Bonjour everyone !
Laura speaking here ! I promised you I'd update you on Lincoln's change of behavior since he was quite trouble a few months ago and you all gave me great advices and helped us a lot !
|watching the birds through the window|
Well, I'm proud to say Lincoln has almost become a perfect angel ! He is 16 months old now, and when I look back, I remember Lincoln chewing on furnitures, me always stressing out when leaving the house without him, Lincoln being VERY annoying during his walks (he'd start jumping for no reason, running around while he was on-leash...), Lincoln jumping on visitors, and so on.... and well I must say, it has improved a LOT !
First a all, all the detachment work we did (especially with me) has been very hard but working like magic!
Lincoln's anxiety when we left the house clearly was linked with the fact that I just gave him too much attention, all the time, being too happy to have my first own dog... and I guess it wasn't easy for Lincoln (who's quite an emotional sponge) to deal with it.
He used to sleep with us in the bedroom - not in the bed (though sometimes he did came in the morning...) and we've decided we'd use our move to Bordeaux to change that habit. He now sleeps in his own room with a baby gate at the door and he did not complain about it even once, not even the first night - he loves it !
We also started to teach him that he has to live his own life without us (not easy with a great dane hehe), and started leaving him from time to time in his room even when we were home (he did start lunging at the beginning, but seeing we did not react, he quickly stopped).
Big part of the detachment work for me (and the hardest for sure) was also to push him away when he was asking me for cuddles or else - I had to make him earn everything (even just by asking him to shake paws, to sit... ). He used to think I'd let him do anything, now when I say "no, leave me alone" he understands and go away (well, most of the time anyway).
We've also been working with visitors, making him sit and wait until I say the release word. He is now doing great and my mum who had not seen him for 3 months said he had changed a lot :-)
|looking good !|
What has changed also are the destructions in the house. Well, since middle November there has been none ! We first thought it was because of the pheromone diffuser we put in his room, but then after a couple of months we've decided to remove it and it did not change anything.
Before, when we were about to leave, Lincoln would start whining, sometimes even barking, or he'd start scratching the floor.... We also worked hard on this point. Fake departures, music on ( so he does not hear all the noises from the neighbors and everything (we live on the ground floor so there's quite a lot of noise ). We also stopped making a fuss of him every time we came back, and continued doing a bit of clicker every time before we leave (even if we're in a hurry and we only have 5 minutes left we still do it! he loves it. )
And now.... he knows when we're leaving, because he goes in his bed (like if he had finally understood that we were going to come home no matter what) ! Every time we come home he's all warm and groggy which makes us believe he just spends all the time sleeping like a baby.
Lincoln being able to stay home on his own without destroying anything is a big big RELIEF.
Anyway, I said "I'm proud to say Lincoln has almost become a perfect angel", and used "almost" because YES it's not perfect yet as he still has a problem when we see others dogs on the street ( it's not automatic anymore but still it happens very often) and that's very embarrassing because I know other people think my dog is dangerous or mean when I know he is NOT, I can see he just can't stop himself from acting silly and growling (with excitement).
|playing in the park|
Though he is very very well behaved on leash (he walks perfectly next to me) .... he will very often stop (he does not pull on the leash) when he sees a dog (and especially if it's a small dog), raise his ears, and start growling with excitement and sometime start jumping.
I try to make him walk, heel, sit. Everything. Nothing seems to work. I understand people find it scary (I would if I did not know my dog !)... and it's making me feel like I'm helpless, especially when the behaviorist and one of the trainer told me Lincoln is just like that and there's a chance he won't change on that point ... we've been working a LOT on it, and he's perfect with other dogs when off-leash (he plays really rough, but he is not aggressive), but now I'm starting to feel like we're working on it for nothing because there's not much change even though we work on it EVERY single day.
Do you have any tips for us ? Any suggestion ?
|thanks for your help !!|
Tomorrow we're taking him to a playdate with two other great danes and a labrador ! We're going there by bus (Lincoln loves the bus!).
We will post pictures on here !
Thanks to all of you for always leaving us nice comments !!
PS: I'm so sorry if I make horrible mistakes in English from time to time ! Please, bear with me. (and I'm sure Lincoln speaks better English than I do ! Hehe )