Interesting Breakthrough with Tucker

Food, Fitness and how to keep them healthy.

Postby Marinepits » June 15th, 2009, 5:04 pm

Quick background on Tucker: he's frightened of being handled for normal tasks, such as cleaning his ears and clipping his nails and anything else he feels he's being "forced" to do, because he was abused as a pup. We've worked on this for quite some time and he's doing much better now, but it still takes two people for ears and nails, and he still won't cooperate for a teeth inspection.

Today, he was obsessed with chomping on his Cuz ball -- he sucks on it and WILL NOT drop it without a fuss (that's the only toy that is SO high value for him; otherwise he has a perfect "drop"). I was sitting next to him on the dog bed and he had the Cuz ball completely in his mouth and his paws wrapped around the sides of his mouth so I couldn't touch his Precious. I noticed one of his ears was a bit red and folded his ear flap back for a better look. He didn't move or try to run away and just clamped down harder on his Cuz! :shock:

I looked into the other ear -- same non-reaction from him. I took advantage of the situation and grabbed the ear cleaner and some cotton balls and sat with him for about ten minutes. He didn't give up his Cuz and I didn't stop cleaning until I was done. Once I got up and walked away, he took his Cuz to the other side of the room, spit it out, shook his head REALLY hard, then gave me a very dirty look, LOL.

Next time, we're going to give him the Cuz ball and see if I can trim his nails without a fuss or having someone hold him.
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Postby madremissy » June 15th, 2009, 5:46 pm

Maybe I should try that with Gotty :neutral:
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Postby HappyPuppy » June 15th, 2009, 5:46 pm

Great observation! Hope you can repeat it. I've given up on the nails LOL and just use our sidewalk.
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Postby pitbullmamaliz » June 15th, 2009, 7:05 pm

Well done! That's awesome!
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Postby mnp13 » June 16th, 2009, 12:36 pm

Nice work!

Which Cuz does he have? I only ask because certian ones have higher values for Conner and Riggs, and they will seek out their favorites from a pile of them. If he has an uber-favorite, maybe you can keep it separate just for nails and ears.
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Postby TheRedQueen » June 16th, 2009, 12:47 pm

It's great to have a heavy-duty reinforcer! :)

I use the basketball with Score...if we're doing nails, he doesn't get the ball kicked until I do a nail or two. (now we're up to an entire foot) I clipped them too short once or twice, so he's not crazy about nail clipping...until the basketball entered the equation!
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Postby Marinepits » June 16th, 2009, 2:35 pm

A Cuz is a Cuz is a Cuz with Tucker. Squeak, no squeak, horns, no horns, feet, no feet, chewed up or brand new. :rolleyes2: :lol3:

We'll see if this "breakthrough" works again with him, maybe later today. Being the ubersmart little bugger that he is, I bet he'll say, "HEY! Playing with that ball gets my ears cleaned and THAT ain't happening again dammit!" We'll probably have a grand chase around the house instead, LOL.

For me, it's a bit weird having a dog that is so extraordinarily nervous about being handled for nails/ears. All I have to do is show Mac the clippers and he flops down and holds still until I'm done. Pretty much the same with Katy and Indy. Shorty HATES getting her nails done, but she'll tolerate it as long as she gets treats when we're done. And all of them are okay with getting their ears cleaned. At the beginning they were all somewhat nervous about nails/ears, but came around very quickly with treats. It just hasn't worked the same for Tuck, regardless of what we've tried. I do hope the Cuz treatment continues to work with him because it would be such a HUGE step forward.
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Postby mnp13 » June 16th, 2009, 2:43 pm

Marinepits wrote:A Cuz is a Cuz is a Cuz with Tucker. Squeak, no squeak, horns, no horns, feet, no feet, chewed up or brand new. :rolleyes2: :lol3:


Consider yourself lucky. Riggs will sit still and nurse for hours... but only if the squeeker is still fully intact. :rolleyes2: Connor prefers the dead ones.

Good luck this afternoon!
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Postby katiek0417 » June 16th, 2009, 3:44 pm

Marinepits wrote:A Cuz is a Cuz is a Cuz with Tucker. Squeak, no squeak, horns, no horns, feet, no feet, chewed up or brand new. :rolleyes2: :lol3:

We'll see if this "breakthrough" works again with him, maybe later today. Being the ubersmart little bugger that he is, I bet he'll say, "HEY! Playing with that ball gets my ears cleaned and THAT ain't happening again dammit!" We'll probably have a grand chase around the house instead, LOL.

For me, it's a bit weird having a dog that is so extraordinarily nervous about being handled for nails/ears. All I have to do is show Mac the clippers and he flops down and holds still until I'm done. Pretty much the same with Katy and Indy. Shorty HATES getting her nails done, but she'll tolerate it as long as she gets treats when we're done. And all of them are okay with getting their ears cleaned. At the beginning they were all somewhat nervous about nails/ears, but came around very quickly with treats. It just hasn't worked the same for Tuck, regardless of what we've tried. I do hope the Cuz treatment continues to work with him because it would be such a HUGE step forward.


It's awesome that you found something of so high value to him! :dance:
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Postby maberi » June 16th, 2009, 4:09 pm

Lol, great work and sounds VERY familiar

I always jam a ball in Kayden's mouth when there are stressors around him. It seems to naturally calm him down and takes his mind off of the distractions.

Think about all of the endless possibilies assuming you guys have a vast supply of Cuz balls :)
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Postby Marinepits » June 16th, 2009, 5:36 pm

Yeah, we own stock in the Cuz company, LOL. :rolleyes2:
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Postby airwalk » June 16th, 2009, 10:45 pm

hmmm I wonder if a new cuz would make trimming Scoots nails a bit easier...oh that means I have to have a constant supply of new cuz..since he kills them
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Postby Malli » June 17th, 2009, 4:17 am

If they are food motivated, you can fill a kong with a favorite wet food and offer it like an ice cream cone, too. I do that at work sometimes for blood collection with Oscar; he isn't bad, but stuff like that is stressful for him and I try to keep it as positive as possible when in the "Vet Hospital environment". We take the blood with the kong sitting on the floor next to him, and gets it as soon as the bandage goes on his leg.

I'm glad you found something that works for Tucker! :)
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Postby Marinepits » August 4th, 2009, 3:26 pm

Today, SUCCESS!!! A total ear cleaning for Tucker and his ouchy almost-infected ears. NO CUZ BALL NEEDED! :rock:
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Postby pitbullmamaliz » August 4th, 2009, 4:27 pm

:clap:
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Postby hugapitbull » August 4th, 2009, 8:12 pm

Good Boy, Tucker!
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Postby Malli » August 5th, 2009, 3:18 am

woo hoo Tucker!
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Postby TinaMartin » August 5th, 2009, 9:11 am

I love reading stuff like this!
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Postby mnp13 » August 5th, 2009, 12:52 pm

YAY!!!!

Nice work!
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