at socializing him with as many people as we can…covid19 has made that a little trickier, but we are introducing him to as many people as we can. I was so happy that I found a puppy class, as soon as he has a couple more vaccines under the belt we will enroll him in puppy classes. In my opinion it is one of the best ways to both socialize and teach them to focus on you when there are a lot of distractions.
I know some people wonder how you can get another dog after the heartbreak of losing one…well for me I know when I’m ready and have room in my heart. They never replace the ones that we lost, but take a new spot. I know going in that eventually they are going to break your heart, but I focus on all the joy they bring while they are with you. And I can honestly say Kane is bringing us a lot of joy, and love, and affection.
I haven’t written about Brogan in a while. Mostly because I wasn’t sure what to write. He took a turn for the worse on March 1st, with a lot of collapses on his walks, then we noticed his heart was stuck at 200 beats per minute (normal should have been between 60 and 70 for a dog his size). So after numerous trial and error with drugs we finally got him on new drugs that seemed to be working and he was making progress every day. I knew that all the racing his heart had done would have caused damage, but I was still optimistic about how he was doing and was hoping to get many more years with him. My logical brain knew it probably wouldn’t be years, but my heart was hoping he would shock everyone and live to the crazy old age of 13.
Brogan died in my arms on June 15th at 4am under the lilac tree’s. Where he wanted to be. We went to the cabin Thursday night and he had a great weekend, ate well, played in every puddle he could and even convinced me he could go for longer walks. Then Sunday night when we got back from golfing he was laying behind the door by the washing machine and his color was terrible and his belly looked like he had bloated. So I gave him simethecone and laid with him on the floor. He seemed to be improving a bit, but I was still worried. So Rodney and I decided to come home at 10:30. We got home and by 1:30 I realized that it was probably fluid in his belly, it kept accumulating and was painful. I gave him more diuretics and hoped he could at least be comfortable until morning so I could bring him in and get him euthanized. (covid19 has changed who is allowed into most vet clinics and none that I could think of offered emergency services or will allow you to be with your pet while they are euthanized) But it didn’t work that way. At about 2:30am he wanted out, had a few painful bouts of diarrhea and then just wanted to lay under the lilacs. So I came in the house and got a sleeping bag and laid with him. He died at 4am. I came and told Rodney and we all went out. Rosco wouldn’t leave me and Brogan so we laid out there with him until 7:30 when we came in. Took a bit of a rigamarole to get him in to be cremated (more covid19 restrictions on services allowed), but when Rodney and I got there to drop him off the owner let us know he would do it all at no charge. Very kind of him and not necessary for sure. The owner works for the company that the vet clinic I used to work at has used since I was there. He didn’t remember me, but knows the girls at the clinic and felt bad about everything I think. And is just generous.
I cried for him so much yesterday, I thought I had so much more time because he was doing so well. We were struggling with his appetite, but as long as I fed him what he wanted that was improving. I told Rodney we got robbed, but Rodney said Brogan took the hard decision about when it would be time to let him go out of our hands. And he died after having a great weekend at the lake, a truck ride (which he loved) under the lilacs, which he loved. He was an amazing dog, who will always be remembered by everyone as the big gentle giant. He didn’t have a mean bone in his body and will be missed by more than just us. He let people know what he wanted and was thinking without being able to speak. And oozed Broganisma (a word a friend came up with and I never forgot because it fit him so well) I’m trying to focus on the fact that we got way more time than any vet thought we would with his heart, and that although he didn’t quite make 9 he was almost there and that constitutes an old Dogue de Bordeaux, even for a healthy hearted one. Rosco is sad, but is cuddling and loving up Rodney (he became a dad’s suck in the last couple of years) and we are all just trying to get by without our goofy Brogan to brighten our day.
I haven’t written for a while again… seems like I have the best intentions to keep my blog current and then the wheels fall off the bus, life gets busy and honestly a little bit of self doubt creeps in (after all what is so special about what I have to say). I am going to try to be more frequent with my posts again though. I still enjoy doing it.
Last time I wrote about Brogan trying out a fitbit to see if we could catch a dizzy episode or collapse with him, or even just a little insight into what happens when he gets excited. But we were lucky, or I should say are lucky, because the change in his heart meds has seemed to eliminate all his symptoms… hopefully for a long long time. I’m still not brave enough to let him cruise around off leash, but we do go for longer walks and we play in the backyard and he gets really goofy with Rosco and seems to feel good.
He hadn’t been doing a lot of that, even when he wasn’t feeling dizzy or having symptoms from his heart condition. We were noticing that he was sore and had a harder time getting in and out of the truck and definitely wasn’t cruising up and down the hallway and leaping in and out of the bed…then we tried hemp oil. Since then he is a big goof. Always wants to go further on our walks, but his heart still plays him out, just no more discomfort, so he thinks he should be able to go forever. It’s great to see my older guy feels so good that he is determined to go longer, and is always eager to go for a walk. It’s hard to see your furbaby age, but seeing him feel so good again makes me very happy.
He isn’t wearing his fitbit anymore because I think we have everything under control…for the moment anyway. And that is good enough for me…we will continue to do what we can to keep him happy and comfortable, and as healthy as we possibly can.
If you are interested in trying the remedy hemp with you furbaby, or yourself, or just want to learn more about it reach out to me at email@example.com
Brogan has beaten the odds, no one had expectations of him making it for more than 4 months after he was diagnosed. We smashed those numbers and he continues to do well. If I’m doing math correctly it’s been 2 1/2 years since his diagnosis, which is amazing and we are so grateful that he is still with us and doing relatively well. He is now starting to show old dog symptoms, so we have added CBD oil to his morning ritual. It’s amazing how big of a difference that has made for him. He has the puppy “zoomies” more often than he has in a long while. It’s a fantastic thing to see him be such a goof again. I didn’t realize that he had slowed down until we see him act like a puppy again.
His heart still gives him a bit of grief (and a little stress for those that love him). He still has had random dizzy spells when he gets excited, but overall we seemed to have it under control. Then this past weekend he had a bad collapse, this one seemed a little different than the ones in the past. He got dizzy, but then when he collapsed and lost consciousness he lost control of his bladder and also went very rigid. It was more like a mini seizure of some sort than his normal faint. I don’t know what to think about that. He’s rarely lost control of his bladder (but it has happened) and I’ve only seen him go rigid once before and that was right before we diagnosed him. So now the neurological link possibility fits a little better. The cardiologist thought there might be a neurological issue that was a contributing factor to his collapses, but no one was really sure how to test that or if it was all a heart issue. Not that this has confirmed anything for anyone. It is just another piece in the complex puzzle that has become our life with Brogan. His most recent collapse makes me realize that we do really need to enjoy every minute we have with him.