Monday, January 7, 2008

All that Jazz....

I am fostering a 1.5 yo deaf Australian Shepherd named Jazz. Katrin received an e-mail Thursday night about a rescue Aussie needing a temporary foster home. Jazz was brought up from the south and when he got here the people who were lined up to adopt him decided he wasn't mellow enough. Alrighty-then.

I forwarded the e-mail to John on Friday and he said why don't we meet him.

We met Jazz Saturday afternoon and he came home with us in the evening. He is about 45 pounds, mostly white with a couple of red splashes and ice blue eyes. He is OVER-THE-TOP about people. He thinks that people rock. Eeeek!!

He and Ike are getting on fine. The big problem is that he wants to eat my birds and piggies. Not so good. I barricaded the pig room and have kept him on leash. None-the-less he is still charging the birds. They have not been allowed out of their cage unless Jazz is in his crate. Jazz HATES the crate and he has spent too much time crated in the past few months as it is, so we want his time in the crate to be minimal.

Yesterday morning I got up, took both boys for a half-hour walk, fed them, and headed off to the Bradley Estate. I decided to try there versus Borderland in hopes of there being no people there. Jazz adores people, but we all know Ike - I thought it would be easier to not have to work on Ike's behavior and to be able to just enjoy a walk with the boys. We did about a 45 minute hike and it was lovely. The dogs were sniffing up a storm, it was mild, and gorgeous out. Perfect!

On the ride over to Bradley Estate Jazz tried to climb in my lap while I was driving and steal my granola bar. I took that out of his mouth and ate it anyway! I pulled over, put my hazards on, tethered him to the "oh-no" bar and continued on my way. One great thing about Jazz - he has no issues with humans taking things right out of his mouth - even marrow bones.

Basic Manners II started (and it went well - I would like to take this class!) and Jazz and Ike stayed home with John. Jazz made some charging movements at the birds but it was minimal. Mostly he chewed his bone. However, his behavior towards the birds had John worked up enough that when I arrived home that was the first thing John wanted to talk about.

Typically my birds are out of their cages as soon as I get home and they stay out. Since Jazz has arrived they are only out when Jazz is crated.

Last night Jazz was a perfect angel. He did go after the birds once, but for the most part he chewed on an old knuckle bone at my feet while I read.

We moved his crate into our bedroom so he would not be visually stimulated by the birds all day long. He came with me when I went to go to bed and I put him in the crate. He wouldn't stop barking and since my landlord has young school age children and I had to get to bed for work, I let him out once he stopped. He slept on the floor beside me.

This morning I got up early and took him on a 40 minute speed walk. What a treat to have a dog that doesn't sniff every single blade of grass - yes, I know I created my own little monster!

We got back to the house and I debated what to do. He knew I was up and wanted to be with me - I was afraid if I put him back in the bedroom he would bark so I let him into the bathroom while I showered and dried my hair. He kept going to check out the pigs while I was drying my hair but he limited it to just sightseeing over the barricade.

When I went to feed the pigs he tried to burst through the barricade. Since we have not established a visual "eh-eh" cue I had to physically move him off of my barricade. I tied him to the door and he started barking. Argh! Lose-lose.

When I uncovered the birds he charged their cage and they flew into a panic, having the equivalent of a night-fright. Night frights are when birds, especially cockatiels, are startled during the night and begin flapping their wings in their cages in a panic mode. Cockatiels are not able to see in the dark and when they experience a night fright and frantically crash into their cage bars and toys trying to escape, it is a scary scene. During a night fright, it is possible your birds could break a wing or their feathers will become damaged, especially if one of the feathers is a "blood feather." Blood feathers are feathers that still have blood coursing in the quill potion - they haven't finished growing in.

After this incident I could not get Jazz to un-focus on the birds. And if I tied him out of sight he started barking. Where it is about 6am and I live above the owner of the house - not a good situation. I tied him to the closet door where he could still see me and he stood on his hind legs choking himself trying to get to the birds.

I am so depressed. He is a lovely dog, but he has a super-huge prey drive and that sucks for my house.


Cat and Tessie said...

Sounds like someone needs a power walk!

Will he settle if left in his crate with something really tasty that requires a lot of work, i.e. a bone of some sort? Have you experimented with covered vs uncovered? (Strata prefers a covered crate whereas Tess wants to see what's going on.)

As for sleeping through the night, where is his crate located? I'd put it right next to the bed (and once he is assured that when he wakes up there will be all good things and that he has nothing to worry about you can move it elsewhere).

JULES & IKE said...

Someone has been getting multiple power walks on a daily basis! 4 yesterday. One of the upsides of him staying with us is I am sure to lose weight! Only one so far today.

re yummy stuff: doesn't seem to matter - I have tried kong with peanut butter and part of his meal, marrow bone, knuckle bone, bully stick.

He is slightly better covered - as is Ike. Crate is in the bed room - my personal preference for crate placement.

I personally do not care if he sleeps over night in it. The issue is during the day and he is inconsolable. It will be interesting when I get home today. I hope he finally just slept. So sad. : (

JULES & IKE said...

And those walks are in addition to potty jaunts. They are serious speed walking or hiking.

Katrin said...

On the barking in the crate. How about EVERY single time you walk by or near the crate, toss in a really yummy treat?

I don't talk to them, I don't stop at the crate, I just pause long enough to hand them a cookie through the bars.

Along the lines of the clicking you did when Ike started to react. I'll do this with off the walls screaming puppies in crates. Within about 10 of "Katrin approaches you get a cookie" they start being quiet in the crate and just sitting there, waiting for a cookie.

Hopefully that will work for your guy.

Katrin said...

For the setting up a visual "no" what about starting to play the space game with him? That is totally non-verbal, and is how I start to teach a visual 'stay' which could 2nd for a visual 'stop what you are doing'?

K9-CRAZY said...

What a cutie :) Who are you fostering him for?

JULES & IKE said...

Katrin: I will try that - tossing a cookie in the crate and see if it works. To my detriment I have not been talking to him since he can'
t hear and this makes me quieter with Ike. Not good!

I started to play the space game with him tonight after the dog park.

Tracy: Double Dog a rescue out of Tennesee - they send dogs up from the South to be fostered.

He is SUCH a sweet pea.

Katrin said...

Why aren't you talking to him? Who cares if he can't hear you, he can still see you and when you talk, you are more expressive with your body lang. in most cases. So start Yammering again lady! (for the moment that is)

JULES & IKE said...

You are so right! If you aren't talking you don't move your face as much! Eeek!

manymuddypaws said...

He is very handsome! Just think- all your work with him will make him that much more adoptable!