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bella_bc_husky

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  1. I will check the Give Me a Break game out... that sounds like just what she needs! She CAN focus when she wants to, but she is so excited about the new poles that she is all over the place, and the distractions don't help any. I will also continue working on the weave poles -- it sounds like what I'm doing is exactly what you described. I think the biggest thing right now is getting her to figure out what I want her to do and staying on task.
  2. Yes! I need to work on my terminology I did watch a bunch of videos on youtube about the 2x2 method... the only problem I think I will run into with that is she only wants to play with a toy on her terms. She will play with a frisbee or ball only when she wants to, and if she doesn't want to, she ignores it (she's very picky!). And with her attention span, that might be difficult. Any ideas/suggestions for crossing that bridge?
  3. Hi everyone! I'm so excited to be making my first post in the agility section... ever since we had brought Bella home, I have wanted to try agility with her, and have not had the means to practice repetitively. We recently got a homemade set of weave poles -- they are not the training ones and are not adjustable (which is kind of making my life more difficult right now) but I am excited to start working nonetheless. This is just for fun, we will not be competing and I do not plan on having this meet professional requirements. I have spent several sessions a day of two to five minutes working on what I want her to do with the weave poles. I am using a clicker to gradually get her to walk between the poles and plan on having her go around another pole once she gets the previous set down. I am also rewarding her with SMALL pieces of high-demand treats. But I am having a very hard time keeping her on task, as we live in the city and there are dogs on the other side of every fence in our yard, not to mention squirrels, birds, noises, people, cars, etc. What have other people used to keep the dog's attention? And does this sound like the best way to train, considering I do not have the moving set of poles? I understand that this is probably taking the difficult route, but I have wanted to try her with agility for so long and am finally able to work on a daily basis. I just want to make sure we don't get at a point where we are both frustrated with this.
  4. actually, now that I think of it, I read somewhere that lavender oil may be helpful in calming dogs down... haven't gotten around to picking some up yet to try, but it might be worth a shot if you're running out of options.
  5. waffles, I'm going through the exact same thing with my pit mix. He was perfectly fine with noises last year, and now he is terrified of fireworks, thunder, loud noises, not so loud noises, etc... and to make things worse, we traveled 3 hours over the weekend to see family, and he is now extremely anxious in car rides... which he used to love. I've also had a hard time getting him to go out to the bathroom recently with the fireworks - he's been holding it 12+ hours as well. I bought him a Thundershirt, but it doesn't seem to help. He breathes probably heavy enough to give himself a heart attack and he pants/drools, shakes, and is extremely clingy. This past weekend he was starting to rub off on my border collie - she was acting just like him. I'm worried she is going to continue with this and I'll have 2 freaked out dogs. I have a prescription for my pit for xanax from the vet; I've already filled it twice since I called less than a month ago, and like you said... I don't want to have to be on the edge about whether to give him meds or not and at what time. I've tried the toys, food as a distraction, the music, the kenneling, desensitizing, Thundershirt... none of which seem to help. I feel your pain... Sorry I can't be much of a help, but just know that you aren't alone in this.
  6. Hi everyone, Thanks for your replies. A lot of you had some very good ideas, some of which I have tried, and I'll try to elaborate on what I've been working on. First off, those of you who were concerned about the muzzle... she CAN open her mouth enough to pant, drink or eat -- it's just to stop her from opening her mouth wide enough to rip apart things like my door and furniture. She actually destroyed my kitchen twice since I had made the first posting less than a week ago. I only put that on her (even though I mentioned she doesn't like it), because it is the most tolerable for her out of my options -- gating her in a small area of my hallway, crating, muzzle or leaving her in my bedroom. I do think it's separation anxiety (but again, I'm also not a doctor, etc. to diagnose this) because she panics when she is left home alone and she ONLY destroys the house when she is left alone - not when she has unsupervised free roam at night or while we are outside working on our yard or down the street. As long as she knows where we are, she is fine. I brought up her crate again the other day to give it another try. She will go in it (as I have trained her as a puppy) when told to, but she panics when the door is shut. She does not eat any treats, bones, etc. in her crate for fear that the other dog or cats will take it away (she is VERY food/toy dominant and gets very tense when she senses another animal or human will take what she has regardless of where she is. Last fall, she gave my other dog a big enough gash for 6 stitches in his ear because he walked "too close" as she was chewing on a bone). For this reason I do not leave treats in her kennel because she becomes very aggressive with the other animals - she will bark, growl and shake the crate even when they are ~6-8 feet near her. I almost think she's worse in the crate because she's so stressed and she hates being in there. I will continue to work on the crate, but I really don't see it as fair to her because she gets herself so worked up while in there. But, who knows, maybe time will prove me wrong!
  7. Ok, right now I'm about ready to pull my hair out.... I'm sure other people have inquired about separation anxiety, but I didn't find exactly what I was looking for and I figure this is a unique case, as each and every one is. I am in the process of trying to get Bella to have free-roam of the house while I am gone with my other dog, but we have so many failed attempts that I don't know where I should go from here and would like some friendly advice... (Please don't be too harsh... I didn't grow up with dogs and owning a dog is something relatively new to me within the past 4 or 5 years... and 2 out of the 3 dogs I've had in this time have been destructive). My last dog was crated; she hated it and I hated doing it, but we got her from a family giving her up and we had tried to have her roam, but she had been crated for so long that she panicked every time she was left out. She did not like the change. Now in Bella's case, she was crated as a puppy just to avoid accidents and chewing around the house, but she also hated it and we got rid of it as she got older to give her more freedom. For a while, I had put up a gate in the hallway (which is only a small 8' of space or so.. she hated that too since it was pretty much the same thing) while no one was home. My house is set up with no doorways so it's difficult to put a gate anywhere else. I gradually tried expanding her area, but it was too much of a process and she ran away every time she knew we were leaving. I then tried using a lightweight mesh muzzle that she can slightly open her mouth to eat or drink. This has been our best bet yet, though she still runs away when she sees it coming. I have given her restricted access to the house and she has been ok for the most part. I gradually want to wean her off of it, so I started putting her in one room without it and wanted to expand her area again, but she's being destructive again. In the past month or so, she has chewed the decorative knob on a kitchen chair off, opened my backpack (which was hung up and put away) to eat chocolate or food, ripped up a stack of papers, ripped off and chewed apart a plastic cat door as well as chewed the door to splinters, and shredded her bed to name a few. I was just gone for less than an hour and came back to find my kitchen destroyed. It's at the point now where I can't even put her in an empty room because she will find something to chew. I really would love to be able to give her the freedom, but it's very difficult when everything is getting chewed. She will have a bunch of good days in a row, then all of a sudden lose it and rip apart the house. I'm hoping that someone has experience and success with a separation issue like this and can give tips. (It's not an exercise issue - she gets to run around and wrestle with my other dog for an hour and a half before I go to work, then they play more when I get home from work and they get walked. She also has a lot of toys out to choose from and those remain untouched while we are gone.) Thanks in advance... and sorry for ranting so much. I think this is all the facts, but if I come across any more, I'll update. **PS: I just bought a thundershirt for my other dog with anxiety over thunder and fireworks... anyone tried one for separation anxiety?
  8. What you just described is EXACTLY what I just went through a month ago with my pit/lab mix. He was ok with noises last year; we have had him for about a year and a half now and he is more afraid than he was in the past by far (although he is a very anxious dog to begin with, but this new stress is extreme). So I did some research online, found some ideas to desensitize him by playing thunder in the background (which really only works if you have long periods beforehand to work on), some other ideas to try, and came across the thundershirt. I had then called my vet since we had a week of constant thunderstorms and fireworks rotating and ended up getting him prescribed with quite a hefty dose of xanax, which I don't like because he is a zombie on it. It was good in a pinch and at the beginning, but the vet also recommended I check out the thundershirt so I figured I'd give it a try. I just got it in the mail yesterday and I put it on him as soon as I opened it. He *instantly* looked calmed. I went off to work today with it on him and am not sure if it helped or not but we are supposed to get scattered storms this weekend so I'll be able to watch the results. You should check into it -- it doesn't work for EVERY dog, but it does come with a 45 day guarantee in case you are not happy with it and there is a way higher percentage of dogs it has worked for as opposed to those it has not. If you do some searching online you can get free shipping too. I'm thinking I may look into it for my border collie/husky mix, as it is supposed to be like "swaddling" a baby and she could sure use some comfort to calm herself down (especially since I just walked in the house to find her destroy a giant stack of paperwork that I just brought home from work...... *sigh*). Also, do NOT comfort the dog yourself by cuddling or extra attention during a thunderstorm or fireworks... it's like telling the dog that there really IS something to be worried about. Good luck!
  9. Ok, so I'm not trying to be a slacker or anything like that, I'm reeeeeeally trying to get a video up... the weather just isn't cooperating with me! It has either been raining or snowing since I made my last post, and now my yard is mud, so we haven't gotten much backyard run-around time. Poor crazies
  10. I've never actually seen one of those, but it's good to know in case I ever do! Knowing her, I will probably need something at some point! She seems to be doing a lot less licking and nibbling since she's taken the medicine, and she's had 3 doses. I haven't recently gotten the 'evil eye' from seeing her nibbling on the spots and telling her to "leave it"... haha
  11. Good thinking... I'll keep that in mind if she continues to lick. The vet seemed to be more concerned about her licking at her leg, since the paw can be easily wrapped up. The spot on her leg is in such a spot that can't really be covered or taped up. I gave her the first dose of medicine a few hours ago, and so far she hasn't really touched either of the spots. Then again, she's also really knocked out from her big adventure... she's been extra mellow tonight! It's like having a completely different dog
  12. Turns out after a skin scrape (and a big vet bill!), they found out that it isn't mites and it isn't a build-up of yeast. Apparently she just has an extra amount of bacteria. The vet put her on Cefpodoxime and wants her to wear a cone (ha! she ate the last one) but I told her that would be an absolute last resort. She's not too happy with me right now after the skin scraping and people poking at her.
  13. Ok, I haven't had much luck with healing Bella's foot or leg, so we're making a trip to the vet today. She is going to LOVE me! I'm really starting to think that this will be a repeated winter theme... but we'll see what the vet says. I'm hoping I can get some prescription for her. I think she is mostly done bothering with the spot on her leg, but since dog fur grows in spurts, it's hard to tell if she's still picking at it or not. Here goes nothing!
  14. echoica, I'll see if I can get a video up in the next few days. I've been really busy this week and the times where they get out to play has been when the sun goes down! Plus I'll have to test my video-posting skills to the test... we'll see how long it takes me to figure out. pansmom, I know exactly what you're talking about with the whole teenager thing... I'm fairly new to owning dogs, and the dog we owned before Bella was just under 2 when we got her... boy did I see a change between that and when we lost her a few years later. I really can't wait until Bella gets over this teenager bump, although she has come SUCH a long way since we got her. Like I said before, I'm always watching the two of them - I give them a little more slack in the house because they're pretty good most (if not all) of the time, but I'm always within earshot. It's just the outside part that they get out of control with. The male also does need a lot of training, and I'm trying to balance the both of them so Bella doesn't feel like she is getting left in the dust with the new guy. Slow and steady!
  15. I definitely do agree that what we hear is a lot worse than it actually is... my concern, however, is that the other dog isn't vocalizing enough to let her know she's being too rough, and vice versa when he does nip at her. It's more of a play-growl sound before the biting begins. I actually don't think I've ever heard a yelp, but they do play pretty rough - grabbing the neck and throwing each other on the ground. I've worked with Bella as she's grown with bite inhibition (we had a roommate live here with us for a short time who "trained" her to be VERY mouthy ) and she has done very well with that. It doesn't work so well on dogs though, as she doesn't seem to back off as well - one of her "play date" friends will bark and lunge forward, and she often doesn't get the hint . I do work on verbal commands when the rough play escalates, and that will work only as long as she isn't extremely involved in her play; otherwise, she refuses to listen, to which I start heading over to where they are playing to distract her. She doesn't really seem too into frisbee or ball when they are out there playing (as of right now... but the whole situation is still relatively new), which is ok, I'd just like to be able to know they aren't going to rip each other to shreds! I guess I shouldn't say it's ENTIRELY her, but she's the initiator and the one who continues it, so she's guilty 90% of the time. As for their ages, Bella will be 1 1/2 in April, and the other dog is between 1 and 2 years old - we aren't exactly sure. We've had him for 2 months though, and haven't let our eyes off of them for a minute. I'll slowly start leaving them out alone and peek through the window - that's easy to do with my garage door. Thanks for your replies so far, I'm interested to see what else other people have for input also! I think so far it's been a general consensus that I shouldn't be TOO worried, but I'm still learning about the new guy and want to make sure they're just having fun.
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