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tensorgirl's Achievements


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  1. Well, Lexi and Brewer are actually in the same apartment now (Brewer's, rather then Lexi's). They're doing ok, as in not killing each other, but boy is my Lexi snarky. She instantly took over all the toys around (we moved food and beds, but forgot about toys) and she wouldn't let Brewer play with any of his toys. If he went to the toy basket, she'd go over and intimidate him away with a stare and raised lip. A couple of times she nipped at him when he was trying to play. So I know I shouldn't correct growling, as it's a warning sign and I don't want her to think she should go right to the bite, but should I correct the nipping? Other than that, not much we can do with this pair, other then try to get them used to each other. They're somewhat okay once Brewer realizes that Lexi won't play with her and stops trying to, but Lexi gets really upset if he's getting any attention when she's not (petting, etc.). Is that normal? Can I do anything to make it less stressful for either dog?
  2. So I've been working with the task of teaching Lexi to retrieve her toys one by one, by name. We've been at it for a while, but she still doesn't have them down and I'm thinking it's probably due to my inexperience as a trainer. I'm wondering if anyone can share their technique for this? So far, I've been using the same consistent names for all the toys (we are working with about 10 different toys), and I tell her to "go find/go get your ____" and if she picks it up and brings it back, she gets a treat and praise (I usually help her if she's having trouble, i.e., point to the correct toy). The trouble is that once there are treats in the mix, she basically just wants them, and she'll just walk around picking up each toy one by one until she gets the treat... so I don't think my method is working! Any ideas?
  3. Adorable! It looks like she has freckles on her legs like my Lexi
  4. Lexi does sound a lot like Mick. And she is SO frisbee driven! The second I even put a hand near my bag (where the frisbee is carried during the walk) she's in super focus mode, and won't even go after squirrels. Nothing but the frisbee matters - it's definitely a form of work for her! Hehe. I personally think it's awesome. Weirdly, her best canine friend ever was my cousin's pomeranian. He was a fraction of her size, and not neutered either, but was pretty submissive, and they would just run and play and play. But she's never liked any other small dogs that way. Strange. She is already starting to get better around my friends' border collie, so we'll see how things go in the next few weeks! :-)
  5. Oh, and by request, my dog's name is Lexi and here are some photos of her. She's extremely cute (I suppose I am biased, of course )
  6. Thanks for all the comments, everyone! I like the idea of positive reinforcement around the specific dogs I'd like her to get along with. I think we'll work on that. It's also good to know what to do when they are in the house together - how to feed separately, etc. I was worried about that. I've actually never owned more than one dog at a time, so the multiple dog dynamics are a challenge! I can accept her not ever being a social butterfly, I just don't want her to be the neighborhood bully
  7. Ok, here's the story. I have to a 3-4 year old border collie who I adopted from a rescue group two years ago. She's a great dog - smart, obedient, and extremely people friendly. However, she's not extremely dog friendly, and I'd really like to change this - at least get her to the point where she can be in an enclosed space with other dogs without causing trouble. She's not too aggressive, but she does display some subtler aggressive behaviors -- for example, she guards the water bowls at the dog park and her toys -- and she tends to be snarky when other dogs try to play (turns up her lip, growls, and occasionally nips). Most of the time, though, she just ignores other dogs altogether. Part of this problem is probably because her exposure to other dogs has been so limited in the past two years (none of my friends had dogs) but that's beginning to change. It might also be due to the fact that she has a somewhat lame leg (caused by an untreated injury in her previous home). I have no experience in re-socializing a rescue dog with other dogs. All my other dogs throughout childhood were adopted as puppies and given the social skills around other dogs early. Is it possible to change her behavior if it was caused by some incident in her previous home? Could she ever play with other dogs if she gets used to being around them? Finally, what behaviors do I need to correct and which do I need to leave alone? Seems that when it's dog to dog interaction in open I should generally let them sort it out on their own (unless it gets too aggressive, which hasn't happened) but that I shouldn't let her guard the water bowls at the park, etc. So -- anyone have any advice? We are watching some friends' border collie over Thanksgiving, so it would be great if I can at least make some minimal progress by then - they'll have to coexist peacefully in my house then...
  8. The vet didn't think that it was ringworm or mange (he checked for mites), and we did a Lyme disease test, which came back negative. He did some other skin tests, but it will take a month to get the results. Short of a fungal sort of problem it appears that she's probably having an allergic reaction to something - so either Lake Michigan, the new brand of dog food, or a local plant that she's rubbed. I'm sooo relieved that it's not Lyme disease (I HATE ticks!!!), but sure hope we can pinpoint the allergy so I can avoid it. I'm also hoping that she'll stop losing so much hair (it's very sad!). He gave her an anti-inflammatory injection to help stop itching and on Friday we get to do a medicated bath... hopefully this thing clears up all the way after that!! I'll let you know what happens.
  9. Thanks for the reply. Regarding diet, as a matter of fact I just changed from Purina to Iams yesterday. Maybe that's what's caused the sudden changes!
  10. I have discovered a skin problem on my border collie. I'll get her into the vet ASAP, but I'm also wondering if anyone can offer any input on the problem. I'm not sure when it started, but it was probably a couple of weeks ago, at least. I recently moved (2 months ago) and some time between now and then I noticed that she was shedding a lot more than I thought was normal, but I thought that maybe I just noticed it more because my new place has hardwood floors (the old had carpet, so you didn't notice the shedded hair as much). But I should have trusted my gut instinct. Today I discovered that the hair on her chest has thinned dramatically in the past couple days - I can see pink skin through it - and the skin around her armpits on both sides (front legs) is red and somewhat raw from licking. I think that these effects are recent, because she is brushed every week and I haven't noticed the redness or thin hair before. She's also began to lick herself frequently and scratch a lot. I didn't notice this until yesterday, so it seems that whatever this problem is got worse this weekend. So no I'm really worried. I don't think it's Ringworm (no ring-like appearance on the irritated skin), but I don't know what else it could be. From the appearance of it, it looks like it could be some kind of Mange, but I'm also wondering if it could be an allergic reaction to Frontline - I put her on Frontline for the first time right after moving (a month ago yesterday), and that does seem to be about when she started shedding badly. Or, worse, could it be a symptom of Lyme disease? She was bitten by three ticks before I put her on Frontline. I don't know what to think. Also, as it's Sunday and the vet's not open, I don't know what to do in the meantime for her. Should I get a plastic collar so she can't lick herself anymore? Does anyone have suggestions?
  11. Hi everyone. I just moved to Wisconsin from Utah, where we really never had much experience or exposure to ticks. In fact, prior to my moving here, I had never actually seen a real live tick. A week ago, I took my dog on a long walk next to Lake Michigan (I'm just a few blocks away). Much later that evening (probably at least 9 hours later) I found a large engorged tick on her while petting her. Luckily I was able to remove it with tweezers (I'm pretty sure the head was intact too, as it came up with a patch of my dog's skin), but I'm not sure just how long it was there (if it was long enough to transmit disease or not). Today, exactly a week later, I was petting my dog before bed, and lo and behold, another tick!! This one was located so close to the spot on her back where the last one was that I thought it was the same spot! Turned out to be a few cm away. This one I'm fairly certain she just got today (she had a slow day in the house yesterday) and it wasn't engorged much or at all, from what I could tell. As I'm now becoming an expert at self tick removal (eww!) I got my gloves and tweezers and took it off... (it was as gross as the first time) so my questions to all of you are: 1) If anyone on this forum lives in the midwest, and specifically, in southeastern Wisconsin, is it typical to see this many ticks on a regular basis? I've now had 2 ticks in the 3 weeks that I've lived here. Maybe it's because I have such an active dog compared to many, but wow - to go years without ever seeing one to 2 in 3 weeks is a bit alarming... 2) Someone here mentioned a tick shot at the vet; does such a thing really exist? Is it enough to get a shot or would you have to do the shot along with tick collars/sprays/etc.? (And bonus, can anyone recommend their favorite brand of tick product?) 3) From the photos I took I am thinking that these have both been dog ticks (attaching some, and please correct me if I'm wrong about the species!), which means that they wouldn't carry Lyme disease, but could have rocky mountain spotted fever. How long would it take for symptoms of RMSF to emerge? Is it typically fatal to the dog?
  12. I got Lexi microchipped a few months ago. I think it was about $40. I prefer this over tattoos, it's just so easy and quick. Mine is also Avid. When I was a kid we had an Australian cattle dog who was given away to someone on a farm (we lived in the city and my parents didn't understand herding dogs). A few months later we got a call from animal control who'd found him (via his microchip, which the new owner hadn't updated) wandering along the interstate highway. It was a good thing we had that microchip - he made it back okay!
  13. One of Lexi's quirks is that she is an alerter for any type of physical domestic violence. If anyone in the room lightly smacks another (even just on the arm in an affectionate way) she runs up and barks. If there are long hugs with back-patting, same thing. Heaven forbid someone actually hits another in a violent way - she would go ballistic! Funny thing is, she doesn't get bothered at all by yelling or tension - it's just hitting that sets her off. Another thing she does (which I suppose is actually not uncommon among border collies) is to chase any flying insects. Anytime a fly gets into the house, she becomes obsessed with tracking its motion and trying to bite it out of the air. This results in strange leaps and snapping sounds, which are surprising if you did not yet notice the fly. Oh and also, when she's eating her food, sometimes a kibble or two will roll over the side of her bowl onto her placemat. She is very picky about picking these up ASAP. If some kibbles roll out while she is taking a bite of food, she won't take another bite until she has eaten all the kibbles that rolled out. Very handy habit for clean-up, I must say!
  14. We spent a week house-sitting for a friend who has a cat. After a few hours of harsher-than-normal corrections (I really got in her face), she completely stopped any stalking behavior. She still watched the "cat channel", but seemed content to watch and not act (see photos!). The cat was also particularly a tease - she'd strut up to Lexi and lick her nose or swat at it. But after a week Lexi was pretty content to hang out near the cat. I still don't trust her in general around cats yet, but this has to be an improvement! Thanks for all your tips. They've been helpful. I'll keep working on it.
  15. Hi everyone, I have a training dilemma of sorts right now. I've had Lexi, my 4 year old border collie, for a little over a year. She came from a local rescue group and unfortunately I know very little about her prior life, socialization, etc. I don't have any other pets, and am not planning on having cats at all anytime soon, so I didn't really investigate her behavior around cats when I got her. Also, when she first came to live with me, she largely ignored neighborhood cats (at most, she would stare at them, but calling her name would break the stare). Recently (last 3-4 months) her behavior towards cats has changed quite a bit, and she's exhibiting a large amount of prey drive - if any cat appears anywhere within her sight, she instantly fixates on the cat. The fixating is the biggest problem. She's typically a very obedient dog - for other distractions, simply calling her name almost always brings her focus back to me; a loud clap or noise will also do the trick. But with cats, nothing will break her focus on them. I can squirt her with water, call her name, try to pull her away (on a leash), bring out steak... no matter what I do, she will not break her eye contact with the cat. Worse, if the cat moves, she'll chase and attack it. If it was just chasing, I wouldn't be as concerned, but I believe she would kill one if she caught it. It's a concern to me for several reasons (she could get hit by a car chasing a cat, or have an eye badly injured by it, or I could be held liable for cat vet bills for neighbors), and a behavior I would like to change, but being a less experienced trainer, I have no idea what to do to correct the fixation problem. If I can't get her attention, how can I correct this behavior? Can anyone offer advice here? She doesn't fixate like this on anything else (not even frisbees, surprisingly). I am at a loss as to what to do about it. Or maybe it's just a strong prey instinct and there's nothing I can do except to stop trusting her off-leash! Any tips?
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