Sunday, 25 May 2014

Kayo 2014

Was born 17 March 2013. He is a cross between Retriever, Labrador and Rottweiler; appearance is mostly as a Black Lab. Weighing 29Kg, he has newly been neutered.

27 March 2014, Kayo was rescued/adopted 
by us from the caregivers at Homeward Bound City Pound. As we understand it, he and his sister, Dash, had been twice picked up by the pound while free; the second time the owners could not afford to recover the two dogs. At one point the pound wanted us to rescue both dogs. This would be very problematic with training as you might recognize below.
At Stillwater Lake we have 200 acres, with waterfront, wharf and cabin. Doug is retired, while Gail is very busy with work—for the next ten months until she retires, finally!
Kayo is very friendly with other dogs and all people we have seen so far—it has been almost a week.
Dash at the City Pound
The first issues we encountered were when attempting to walk the dog—our last dog insisted on at least one walk a day, just after breakfast. Kayo did not seem to recognize any commands—even recognize his name! Everything Kayo saw on the walk appeared to be strange for him.
I should add that the trip from the pound to home was interesting as well. Being just myself when we adopted, the dog did not want to go in the truck. Once in, it tried to rest on my shoulders and neck! Eventually I had to tie up Kayo to the passenger seat for our safety!
So we have now described that walks and vehicles appear strange for the dog. We did notice that Kayo did not seem to be peeing or pooping at all. I had arranged a system to tie out the dog when needed. At first we thought we were missing the moment.
In our home, Kayo rapidly discovered the entire layout. We have a bit of a strange house with only an informal main floor and a more formal second floor that is not used much. We heat with wood, so the wood stove and wood storage are also on the main floor.
Kayo and Doug at the wharf
At first we let Kayo have the run of our home; then Gail noticed that he had pooped upstairs. During a general cleaning, later, I noticed at least four separate locations that Kayo had peed upstairs. It seems that Kayo always had done his business indoors! We are working on this in a gentle way but to see him outside doing his business now, it seems from his stance that he really does not look normal. For example he walks as he poops, and he squats when he pees.
Come, sit, break, down, 'Kayo', heel, all seem new to him.

2014-04-28...Kayo is doing just fine though he is a bit needy compared with our previous 14 year old we had.
A few notes on his behaviour:
                    He did not seem to understand our full length mirror in the bedroom. What was that dog doing at the window?
                    Originally Kayo did not seem to know how to play with the numerous dog toys that we have acquired. Now he loves to play with them and with us.
                    This dog loves to chew. We have had a few disasters—I lost one very nice collectable book. So we keep dog bones, chew toys and allow firewood to be available to limit our loses.
                    Food. At first Kayo did not seem to have much of an appetite. He now seems to relish everything. He has no morals about whose food is whose, and will rob food from the dining table if not guarded well. He has enough height to sniff at table height and stands on two legs easily to reach out.            Kayo does not guard food and allows us to take food and bones away from him
                    Squirrels are his enemy and he keeps an eye out for them inside and out.
                    Lakeside. Kayo was in the water before the ice went out. He fell off the wharf as we put out the floating wharf. Just loves the water and everything below the surface. Puts his head completely underwater to pick things up.
                    Walk-time. At first Kayo was unruly, pulling all the time. With a little training now he has progressed well and reacts appropriately to people and pets we meet.
                    Jumping up as a welcome back. This continues to be a problem. At about 60 pounds in a tall dog, when Kayo jumps up to greet us, it is a bit much. We are working on this.
                    Training. He has been doing very well, we believe. It is still early but we have been faithful to training every day. With lessons only once a week, we are still quite early in the process. He has been introduced to other dogs at class.
                    Cars. It seems evident that Kayo was never in a vehicle. I, Doug, am retired so I do not travel much. But I do like to walk somewhere different most days—Kayo gets a 1 hour walk in the early morning—we travel by truck for about 10 minutes. Anyhow Kayo was reluctant at first; now he just jumps in, expecting no reward. He is tethered in the back seat so I can drive.
                    Affection. Kayo loves affection being shown to him, and he loves to show affection, including jumping up, big licks and kisses. We are working on this.
                    Digging and eating anything outside. This is a minor issue. He does not seem to have had a lot of time outside in previous life!
                    As above, his habits on pee and pooh seem a little awkward—an example is that he often walks a little while in the process of pooh.
                    Boundaries. Kayo does not seem to recognize that we do not want him to go some places; upstairs, and in the kitchen are two areas that we don't want him to go. We are having problems there, even with barriers.
                    Strangers. Kayo is really not having any problems with new visitors.
                    Kennel. We have a large secure kennel area and Kayo uses this when we go out to dinner for example. He was reluctant to go to the kennel after the first time being alone. Now he is adjusting, and a treat will entice him to enter the kennel area. He barks a little while we leave but we think that he settles down as soon as we are out of sight.
                    Don't trust him. We do not trust him alone in the house or the car for anything beyond five minutes. He may want to chew anything. But probably this will not be a longstanding problem.
                    Furniture and the bed. Kayo started with expecting to be up on the couch and bed. He knows better than that now but continues to try.
Kayo at training
2014-05-25 Kayo completed his training about 10 days ago—dun grad-i-ated! He is pretty good IF we pay attention with our training aid—the Dogtra training collar. Otherwise he is about as reliable as Tibow ever was...not much. He is still a pup in many ways, especially in the morning, when he loves to jump on the bed for a cuddle with sleeping Gail. Just a word or two on dog training with the Dogta electronic collar. Ted Efthymiadis of Unleashed Potential Halifax was great at reasoning out our fears on this method of training. We each now know how much 'negative re-enforcement' is applied by the collar. With a dog that is a bit older and never trained, we deemed this an appropriate system.
Kayo loves the lake!
Looking at the list above, most seem to continue as a problem area. He now loves the car/truck. He found some squat on the wharf which he proceeded to lay down in, and promptly fell off the wharf, for his first swim ever. He was a bit panicked at first as evidenced by his front paws splashing a lot but by the time he got to shore his strokes had vastly improved. (Luckily he did not get tied up in his lease system.) Kayo still loves to chew and insists on some morning entertainment otherwise he will find something inappropriate to, toilet paper rolls, and the couch are his alternatives.
At the lake he is curious about everything and loves to dig.

He is improving everyday and does not show any aggression except against squirrels.

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As an armed forces brat, we lived in Rockcliff (Ottawa), Namao (Edmonton), Southport (Portage La Prairie), Manitoba, and Dad retired to St. Margaret's Bay, NS.
Working with the Federal Govenment for 25 years, Canadian Hydrographic Service, mostly. Now married to Gail Kelly, with two grown children, Luke and Denyse. Retired to my woodlot at Stillwater Lake, NS, on the rainy days I study the life and work of A. Hyatt Verrill 1871-1954.