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Everything posted by simba

  1. One of my dogs never did beyond the most basic tricks because she gets Indignant about them. She takes a long while to learn things, she doesn't particularly appear to enjoy it or engage in the process, she tends to get fed up and give up quickly. She works for treats and out of a grudging knowledge that I will make her do the thing. With the exception of walking on-leash she's naturally mostly well-mannered. So I didn't train her. The other dog LOVES any kind of training, any kind of trick, I'm not a great trainer but she's not the fastest learner so it works. She's a forgiving dog to train. She can create serious mischief if bored or if not kept constantly socialized with a variety of other dogs, and she invents new things and habits that she has to be trained out of. So we did a load of different tricks, most of which would be forgotten next week by both of us. Tricks were badly trained- she learned to shred tissues when I sneezed, much more fun than bringing them. It didn't matter. The process was the fun. She was my velcro-dog, the other one was just 'independent.' Then the well-mannered dog got sick and couldn't go for her big off-lead walks any more, or go to her daytime minders with their dog to play with. I had to do more training with her just to keep her from being bored, and work seriously on self-control around food and such. Now I have a dog who picks herself up from the most comfortable spot to follow me around the house, with her aching joints. The relationship is 100 times better. I wish I'd discovered this twelve years ago before I decided that because she was well-mannered and happy she was better off as she was. The difference in affection etc. wasn't a difference in their personalities, it was a difference in the amount of training I had to do to keep them sane and thus the relationship I had with each. Geonni Banner, I wish I had known you a decade ago to learn this.
  2. I can't say for certain he'll be all right, but the things you've mentioned don't necessarily lead me to 'he won't be'. Don't beat yourself up. It would have been an awful thing to keep him from a home he was anxious to get back to, remember that too. Scarred ears- I have known dogs who got constant lumps and bumps on their ears. Being a big enthusiastic dog who thinks that a thorn bush is a playground will do that, including lumps taken out sometimes. Any dog can get into a fight- read over some of the old threads here, even the most responsible dog owner can have a dog who gets 'jumped'. Some dogs repeatedly get into fights, often when there's another dog at home they don't get on with- and owners who can't manage it can be slow to 'give up' and rehome one of them. Besides, if he is the same dog you saw on tv a month ago- the scars could be from before that. A month in a new home is prime time for "Well now we know the dog can jump THAT fence!" Or "oh no, shedding once he's on a new diet, old coat is greasy etc. from lack of care, how do I cope with this?" There have been times when if someone found my dog they would doubtless conclude it had been very much abused. A good walk-swim-and-roll that completely felted/matted one dog's nice soft newly-washed, brushed coat. She was covered in branches, tangles, seeds etc, looked like the poster child for lack of grooming. Or the "horribly starved" "abused" dog- who was underweight because of health issues (being treated) and doesn't like sticks because she always knocks brooms down on herself (so sticks are things that fall from the sky to attack her for no reason).
  3. I hold onto the collar and throw the toy, because I'm afraid my girl with the previous ACL injury could hurt herself. I will also 'accidentally' drop something as I walk along so that she can grab it and carry it for me.
  4. I have decided that carpet is generally just a bad idea and I will steer as far away from it as possible in future. Never mind the dogs- I shed enough to make daily hoovering a pain.
  5. High fives all 'round! After her sudden progression in fetch training I now attribute any and all sudden improvements to these boards. Thanks guys for all the mojo.
  6. Liver biopsy doesn't seem to be cancer, so much happier prognosis! Sorry, forgot to update on this. Her arthritis is sore but she's putting on weight and eating well and she's recovered really really well from surgery. She might be limping but she's a million times better than what she was when I was posting on this thread.
  7. Seconding the 'don't have two dogs of the same age' thing. Two elderly dogs to look after has its advantages- slower walks etc.- but a much higher potential for expense in vet bills, having both of them get sick or incontinent at the same time etc.
  8. I am very sorry for your loss, and the best of luck with your health problems.
  9. Honestly it could be something as simple as 'augh that should not be a thing'. If that makes sense. Life-size portraits evoked the same reaction from my dogs, or a statue of a sheep- it's so tempting to attribute the 'uncanny valley' idea to that, that it's that it is like an alive thing but not an alive thing. They haven't had the same for very small dogs but some of those dogs obviously do not register as 'dog', they register as 'rabbit' (try explaining to the owner of the yorkie that yes, my dogs are happy to see yours and no, you can't bring it over to 'play', it'll end badly, and ignoring me because 'they're wagging their tails' will not help that.) It could be that something about those dogs is not registering as 'dog' for yours. I've seen dogs the same for kittens (scary), hamsters (scary), just something about it freaks them out. Lots of things you can do- you can start to desensitize him from a distance. Particularly if you know someone who has a small dog. Start with one small dog a distance away that he can see it but isn't afraid, reward him, and then move away from the small dog and end the session. Gradually reduce the distance over the course of different training sessions. How food motivated is he? I'm in a situation where I have to walk pretty nearby some things a dog I walk is afraid of, and I've found having high value treats and shovelling them in to her whenever we see a 'scary thing' has worked reasonably well for being so unscientific. Having said that we had to keep distance and exposure low enough at first that she would eat the treats, they won't eat them if they're panicking.
  10. I have considered getting a small palm-one for my older dog who sometimes just can't hear you- or is too distracted, which effectively amounts to the same thing.
  11. I just added the rice because I had it leftover, and it worked well. It was a stick blender, all I had, and the dog took and chewed on the removable end part. I did contemplate the mallet option, but was wondering if that was too cartoon-y (with my Acme hammer). Plus there is the possibility of ceiling liver-splash. Maybe if I put it in some kind of bag or loosely wrapped in baking paper? I greased the bottom of a slow cooker (crockpot), lined it with tinfoil, and spread the mix out thinly on it. It worked beautifully.
  12. I mixed some cooked brown rice with it and cooked it in the slow cooker on 'high'. It smells AWFUL and stinks up the kitchen. It also freezes well and cuts easily into teeny-tiny bits. Oh, and the hand-held blender never recovered. The stringy bits twisted around the centre of it and were extremely difficult to get off. And the blender itself got stolen out of the sink and chewed. So I may not make this recipe again as it was so damaging to my blender, but I'm wondering if you could chop the liver very small and make it work that way...
  13. No, you're grand GentleLake! I had intended to convey that meaning from the quoted sentence (hence 'a lot less common') but that apparently wasn't how it came across. Thank you for clarifying! I cannot find my hard drive with my random stock of dog studies (and all my work-work for many years, but that's another story) so I cannot verify that I haven't just misremembered* or made it up about vision being affected. * Which is entirely possible even though I am subjectively SURE I didn't. But then isn't everyone 'sure' who misremembers like that?
  14. Double merle pups can rarely appear almost like normal merles- it's uncommon, sure, but it does apparently happen. The dog hasn't always read the rules: see the dachshund with microopthalmia in this post. I am not saying that this is the case in that litter, just that it is possible. Heterozygous merles are also prone to hearing and vision abnormalities, it's a lot less common than in double merle dogs but still higher than non-merle dogs.
  15. 6 foot chain leash and a separate tug toy? I know some people dislike them/think them macho but I have found them useful for dogs who liked chewing leads- not because they were difficult to bite through, but because the dog didn't like the feel of the metal and thus didn't bite. Obviously if the dog bit then you'd want to stop using it so as not to risk the dog's teeth. If you like the flexi game, it could even just be for the car park. I (shaaaame) leave dogs loose in the car or crate instead of using a leash or safety belt. I walk a small dog who has a habit of being able to hang herself in the most unlikely ways from various contraptions, I've yet to find a safety belt she can wear safely in the car, so she got a lot of training on being able to sit in the back of the car without causing trouble or moving anywhere she shouldn't.
  16. This is total necroposting, I am sorry for violating the rules of the board, please no-one respond to this BUT- Urge to Herd, I tried your recipe, the dog loved it, it was really useful for training, and thank you! Thank you too, D'elle, I will try that next time I see a sale! Again I am so sorry for necroposting, I was balancing the rudeness of necroposting vs the rudeness of taking useful advice without any acknowledgment of it.
  17. I used to train with cookies at home for new behaviour and then go without most of the time. I noticed that the dogs were faster to respond to a comment on a walk which made sense, than a trick at home with cookies. So point in favour of relationship-based training. Then, though, I started walking a very reactive dog. Bringing cookies everywhere and shoveling them into her whenever anything 'scary' happened made the difference between a lunging screaming snarling dog who would redirect her aggression at the other dog walked with her, and a dog who trots beside me looking up at me for the next treat. This happened over the course of a day or two- she didn't get perfect in that course of time, but she was able to just walk and maybe bark or hide rather than being uncontrollable. Between that and recall training I use a lot more treats now. So points for both sides. Ourwully- long line? When she doesn't respond she gets pulled in, when she does respond she gets released to go to the interesting thing again?
  18. As often happens I completely agree with JuliePoudrier. I am just annoyed you posted first because now I feel I've nothing to say! I know a lot of people who are older and still feed the way they did before the pet-food thing became popular where they lived. They don't seem any less likely to just 'put down some food and go' than people who feed kibble. There would certainly be no idea of balancing the diet, not feeding cooked chicken bones, looking at the nutritional needs etc and the dogs are usually fat. One dog got fed almost entirely on bread and cake, more usual was potatoes, veg scraps, meat, bread. It's a small sample size though, self-selected of people who just do what they always did (and thus probably not likely in the first place to research and change stuff). Well said Waffles- I do not really understand people who spend a lot of time and effort on the dog's food, or doing things like going organic and feeding supplements and such that don't actually have a lot of evidence behind them- and yet don't think about keeping the dog's weight down. This is when it's something we KNOW will help the dog be healthier and live longer, probably one of the most important things you can do for that aside from regular exercise and not letting them onto a highway every evening. Edit: to clarify, this isn't a problem with people spending a lot of time and effort on their dog's food per se- just on people who make their dog less healthy by not bothering to keep them at the right weight or learn what that looks like, while doing so.
  19. I am just imagining my friends coming in to find me spreading peanut butter on the fridge. They already think I'm crazy, I don't need to add to it. "It's for the dog!" would only make things worse. Must remember to keep dog-talk for here, where I am surrounded by the OTHER crazy people.
  20. I often wonder what it would be like if everything else had to have the same side-effects warnings on them. Both the stuff that happened because of the product, and those things that have been reported after using the product. Stairs, for instance, would probably become a lot more nerve-wracking to buy. "Do not operate while under the influence of alcohol or in inadequate lighting conditions. Objects left on this may prove rapidly fatal. Subject to infestations of fungi and insects which in rare cases may cause product to collapse underneath you, causing potential injury, coma, and death. Do not allow children to use stairs unsupervised." I wonder what the border collie disclaimer would look like. Collies have killed people, yes? Someone out there has to have had a seizure shortly after getting one? Plus the asthma and allergies front. And definitely the addictive potential, tending to cause dependence.
  21. I'm very sorry for your loss, both of you, Gentlelake and Juliepoudrier.
  22. To clarify, I have a friend who insists this. Along with some other odd advice. So I come on here just to confirm "Hey, I'm not crazy, this is totally not the answer, it's not just me?" She's doing all the things, she loves getting out and about so I'm making a bigger effort to bring her out to different places and get her mad foods and generally try and keep the quality of life up. Every year I think she can't possibly be better than the year before and then she is. She's a small-breed terrier so at least she's not that 'old'? It's not like, say, a bulldog or great dane at that age.
  23. I hate the idea of pee pads for adult dogs but if it would keep her from peeing on the part of the floor that's damaged... Just to confirm- this is not an "I am not the leader" thing right?
  24. My 'before' photo is not showing up. Sadness.
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