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GentleLake

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Everything posted by GentleLake

  1. Just as important as keeping a puppy busy is helping him learn to settle and not need constant attention. If you're working from home and able to take a few breaks during the day, there's no reason he shouldn't spend some time in a crate or ex-pen for a few hours. If you establish a routine where he can be out as long as he's not pestering you for attention but when he starts bugging you, you simply give him a cheery "oops, crate time" (or whatever you choose, the point being that your tone of voice isn't scolding but upbeat) and pop him into his crate or pen w/ a chew toy. If you eventually give in to the pestering, he's learning that persistence pays off and he'll keep it up till he gets what he wants. Better you establish that interactive play is something you initiate and and call an end to, not him. And if he's penned with a chewy and another safe toy to occupy him then he can't get into trouble. He'll probably put up some resistance at first, crying or barking. Just ignore him. Be sure to offer some quiet praise in the intervals when he stops for a breath, even if at first they're very short. Or toss a yummy morsel to him. People too often forget that it's just as important to reward quiet the behavior you want as it is to reward in more active situations. It's part of the reason so many people create dogs who are constantly begging for attention or are exercise junkies. Every new dog that comes into my house, whether puppy or adult, gets praised from the get go when they just get tired and lie down on their own. Some dogs in multi-dog homes entertain each other; others don't. Some will definitely be double trouble; others not so much. The latter depends a lot on your expectations and what you teach them about how to interact, when it's appropriate to play (e.g. zoomies outdoors only) and when more quiet interactions are preferable. If you've got 2 dogs then you've got 2 to train and pay attention to (including paying attention to their interactions), but most of the time there's a benefit to them having the company of their own kind, especially if you work out of the house and they spend some time alone each day. There are a lot of great things about having more than one dog, but it rarely works as a fix when the reason for getting one is the hope that the 2nd dog will solve the problems you have with the 1st. It's just as likely that the new one will be influenced by the resident dog and pick up his inappropriate behaviors.
  2. I'm so very sorry to hear that. I had hoped she still had some more time with you. I hope you can find some comfort in memories of the special time you shared. It came to me that every time I lose a dog they take a piece of my heart with them. And every new dog who comes into my life, gifts me with a piece of their heart. If I live long enough, all the components of my heart will be dog, and I will become as generous and loving as they are. -Unknown You're well on the way to having a heart that is pure dog. RIP, Masi, free of pain. roxanne
  3. @D'Elle Hope you see this in time. Not sure it'll lead directly to the post, but he posted today that he's doing something on pancreatitis tomorrow at 1:00pm Pacific time. If it's not still right at the top of his feed, scroll down a bit. It's pretty recent. I don't think you need a FB account. https://www.facebook.com/drpeterdobias
  4. @BC-Liz Hope you see this in time. Not sure it'll lead directly to the post, but he posted today that he's doing something on pancreatitis tomorrow at 4:00pm Eastern. If it's not still right at the top of his feed, scroll down a bit. It's pretty recent. https://www.facebook.com/drpeterdobias I don't think you need a FB account.
  5. GentleLake

    Darcy.

    I just want to add that despite the unhappy ending, Darcy was lucky to have had you. He could have ended up in a series of inappropriate homes before ending up being euthanized in an unfamiliar shelter. You gave him the gift of an easy transition surrounded by the people he loved and who loved him.
  6. GentleLake

    Darcy.

    Wow. I'm so very sorry to read this, Erikor. I know you tried and it sounds like there really weren't any other good options for you. You made the right - and probably in the long run, the kindest - decision you could make for Darcy under the circumstances. From what you say it sounds like this may have had a genetic component. While we know now that it's in a puppy's best interest to stay with his mother and litter longer, it used to be quite normal for puppies to be taken from their litters at 6 weeks. And in those days I had several at that age with absolutely nothing remotely similar to this. Aversive handling at that young age may have contributed, but again, too many puppies from horrible beginnings have gone on to become lovely, well adjusted adult dogs. A few years ago I adopted a border collie rescue puppy that had to be put down at a similar age as your Darcy because of unpredictable, intractable and dangerous outbursts of aggression that kept getting worse the older he became. Sometimes the wires get crossed and there's nothing else to be done. The fault lies with "breeders" who continue to produce puppies like this when they see it in others of the line. My heart goes out to you and your family for what you've been through. I hope you'll be able to hold onto all the things you loved about Darcy. And I hope when you've had time to heal that you'll be able to open your hearts to another dog, maybe even another border collie. Things like this are rare; it's unlikely you'd find yourself in the same situation again - especially if you were to get to know a breeder's lines (or adopt an adult rescue with a set and observable personality) before committing to the dog. Dogspeed, Darcy. And peace and comfort to you and your family. roxanne
  7. @1shotwade Look online for explanations of dogs' body signals, especially the different ways they wag their tails. Tail wagging can indicate the dog's having fun, or that the dog's frightened and wary or even that it's angry. Especially with differences in posture and facial expressions - their mouths and eyes in particular but even ears and foreheads - are very expressive. Familiarizing yourself with the nuances and combinations can tell you a lot about your dog's mood and intentions. There's a good chance with your having been away for longer than normal that Gabe was excited and happy to see you and he expressed it with nipping. A couple of mine will do that sometimes when they're really excited. They're older and more practiced (and have had gentle training - no slapping, just mild verbal admonishments ["tsk, tsk", "aaaach" or "OWW!"] accompanied by an immediate withdrawal of my attention - so that they understand that teeth really aren't supposed to be touching humans) but every once in a while they go so excited they just have to express it. The difference in self control though is that their teeth barely graze my skin and it's barely noticeable. But this is probably entirely different from what Gabe normally does with Dotty, which, as GVC-Border points out sounds like possessiveness/territoriality - he's claiming you for himself. The rest of his body language will be entirely different and can explain a lot if you learn what to look for. I'd also not allow him on your lap or the furniture for the time being, and perhaps never if he doesn't learn his place (literally, both height and proximity to the desired possession = power). Try interrupting him with a verbal sound as above (aka an interrupter) and immediately redirect his attention towards you or a toy and reward for breaking his concentration on Dotty. If you have to, physically step in between them to block his access to Dotty and redirect him away from her. Praise him every time he breaks contact and especially if he makes a move or even looks towards her and then doesn't follow through. Eventually - if you don't escalate the situation with aggression of your own (e.g. slaps) - he should begin to reorient his place the dynamics and stop trying to boss her around all the time. It may take a little longer b/c it's been permitted to become habitual, but if you're consistent and don't let him learn that he can get away with it sometimes if he just keeps it up things should start to change. And don't be surprised if it intensifies when your first start intervening. It's called an extinction burst (something else to look up) and it's perfectly normal but can be extremely frustrating if you're not prepared for it. Just grit your teeth, breathe, smile at the dog and persevere.
  8. She's probably started to associate the absorbent material of the blankets or beds as being a good place to pee. Dogs will usually prefer an absorbent substrate to one that isn't. It's why when dogs have accidents in the house they usually choose a rug or carpet over a wood, linoleum, tile or similar floor nearby.
  9. AFAIK, veggies that aren't cooked should be pureed to break down cellulose that dogs (and people) aren't able to do. Lightly cooking also breaks down cellulose and makes it more bioavailable. I'd forgotten about the overt sales pitch on that site. I think his supplements are probably pretty good and I do use them occasionally, though almost never daily or at the full amount recommended by weight. And I only use the GreenMin very occasionally and a half portion SoulFood a couple, three times a week. I get fish oil elsewhere and occasionally give milk thistle. (Dr. Dobias recently posted on his FB page that if he could only afford to use one of his supplements it would be GreenMin because of the increasing demineralization of farmland that leads to most commercially farmed food low in minerals.) I mostly use prey model raw (~80% meat:10% bone:5% liver:5% other secreting organ) and I might add a very small amount of lightly steamed or pureed vegetables or supplements occasionally as mentioned above (some various powdered leafy greens, etc.). I'm in the camp that feels prey model is pretty balanced over time if enough variety's fed, though have been reading a lot about certain vegetable matter is small quantities might be beneficial so have started to add a little, but not enough to really mess with the prey model ratios. I don't feed as much vegetable matter, starches in particular, as Dr. Dobias recommends, so can't really say much more on that. Dr. Conor Brady (nutritionist) at Dogs First is also an excellent source of information. He also sells supplements though I don't think he's quite as assertive about them.
  10. Any time you try to reuse anything that's been peed on it retains the odor (unless you use some really effective enzymatic cleaner) and is an invitation for a dog to reuse the spot.
  11. Please forgive me for pointing it out, but these 2 sentences directly contradict each other. Neither rotisserie chicken nor cooked noodles fall under the category of dog food but do fit right into the heading of people food. I have to disagree that all human foods, especially lean meats, are fatty. It would be very easy to provide a diet of raw or lightly cooked lean meats with all visible fat removed. Cooked egg whites are fat free but high quality and easily digestible protein and can be purchased in quart cartons. I'm never in the camp of feeding much in the way of starches to dogs, but white or sweet potatoes, rice and, yes, pasta along with a variety of other root and green leafy vegetables vegetables can all be cooked without adding fats to create a wholesome low fat diet for dogs. Some form of calcium raw bones, ground eggshells or seaweed calcium would need to be provided as well. Dr. Peter Dobias has an online recipe maker that provides almost endless variations for both cooked and raw diets and can inspire a lot of choices for both healthy dogs and dogs requiring special diets.
  12. I wonder if something like a waterproof Primo pad might be a a compromise that would give you the padding you want for her without the absorbent substrate that seems t trigger her peeing on it?
  13. I think it's an individual thing. I've transitioned 5 or 6 dogs of different ages to raw over the years, all of them successfully. The most recent is one who was having severe digestive issues in the foster home before I adopted her, with the fosterer telling me she'd get explosive diarrhea if she tried to switch her off of her prescription kibble, even slowly, or take her off metronidazole. I had her off the meds and switched entirely to raw in 3 weeks (I took it more slowly than I normally would for fear the FH was right) with absolutely no negative effects. It is sometimes easier to switch puppies than adults, but I've had no issues switching lifelong kibble dogs as old as 6. I didn't mean my post on switching to raw as urging anyone to do it. Yes, I'm a committed raw advocate but I understand that there are many reasons why people choose not to do. It's not my business to tell anyone how to feed or care for their dog(s). Doesn't mean I can't point out what I feel are the advantages when the opportunity arises, but in this instance especially it was intended to be tongue in cheek.
  14. Good to know what you're dealing with and have some useful information you can use to make her more comfortable. Wishing both of you the very best.
  15. ^^ Agreed. What I'd do is simply to redirect and reward the instant that gorgeous pup breaks mental contact with the vehicle. There's no way of knowing for sure whether this will escalate or not as he matures, but you really don't want to take the chance that it will. Much better to discourage (by redirection rather than correction) now before it becomes habitual than it will be to try to undo it later when it's a firmly established response and much more difficult to reverse. As for why he reacts to some vehicles and not others, it could be something he's noticing that you're not aware of. It could be the sound of the engine's different or even the color of the vehicle. I'd actually forgotten this, but when I first adopted the dog in my avatar, who'd been a stray, he would lunge and snarl at red vehicles. It was only ever red ones, whether sedans, trucks, SUVs, but never vehicles of any other color. (So much for the myth that dogs are color blind. LOL) I often wondered if his former owner had a red vehicle and might even have dumped him from it. Whatever it was, with redirection and his gaining confidence and security in his new home, it eventually stopped.
  16. Especially border collies and other similar herding breeds. It's one of the reasons that their play styles are often incompatible with other types of dogs that prefer wrestling type play and why they often don't do well at dog parks. As an aside, I find it fascinating to watch border collies play their chase games. There are definitely rules involved, though they have nothing to do with winning the race. What I've observed is that they tend to maintain a certain distance between chaser and chasee, then will abruptly switch places so that the one doing the chasing is now the one being chased. It can look like maybe the dog chasing isn't able to overtake the other dog, but that really doesn't seem to be the case, especially after they've reversed roles and the same distance between them is maintained. It's also fascinating to observe the difference between a mature border collie (puppies are less selective w/ their playmates) in a mixed group of dogs and one in a group of border collies. I've seen so many of my own dogs mostly hang back at a dog park and only interact with me (or with whomever will throw a ball or Frisbee for them), but put that same dog into a field with a bunch of other border collies and it's immediately game on! A chase game that is, and they have the time of their lives.
  17. Whether or not it's a dedicated and named (e.g. municipal) dog park or just a place where multiple people take their dogs to play off leash, it's the same thing in terms of the interactions and effects on the dogs' behavior. It's good that you can see that and will make accommodations for his benefit.
  18. That's an indication that it's overstimulating for him. Many border collies don't do well at dog parks for a variety of reasons, but most are linked to its being hyper-stimulating for a dog that's hardwired to control movement. Or else that they run into too many dogs with incompatible, or to them offensive, play styles.
  19. You can solve that problem by feeding a raw diet. Pre-covid I was doing some dog sitting and had a client with 3 large dogs. Cleaning up the yard made me gag and the sheer volume of poop was staggering. Granted my dogs were somewhat smaller than theirs, but my 3 together produced a fraction of the poop in an entire day than one of theirs did in one BM.
  20. The difference between "byproducts" in kibble and in raw diets (at least DIY raw) is that in the first they're rarely defined and in the US can therefore include things like feathers, 4D meats, roadkill etc. that either provide no nutritional value or are of questionable origin. For raw feeders "byproducts" usually refers to edible offal, parts of the animal that is not muscle meat or bone. It's almost always specifically named (e.g. beef spleen, lamb kidney, etc.) in a prepared product and provides valuable nutrients that are missing in muscle and bone. As for the Bright Minds dog food, their claim to its benefits for senior dogs is the inclusion of medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) said to support aging brains. This can also be accomplished by adding MCTs, such as coconut or palm oils (I've also seen bottles of "MCT oil" available in stores), to a dog's existing diet, preserving the option of being able to choose a food with more wholesome ingredients.
  21. You've already gotten some very good advice and I'd definitely suggest working in some low distraction environments and going back to the basics until you've got them thoroughly proofed. Then you can very gradually move to some areas where there are more distractions and proofing every step of the way before increasing distractions. It's important to understand that retraining is often more time consuming than originally training a concept, because the dog has effectively learned that he can get away with not complying when he doesn't feel like it so getting him to understand that not complying isn't an option. Some very important things about recall are never to reprimand your dog for not coming to you when he finally does. You don't want to create any negative associations to his approaching you, so even if he's blown you off it should still be a party when he finally complies. In the same vein, don't call your dog to you for anything unpleasant or disappointing. Don't call your dog to you and then trim his nails or give him a bath; instead go and get the dog and lead him where you want him to go. Don't only call him to you when it's time to leave the park, ending his play time. Instead call him to you often, reward for compliance and then let him go play again. Do this often to reinforce his checking in with you on his own. When he willingly checks in with you of his own accord you can then use that opportunity to cheerfully leash him up when it's time to leave the park instead of always having to use a recall. For releasing the ball I'd also go back to an area without distraction and do some close work, trading up for something higher value (which will be more possible when he's not hyped up by a game of fetch) like an especially yummy treat and adding a release word, e.g. "give" or "drop." Repeat this over and over till he's happy to play the giving game, then add in some short, low key tosses to proof it before trying it during the excitement of a game of fetch. If he doesn't drop the ball or give it to you, simply walk away and ignore him. Game's over if he doesn't play by your rules. This is important to understand. None of these or other quirky border collie behaviors are breed specific. I have no idea where that myth started but it's just that, a myth. Even what most people tend to think of as border collie behaviors such as the stalking and herding movements used when working sheep are simply versions of very normal canine behaviors found in varying degrees among all dogs and many other canine species. Certain ones have been selectively bred for and then exaggerated in some breeds of dogs while others have been selected against in order to diminish them. Border collies have also been selectively bred for intelligence, which often means that they'll figure out your weak spots such as inconsistency. They'll figure out very quickly that you're not always going to make a big deal over whether or not they carry out with your cues and under what circumstances you're more likely to let disobedience slide. It's one of the reasons "consistency" is key in our training mantra.
  22. Love it! Thanks for sharing, Geonni.
  23. I was afraid the inappetance in a dog her age probably wasn't a good sign. I've seen it too often in my own dogs. I hold you and Masi in my thoughts and hope that you're able to have some good days together ahead of you. Make the most of the time that's left.
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