Sunday, March 27, 2011

A Big Day

Oscar has had a busy Sunday. We walked him after lunch and then we met up with our friends and their cockapoo at a pet store/coffee shop in town. What a cute little place - I dream of quitting my day job and owning a pet store/coffee shop. That would be so much fun!

We have something for the car that is hooked onto a seat belt and attaches to his harness. It's so short that it keeps him from standing up, and he has to sit or lie down to be comfortable. We thought this would be handy because he tends to stand up and run around in the backseat if he's not secured, which obviously can be dangerous. It was the first time we tried it though, and he was pretty agitated at not being able to stand up or move around. Even treats didn't get his attention, and he whined pretty much the whole ride.

He looks happy here...but he
definitely wasn't pleased at all.

By the time we got to the pet store/coffee shop, he was a little overexcited. We tried to sit with him in the car until he calmed down but it didn't really work. We should have waited longer, but we were already late! We'll leave more time the next time we try something new. He barked like crazy at people and dogs when we first got inside, but after a while he quieted down (more or less).

I'm going to read up (more) on how to help with the barking, because what I've been doing hasn't really helped. I try to correct the barking and then treat when he's quiet, but that hasn't done anything at all. I think maybe the treating confuses him and I am inadvertently rewarding the barking. I have also tried to stay quiet to convey that there's nothing wrong, but that doesn't really work either since he's not paying any attention to me when he's barking. The barking is definitely a miniature schnauzer trait, but I'm going to keep working on it. Also, we want to get him out and about more when the weather improves so that he can get used to being in different settings with other people and dogs. He could definitely use more socialization - that will probably help with the barking in the long run.

We headed to grandma and grandpa's house after the pet store/coffee shop. He was much calmer when we used the seatbelt harness attachment for that ride. He got another short walk, and then he had a ball exploring the house and stealing gloves and other interesting things. It's hard keeping an eye on a rambunctious puppy in a house that hasn't been puppy-proofed, that's for sure!

By the time he got into the car for the ride home, he was way too pooped to protest about the harness attachment at all. It's the calmest he's ever been in the car. Now he's napping. Tuckered out puppy = happy owners!

He was pretty chilled out at first...

...and then he fell asleep.


Wyatt said...

Pet store/coffee shop! What a cute idea. Can pets actually go in there? How swell would that be!
Take pictures inside...Airedales want to see what they are missing!

Wyatt and Stanzie

Rubie said...

I don't think I would like your car harness AT ALL! Mine has a little more length so I can sit and stand and stretch my legs..... but not enough to get to my parents in the front seat. My mum feels your pain with the barking business - we schnauzers are "alert doggies" and like to use our big voices a lot... I won't even let people walking across the street from my house any peace and quiet! I tell them I'm not happy by barking loudly at them. When I get to doggie Skool I take about 10 mins to settle down because of my high excitement level! Qscar and me are still only pups.....maybe we will settle down with a little more age??? Tail Wuggles, Rubie.

Katie said...

I'm interested in knowing more about the seatbelt/harness thing. I've been thinking about getting them for my furkids. I'm confused on how it works (if it does) with a 3-point seatbelt in the backseat - how are they prevented from moving about since there is a lot of give in those belts? (Obviously, I'm not an engineer... hehe!)

OscarBlogger said...

Wyatt - I didn't take any pictures this time - I was too busy trying to keep Oscar from barking! I'll try to next time though, if they don't mind. :)

Rubie - 10 minutes to calm down isn't bad! Oscar needs a good half hour, or at least he did yesterday. I do hope schnauzers mellow with age! I won't be able to keep up with him otherwise. ;)

Katie - I'm sure the harness attachment would be able to move if it were just hooked onto a seatbelt normally, but we've got a seat cover and the only slits in the cover are down near the seat where the buckles are, so that's where the harness attachment comes out. That's why Oscar has to stay so low to the seat. My husband put it in so I'm not 100% sure how he did it, but I'll try to take a couple of pictures soon and see if there are any other ways we can hook it up and let you know!

Anonymous said...

I'd love to own a coffee/pet shop! Great idea! Daisy had a dog seat belt, she'd step on the button to unbuckle the seat belt! :)

Blue Eyes said...

Hi there, found your blog through a comment on I read a swedish book called "kontaktkontraktet" which probably means something like "the contact contract". She describes a way to quit some of the dogs barking, and I thought you might be interested.

It's a chapter called "skvallra", and I'm not really sure how to translate that.. "tell" or "let on"... To tell on somebody. What you do is that you reward your dog in different ways any time he (for example) sees a dog and start barking. Eventually he'll turn to you for a reward when he spots something, instead of barking.

The book is completly non-correctional and a big hit in sweden. :)

A way of rewarding might be just a piece of candy, a game of tug or if he's really good a candy rain (throw some candy in to the air above him and let him search out all the little pieces as long as he behaves)

Also, a way of positive correction is withholding candy. That's usually enough to attract some attention ;)

Hope this helps or at least inspire you in some way! /Linnéa

OscarBlogger said...

Definitely an interesting idea to treat when they do the behaviour that you don't want them to do. I actually just read a post yesterday by AJ at PupLove where she included a video about an owner who taught her dog not to jump up when the owner was holding food by clicking and treating every time the dog did it. The dog eventually learned to wait for the cue before jumping, and she stopped jumping at her food dish. Amazing! The link is here:

Maybe I'll experiment with trying to click and treat when Oscar barks, along the line of what you suggested, Blue Eyes. It's kind of counterintuitive, but it might work! What I've been doing so far has not, so why not try?

Blue Eyes said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Blue Eyes said...

What a cool video! That's awesome! :)

Good luck with your training!! :D Hope to hear some more about how it's going!

And I'm not even sure you need a clicker for it, if he gets very exited it might be hard for him to hear it, is all I'm saying. Although, I am a big fan of clicking :)

(the post before was basically the same, I just added the Clicking bit :)

Debby and Kirby the Dorkie said...

I would so love to have a dog bakery/pet store! Guess that's what dreams are for. Kirby has a dog car seat and we love it. He can look out the window or curl up and nap. He jumps right into it and waits for us to hook him up!

No help on the barking! We like when Kirby barks because he doesn't very much. He can, however, squeak a toy forever!

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