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GentleLake

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  1. I don't ever mean to make you feel defensive. Part of my motivation is sharing what little I know, of course, but it also helps me to keep these things in mind for the day when I may be facing these challenges my own CKF dog. I agree that the ramen you had from the restaurant was probably a lot less salty than those packages. And I can imagine how frustrating it is when Cressa refuses to eat. I'm not looking forward to that. I've never heard of dribbling water into a dog's mouth to get her to swallow pills. That's quite ingenious! Kudos for even thinking of it!!
  2. I'm so glad you're finding things she'll eat. One note of caution: my vet said it's very important to limit salt intake. Most ramen noodle flavor packages are extremely salty. Can you maybe look for a less salty version or not use the flavor packets? If she really likes it and isn't eating otherwise maybe you could make a separate portion for her w/out the packet? Same with most canned fish and bacon. I know there is canned fish available w/out added salt. Again, maybe have some around just for her. One of my dogs used to be like that with pills. I would swear she'd choke them back up even after she sometimes swallowed them. It can help to coat the pill with a little butter to help it go down (it also makes them harder for you to hold onto so it can take some practice). After getting the pill in hold her mouth shut with nose slightly elevated and rub her neck a little till the tip of her tongue comes out, indicating that she's swallowed. I read recently that lightly blowing on the nose (while holding her mouth shut) will make them swallow. If it's really a struggle, maybe get a pill plunger. They aren't very expensive and can help get the pill further down her throat. Following with a very yummy, most favorite treat if she'll take it (or giving the pill right before she eats) will help ensure the pill goes down. Tansy requires a daily pill and she's finally stopped being such a bitch about it, so there is hope. I wish we could just explain that we're not trying to torture them but are trying to help. <sigh>
  3. Just be careful that this doesn't come back to bite you in the butt. Dogs who self regulate are much fewer and further between than those who will happily turn down food because their bodies know when they've had enough. Giving Bonnie treats for what may be overeating could encourage her to eat too much and also become pudgy. With all the dogs I've had, I've only ever had one who wouldn't eat more than he needed to -- and you couldn't make him eat more than he wanted. My current 3 have all experienced food insecurity in their former lives. (Before entering shelters/rescues one was starving as a stray when he was picked up, one was obviously malnourished as a 6 month old pup and the last was confiscated for neglect/abuse from a hoarder.) No issues whatsoever with any of them turning down food. I agree that gradually reducing their current portions would be kinder than going to just one meal a day cold turkey. If you want to go to just one daily feeding, I'd recommend gradually making one of the meals smaller until it's just been phased out. You may have to increase the other somewhat to achieve the desired caloric intake. p.s. I also miss having a dog who values a word of praise to a food or toy reward. Only the first border collie I had (the one who wouldn't overeat) was like that. No interest whatsoever in food but tell him he was a good dog and he was over the moon!
  4. I don't think I could stop at 5 stars for this one. Although it's an older book and a lot of it's about training a working sheepdog I really like H. Glyn Jones' A Way of Life. I also enjoyed The Shepherds' Life by James Rebanks a lot too. More a story about his way of life shepherding than a training book.
  5. There's no nice, easy formula for ideal weight based on height. There are too many other variables, such as bone (some dogs finer boned, some medium, others heavier boned) and muscle vs. fat (muscle weighs more than fat). And, of course, there are significant variations in border collies' sizes. Just looking at a dog (or seeing a photo) can be deceiving, too, depending on the dog's coat. You really have to put your hands on a dog for a good evaluation. A dog at good weight has ribs that can be felt easily without having to press, same with backbone and hip bones, and a waist tuck. None of these should be extreme. I don't understand the chart you posted, primarily because the date axis doesn't follow a linear progression. (Starts in 2020, then '18, back to '20, on to '19, then to '20 again?) Essentially, though, such a graph should show a fairly steady increase from birth weight to adult weight with only minor ups and downs once a dog's reached physical adulthood. For border collies that's well before 3 years of age. Most of their growth is achieved by a year to a year and a half old, with some slight gain till around 2, in my experience. If healthy they should remain pretty steady after that. What vets use is a body condition chart that's been posted here on the Boards several times and can also easily be found on the internet. It's easy enough for a lay person to follow, but I wonder if you've asked your vet about Blue's weight? (Many vets won't comment about a dog's weight unless specifically asked; they see way too many overweight dogs whose owners become very defensive or even combative when someone says something that can be seen as critical of their care.) The photo you posted of Blue looks to me like a dog who could stand to loose a few pounds.
  6. Actually sneezing is an appeasement signal among dogs, and I think most dogs will also interpret humans sneezing that way. My dogs when playing will often stop for a second, sneeze at each other as if to check in to make sure everything's just fun and games and when sneezed back to go right back into playing. It's a way fo making sure the play fighting doesn't turn into real fighting. I have some pretty bad allergies so I often sneeze really hard. And it can come out of nowhere. That's what my dog was reacting to; it didn't make sense to her to hear a loud sneeze that wasn't deliberate and was so intense. She was pretty easily frightened of things like your dog. If I have a new dog in the house who may be a little nervous about things, I'll sometimes offer a small sneeze to let them know I don't mean any harm if they're upset by something. Or yawn, look away from them, any of the things dogs will normally do with each other can help diffuse a tense situation between a dog and a person too. It helps to know their language and not just expect them to learn all of ours. Also noticed in an older post as I was scrolling down to get to your last one you mentioned that sometimes Tizzy (aptly named, BTW) is too worked up over whatever is making her frightened. This is called being over threshold. When it happens, it's more important to get her further away from the scary thing than it is to try to desensitize her. At that point her brain simply isn't capable of responding to your distractions or treats. She's got to be far enough from the scary thing so that she isn't out of her mind with fear to be able to respond to your desensitization efforts. Learning where that line is between loosing it and being able to respond is probably the most important thing to learn in the early stages. And also possibly one of the hardest things for a lot of people to understand. Every single time she goes over threshold is a step backwards in your progress.
  7. I agree; it's annoying. But it doesn't matter one whit what it sounds like to us, or to you or to any other dogs than the one that doesn't like it. I used to have a dog who was scared witless if someone sneezed near her. The point is that desensitizing that dog to your ice cream truck wouldn't do any good. What your dog reacts to is all that matters and you'll need to desensitize her to it. Knowing that you can hear it this well inside you should be prepared with very high value treats so you can work on her with this. If you're not familiar with the Look at That (LAT) game look it up. Lots of videos on instructions online. I used to to desensitize a very dog reactive dog to dogs on TV using it. It used to be she was a complete nut job whenever a dog would come on TV. Now she barely raises an eyelash and it helped to have her at least partially desensitized when we'd take the game outside on walks. Hopefully your dog will be even just a smidge more at ease when she's safely in her own home. At least you'll have the advantage of being able to muffle the sound a little by closing the window. Again, good luck. ETA: Remember, it's also important for you to remain as nonplussed when you hear the ice cream truck as you possibly can. It may even help to be upbeat and happy and say something like, "Oh, listen! Here comes the ice cream van so you get a cookie!" to help distract her away from what's scaring her so she can focus on something positive. She'll definitely sense any anxiety you have because of her reaction.
  8. If it were me I'd be trying to find the ice cream van (without the dog) and see if you could talk to the driver to find out if there's any sort of schedule s/he follows. If not -- or even if there is (I'm sure any schedule would be somewhat variable anyway depending on how many sales are made) -- could you ask if they'd call you when they're approaching your area so you can be prepared. You might offer them a little bit of money as an enticement to do this. I'd also be inclined to see if I could record the sound of the ice cream truck on my phone (again, without the dog with you) to play back at home for desensitization sessions. If you can find the van sometime when you're out on your own you might even buy an ice cream and ask them to play the music while you're close by. You can then adjust the volume for your desensitization sessions. Good luck.
  9. Speaking of food, I once was sitting a small poodle while owners were on vacay. She was an old puppy mill breeder rescue with various health problems. Don't recall if kidneys were one of them but was told she often wouldn't eat. Owner had told me that canned ravioli was the one thing she'd eat when she wasn't eating her regular food, or sometimes baby food. Dunno if it would entice Cressa when she's not wanting to eat, but just wanted to share in case you'd want to give it a try.
  10. Happy to hear she's eating and drinking again and having some better days. I understand this can be an up and down sort of illness. I'd still recommend learning how to pill an unwilling dog if you don't already know how to do it. (There are plunger type things that can help if necessary.) IMO getting meds into a dog who needs them isn't optional. (Ignore this if you already know how. )
  11. Nothing happens for no reason, just reasons we don't understand and haven't figured out. Hard to say if it's neurological or orthopedic or what, but if you're vet says he's fine I'd suggest taking him to another vet. Can you take some video to show the vet?
  12. No, didn't sound defensive. And you have good reasons. I would just say that the more often you -- or someone -- can get her out to train and to play would probably be helpful. Especially training. Training, well positive reinforcement training that's fun for the dog, is an excellent way to bond. Going back and rereading your first post, I'd suggest when she's bouncing around barking at you to simply stand up, walk away and ignore her. Not a word. She wants attention and will soon learn that bouncing around barking at you isn't the way to get it. Being ignored is the consequence for that behavior. If she's doing it to your daughter I'd just quietly pick her up and pop her back in her crate for a short time out. Just a couple minutes, until she settles down. This is the consequence for not behaving appropriately, just a fact of life.
  13. It is a good way to look for a dog. I'd posted an ad looking for just this type of dog on a couple of FB pages (and maybe here?) and got a number of replies. I was surprised at how much money some people were asking for a failed sheepdog but several were quite reasonable, mostly concerned with finding the dog that wasn't useful for them a good home. I ended up adopting a lovely girl from a rescue but will definitely consider this option again when the time comes. (Note: I was looking for a very specific temperament for a therapy dog, but several of the dogs I was notified about would have made great pets or sports prospects.)
  14. Inappetence is a known symptom of kidney failure. I know many ppl w/ dogs who have kidney disease and are losing their appetites will feed them just about anything they'll eat just so they don't stop eating altogether. Although my chow hounds have never lost their appetites when the weather's really hot, I know some dogs do. So that could be contributing. According to my vet making sure Bodhi's water intake is adequate is very important; not drinking enough will put additional strain on the kidneys. Is there some way you can get her to drink more? I add 12 oz. of water to Bodhi's meals twice a day. That's not going to help much if she's not eating, but could you try to give her some salt free broth? I've noticed all my dogs panting off and on while the weather's been hot. If she's not taking her meds willingly can you just pill her? I make sure all my dogs will let me give them pills so that if I ever have to give them meds when they're sick it won't be an issue. Better IMO to shove them down her throat than for her not to get them at all. Have you eliminated any high phosphorus foods from her diet? Has your vet suggested any of the phosphorus blockers or is he thinking it's not high enough yet to warrant it? I think it's pretty important not to anthropomorphize our animals when we're discussing behavior or symptoms. It can actually get in the way of effective communication with vets who may not understand exactly what you're describing. Simple observations of behaviors and symptoms without trying to label their meaning are usually more useful for them.
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