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Frogs & Dogs

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Everything posted by Frogs & Dogs

  1. I agree with the crating and t-shirt suggestions. I'm beginning to use the t-shirt idea for Kit's severe (albeit conditional) separation anxiety and it's working wonders. Also, a lot of dogs don't like the car because in the past it has taken them to scary places, like the vet's. Try implementing NILIF. Load up the dogs and when he begins to freak, take him out and leave him at home. Return after an hour or two with your other dog, preferably tuckered out, panting, dirty, and wearing a giant smile. Hopefully the troublemaker will get the picture that he's missing out on fun. For a while, make sure that the car only takes him to really fun places like the dog park.
  2. The looks on people's faces when you speak in sentences to your dog are absolutely priceless. I love going to the dog park and giving complicated commands buried in a sentence and getting the response I'm looking for. Once a guy left the park and came back with his incredulous wife, who he claimed wouldn't have believed his story if she didn't see it for herself. "Go say hi" = greet other dogs nicely "Go play" = you're allowed to run away from me to go sniff the other dogs "What did I say?" = obey the last command I gave "All the way" = if her down isn't down enough for me People also get a big kick out of seeing our "find it" routine. Kit's not allowed to watch as I throw the ball with the chuckit. Once I release her, she's off to search for it (mostly with her nose, I suspect). But it always takes forever cause it could be anywhere. Her persistence is crazy and it always gets a laugh. Last week Kit also picked up on "Look who's here!", running to greet our friends that she didn't know had showed up. Most of the time they're smarter than we give them credit for.
  3. LOL, maybe so...never thought of that! I'll say this, though: Kit was already housetrained when I got her, and the one and only time she has EVER (to this very day!) had an accident involving #2 she was reacting to live music. I had just gotten her and I was going to a friend's house for our weekly jam session. It was way too soon to leave her home alone, so I took her with me thinking she'd have a good time playing with the other dog. Well, she did, but she also ran and hid when we got out the instruments, which were not bagpipes. Someone found the mess she made a little later, and then upon leaving, she also did #1 (after a 10 minute potty break with no results). I was mortified to say the least, and that was the night I learned that she hates live music. The interesting thing is that she hates/fears nothing else in this world (with the possible exception of black bears), so it's very out-of-character for her.
  4. Hmm, are you sure it's the sound? Laundry can be full of static electricity, and I'd bet dollars to donuts that he's actually reacting to that. Olivia's post got me thinking about that because many dogs that fear thunder storms are reacting to the static electricity in their fur. This happens more in long-haired breeds like your typical rough-coated BC. Try a dryer sheet next time and see if that doesn't solve the problem (although of course by now he's probably associated laundry with bad things).
  5. As the owner of a mixed breed, let me just say this irks me to no end. As Sue R said, the only reason AKC is letting mixed breeds compete is for the entry fees. And even then, it's a "separate but equal" competition. Completely ridiculous. I'm not to the point of competing with my dog yet (actually we just started training!), but if/when we ever get there, I refuse to set foot in one of their trials. And they're dead wrong if they think they're converting me to the dark side.
  6. I knew a Lhasa once who had a very strange habit. His owner was a piano teacher, and if anyone played a piece in A minor, he'd come running, plant himself directly under the piano where the sound was loudest, and HOWL along! He always got a treat for it. How he was able to distinguish the key of A minor from others keys I'll never know. Kit despises all live music. She goes running into her crate when I get out my violin. Some yo-yo showed up to the dog park once with a set of bag pipes and started playing. The other dogs all ignored him, but she went right up to him and started barking her head of: "Hey dude! This place is for DOGS and we don't like your music. Get outta here!"
  7. Can someone talk about the transition from "leave it" referring to a piece of the food on the floor where I dropped it to "leave it" referring to a person, food held by a person, a smelly object in the grass, etc? We have a solid "leave it" if I drop a treat at her feet, but it's like she's not generalizing the command when it applies to non-food, particularly when we're out in public.
  8. Every dog deals with the stress of a new environment differently. After bringing mine home from the shelter, she was drinking so much I seriously considered getting a bucket for indoors and letting her go to town anytime she wanted to. After a couple of weeks of settling in, she lost her appetite for water and now drinks a very reasonable amount. The shelter folks told me she drank a lot of water, so I guess she was stressed there too. It's interesting to note, though, that she didn't really exhibit any other signs of being stressed while settling in. I wonder if limiting water could actually make your foster more determined to down way too much when it's offered?
  9. My only experience with ticks is on humans (ok, me!). I used to pick them off with my fingers and then crush them, but found out that this is a really good way of getting a tick-borne disease. I ended up catching one and it was probably one of the top 5 most scary experiences of my life. If you can get the whole tick in one piece, by all means, pluck with your fingers, but flush instead of crushing. Oh, and get them off ASAP - in humans you're safe from most tick-borne diseases if you remove the tick within 24 hours. Not sure about dogs, or even if they can catch the same diseases.
  10. It seems like so many breeds have morphed over the past couple of centuries to the point that you can't even match up pics of today's dogs with their ancestors. As these pics show, that's clearly not the case for BC's (thank doG!). Thanks for posting some cool pics!
  11. I can't help but wonder if his blindness is hereditary or something brought on by the abuse. I also can't decide which would be worse; on one hand, he could have passed it to hundreds of his puppies, and on the other hand, that's some of the worst animal cruelty I've ever heard of. Either way, it's unthinkably awful. Thank you for rescuing!
  12. Kit thinks counter surfing is for wimps. Her version involves jumping onto the counter (all 4 feet) and then licking any dirty dishes in the sink. Keeping food off the counters isn't my problem, but doing all the dishes every time is. She never does it when I'm watching, so I'm still pretty perplexed regarding her method. The kitchen is tiny, so there's no real opportunity for a running start. It's a wonder she has never hurt herself trying to get up there.
  13. Wow, these stories are crazy. I had no idea dogs would eat socks. I almost crapped my pants the other day when a rubber band turned up in Kit's poop. Normally I'm very careful about picking stuff up around the house, but I hosted a party last weekend and apparently one of my guests wasn't so careful. The good thing is I couldn't be worried, because I didn't know anything was amiss until she was already out of danger.
  14. You mean like this? Her hearing is great, btw. But testing wouldn't be a bad idea. I'm sure you could even devise your own at-home test just to get an idea of whether they could be deaf.
  15. I'm just curious if anyone else has a BC that will give "the eye" to animals other than livestock. If so, what other animals? I've noticed recently that Kit will crouch very low and kind of sneak up on dogs that we're approaching from a distance. When she gets reasonably close, she rushes at them. Her behavior looks suspiciously like what I've seen labeled as BC's giving "the eye" to sheep. I'm hesitant to label it as such because I've never heard of giving "the eye" to other dogs, but to me it does not look at all like a play bow - it looks like a predator stalking its prey. Also, she won't do it unless we're approaching from a distance and going in opposite directions (dogs facing each other). I should clarify that Kit is extremely friendly with every dog she meets; after she has convinced herself that they're not livestock, she wants to play play play. I've been trying to keep tabs on what kind of dogs she does this to, but I see no pattern - today it was a dalmatian and a pair of pugs, yesterday it was an overweight geriatric lab, and the day before that a fluffy sheltie mix. I've even seen her do it to other BC's! She does it both on and off lead. Am I alone here?
  16. This evening I was craving some wide open space with mowed grass to play a nice game of frisbee on, so I loaded up Kit and we went to the big park on the other side of town. We stayed in off-leash areas only, but it's not exactly a traditional dog park with lots of dogs swarming around - more like a multiple-use park that just happens to be mostly off-leash. This makes it great for training and playing games. In order to get to the big field of my choice, we had to cross the frisbee golf course. Anyone play this sport? Kinda fun. Anyway, as we're getting closer to the course, I'm keeping my eyes open for anyone playing the game, because I don't want Kit disturbing them. I had the leash all ready to snap on her, just in case. Unfortunately, her sight is a little better than mine and she's just a tad faster than me. She spotted a frisbee off in the distance in mid-flight and just like that she was gone. She missed catching it in the air (too far away), but scooped it up as soon as it hit the ground and raced right back to me. After praising her (what else could I do? - she did exactly what she was supposed to!), getting her on leash, apologizing profusely to the folks who's game we disturbed, and returning the frisbee to a spot that was at least reasonably close to where she shamelessly thieved it from, we made it over to the big open field and had a very successful frisbee training session with our own dog-friendly frisbee.
  17. Sweet, another BC owner in the Willamette Valley! I see now that your location is below your avatar, but I'd never noticed before. I'm in Corvallis. Kit gets mistaken for a boy all the time. I think it must be that she's very muscular and her name isn't particularly feminine. It's definitely not her size and her collar is primarily pink. I don't mind correcting people, but get irritated if people continue to say "he" and "him" after they've been told.
  18. I get asked all the time what Kit is. She's a shelter rescue, so I can't say anything for sure, but my best guess is BC x pointer. Most people will say that they see the pointer in her, but they often question the BC part. I think they're thrown off because she's a smooth coat who is mostly white with big cow spots of brown ("red") and no black - what you might expect to see in a pointer. Of course, her eyes, herding instinct, OCD tendencies, and intelligence aren't as plainly obvious to those who don't know her. To me her personality screams BC and the pointer is what I'm unsure of. What makes me think pointer is that she has freckles in her undercoat, the coloration of a pointer, webbed toes, the nose and appetite of a hound, a really long tail, and once in a while I will catch her pointing at something.
  19. How about a special treat that is reserved solely for crate time? My dog knows that me stuffing a kong is her cue to RUN into her crate and sit. She never gets stuffed kongs unless I'm leaving and she's being crated. This might be tougher with a dog that is not food-motivated, but I bet you could find some treat that she finds irresistible and make that treat one that is enjoyed exclusively in the crate.
  20. That's a tough one. I tend to look at the eyes to figure out if a dog is part BC - IMO they have such hypnotic eyes and the trait always comes through, even in mixes. I think this girl is probably part BC. I'll second the guess of heeler, too. So BC x red heeler; final answer.
  21. I took my BC mix on vacation last weekend and was extremely surprised to find that she had a panic attack while in her crate. At home she spends about 8 hours/day in her crate (with a break in the middle), and has been doing so for 7+ months, ever since I got her. We arrived at the cabin we were staying at, I let her explore for a bit, and then set up the crate. She saw me stuff a kong, which is her cue to run to her crate, which she did happily. I gave her the kong, locked the crate, and left. But then it started: loud barking and whining. I figured she'd calm down after a while and so I left. I came back about 30 minutes later to find that she had tried to chew her way out, bent back some of the wires, scooted the plastic tray out of the bottom of the crate, and even had some paint on her teeth from chewing on the wires! Thank goodness I came back soon, because she probably would have hurt herself. She hadn't touched the kong, which is absolutely unheard of for her. She has always had a touch of mild separation anxiety (mostly just a velcro dog), but I've never seen her go into panic mode with this intensity, even during the crate-training stage at the beginning. We got home on Monday evening and she has happily spent her normal 8 hours/day in the crate since then. Anyone else experience something like this? Did I just put her in too quickly in unfamiliar surroundings? How can we work on this? This makes me pretty worried about boarding her over Christmas.
  22. You've described my dog to a T, except that she was slightly younger when I got her than the dog you're considering. I'd say that my dog's personality has not changed from what I saw at the shelter (still very friendly, outgoing, food/toy motivated, no fear, loves to learn), but she has gained some manners and calmed down a lot since then. Her energy level has dropped off quite a bit from puppyhood. Her interest in balls has blossomed into the full-on obsession so typical of BC's. I've considered SAR because I believe my dog is a BC x pointer mix and she got the nose of the pointer (bred from several hounds), but we haven't gone farther than searching for smelly treats in the grass yet.
  23. Loved your reply, mbc. They really need to publish this as a response. I think part of the problem with Donna's point of view is that she's only thinking of one kind of bankruptcy - the financial kind - whereas most of us recognize that there are other types of bankruptcy that we would also like to avoid, like emotional bankruptcy, for example. I might be better off financially without my dog, but I'm better off emotionally with her. And personally, I'd rather be happy than rich. Can you imagine the guilt you'd feel if you gave up your pet, as Donna suggests? I would think it could become an all-consuming kind of guilt, to the point that you couldn't spend a cent on anything but bare necessities. Surely that isn't healthy, and it could even cut into productivity, which would not be good for financial stability.
  24. Several weeks ago by accident I left a backpack on the floor with a giant rawhide sticking out. I went into the bathroom to take a shower and assumed Kit was lying in front of the bathroom door counting down the minutes, as always. WRONG! She had, of course, stolen the rawhide. When I finished my shower and came out, she had it in her theiving little paws. But as I went to snatch it and scold her, I realized that it was completely untouched. Not even a corner of it was nibbled! She was looking at me like "Looky what I found! Can I have some, pretty please???" After that heroic effort, I couldn't deny her.
  25. Saw a thread on this elsewhere...someone was throwing kibble at every thunder clap. It really distracted the dog and they were having some success. Never had to deal with noise phobia myself. Then again, my dog is quickly approaching the 1.5 year mark, so now I'm worried!
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