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Ooh what book?? That seems to be all I've been reading lately are training books, lol. So why are my dogs still such nutballs? :?

Let's see...exercise.

Maddi and Chance get up around 7 or 8am, go outside to potty and have a romp through the yard, making sure to completely uproot as much of the tender, newly planted sprouting grass as they POSSIBLY can (dirt is so much more fun to play in you know...). Then when I think the neighbor has had enough of hearing them trying to kill eachother (I'm sure that's what it must seem like for anyone who doesn't know them), they come in and have a nice romp through the house.

After that, Maddi goes and plops back down on the couch for most of the day. I do probably 75% of my work from home, so I'm here a lot.

Chance, on the other hand, is ceaseless. I spent $450 on a frickin' DOG treadmill because there is no other way I could possibly exercise him enough. He runs and runs and runs on that thing for 20 minutes at a time...sometimes longer! Just when I think he's about to keel over dead, the cat runs across his path and he runs some more. He then gets off and drinks about three toilet bowls full of water. Then he goes back outside to look for poop to eat (I swear to God this is what he is thinking when he asks me to go out). Then, with the endorphines flowing off of his runner's high, he goes and has a nice...erm, "romp" with Maddi. His favorite pastime.

Then he tools around the house looking for things to destroy. I have to pick up these things usually twice a day. Then he lays down just long enough for me to think he's exhausted. He does this, I am beginning to think, to fool me into leaving him alone. I've returned to find him doing several interesting things during these periods: dragging the cat across the floor by his head and/or leg, eating glass Christmas ornaments, eating garbage, eating a glass hydrometer from my fish tank, eating electrical cords from the vacuum while still plugged in, barking like crazy at bare wires from said electrical cord after having chewed through them and getting the crap shocked out of him, stealing things from the counter, digging for "kitty roca"......

....and the list goes on.

Then he jumps on his treadmill and barks at me. He understands that, when he gets on his treadmill, he usually gets something he wants (I used to use food to bait him when we first got it). Now, whenever he wants to go outside to pee, for instance, he gets on his treadmill. He also does this when he just wants to run, however. Me being a human and not understanding dog, I sometimes don't pick up on the subtle differences. When this happens, it usually works out that he wants to pee and I think he wants to run. It can never, of course, be the other way around. So he runs a little bit, probably because he's trying to get off of it to tell me "NO you fool, I want out!" before stopping and peeing all over it and usually himself in the process.

So I let them both back out - by this time it's late morning - to play for a bit. After that, Maddi the couch potato curls up in her favorite chair, and Chance hops back on the treadmill for another 20 minutes or so. Early afternoon he finally settles down for a 3 or 4 hour nap.

Jen gets home usually around 5 or 6, and it's off to the races for both of them. They always make sure to be extra-super hyper when she gets home. We haven't figured this phenomenon out quite yet. Maybe it's her radiant glow that sets them off :p. Whatever the case, they are complete nutballs for at least an hour or so. After that, Maddi plops back down wherever she can find a seat (Maddi's favorite chair happens to be Jen's as well...neither are happy with this arrangement, but Jen usually wins). Chance makes another search of the house to see what there is to eat (be it edible or not) and/or destroy.

We try to go for a walk in the early evening, but this doesn't always work out. Maddi is fine with this. She really feeds off of our energy and activity level. She's cool with being a couch potato or being outside going a hundred miles an hour with her hair on fire...whichever.

Chance, on the other hand, finds inactivity completely and utterly incomprehensible. He hops on the treadmill yet another time for a good 20 minute run, followed by copius Maddi humping. Ah, something I forgot to mention about the Maddi humping - he's not quite tall enough, which frustrates him to no end. He gets this look on his face that is so pathetic....Jen says she just wants to get the poor guy a stool.

After that he's up and down, until it's time for bed.

I'm going to make a flirt pole (keep meaining to get to Home Depot dammit) to see if this will wear him down a bit more. Something tells me uh...no. But it's worth a shot.

I also need to get him into something that will work his mind. He's not very drivey (could give a crap less about toys), but he's EXTREMELY intelligent, very very food motivated, a very fast learner as well as being good with his nose (he'll find a treat hidden anywhere, if he knows you hid it) and he LOVES LOVES LOVES people. He'll pull me over on his leash to get to someone and say hi, smiling and tail wagging the whole way. I'm thinking S&R might be something to look into.

Whew! That was long. He's such a challenging little guy, but SO rewarding when I'm able to focus his energy on something constructive. Guess I just needed to vent a bit, lol.
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