WOW! I think this sounds really fabulous and thanks for sharing with us. I mean you can't solve a problem without identifying it. So good on you there. Have you done any relaxation protocol with O? I don't think it would be in conflict with any of your new program with O.
That's how I fed Z her dinner for quite a while when she was younger.
We are to implement "nothing in life is free"..which she says is making him obey a command before eating and getting treats and picking something else he enjoys and making him obey a command before he can get/have it. Based on her description we have already been doing it- he has to sit and stay for his meal, he always obeys a command before treats and he has to sit before entering our home.
I think this is wonderful for so many dogs. They need to occupy their little brains. And you can have fun with this. Z! usually has to work for most of her meals. One behavior for one/couple of pieces of kibble. Outside we work on agility stuff and heel work (both sides). Inside we work on our freestyle stuff. Right now we're working on pivoting into heel and side (heeling on the right side). Z also has to sit and focus on me before I let her off lead and into the dog or agility yard. I started doing this after reading about default behaviors in the book Control Unleashed. Lately I've added a hand touch, so our routine looks like this: sit and focus on me, hand touch (nose to my hand), leash off, hand touch again and release. Anyway, once you have some basic obedience stuff down, there's no need to limit yourself to just those behaviors. There are several good trick books out there if you need some inspiration.
Since my knee injury we no longer run- she wants me to find a dog daycare but I highly doubt one would take him with full disclosure, I also think its a liability right now as he is so hit or miss. Also, once he gets tired, naturally he gets cranky..No more than 5-6 hours in crate at a time so I've hired a dog walker I know to come midday and wall him..but as a single woman with a management job I can't help my working hours. She think he needs two hours minimum of high energy exercise.
Is biking an option? It would take just a little bit of training but I've used the springer bike attachment with all of my basenjis. Of course you'd have to find somewhere where you're not going to run into loose dogs.
It's a lot to take in and digest- its a time consuming change and also expensive but I am committed to trying to make him a mor reliable dog around other dogs and to be able to have him around people/people food without incident. I hope for my sake that we can make progress because I want to have A family one day and his behavior is certainly a stress factor for me. The saddest part is that when it comes to him with other dogs I know he wants to have fun with them and play… You can see plain as day he is conflicted about what he wants and what he's compelled to do to/with dogs.
is there any chance he can learn to read other dogs and play with them someday?
I'm hopeful, it's been tiring. I have to nail down a more permanent schedule at work, get up much earlier and dedicate an hour in the mornings to him and an hour when I get home..perhaps find an indoor area we can rent time in when weathers bad to be able to exercise…yesterday he was exhausted and he was great...but I know there will come a day when I have a family and I may not be able to dedicate my entire life to him..I hope he can handle it. As hopeful as I am, I'm also overwhelmed and feeling a bit constrained- like I will never be able to so anything like go out with a friend or a date..but maybe it's because I'm in the thick of it. I can't think long term with him bc it worries me he may not accept me having a family, babies... As the doctor said, and it rings very true..with a dog like Oakley "there is no room for error".
Chealsie & Oakley
well, it sounds like you're going to be very fit with your new schedule! And you just need to find some dog friends who want to go on a long hike. Dates too. Who says dates have to be dinner and a movie? Hikes at the local off beat parks are so much more interesting. (Here in Colorado there are many, many nice hiking places.)
You're a good dog mom and i'm sure it will all work out for you. And you may even look back on this in a few years and think of this as a blessing. Sometimes unexpected paths are like that. I believe they will bloom if you let it.