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Everything posted by simba

  1. Yeah, I see a lot of 'welcome!', people posted 'read this first', someone answered the question, when Heartfelt asked why people were saying that someone explained and asked about the breeding. Seems fair enough. Further in the discussion people further explained but also to my eyes bent over backwards to be nice about it. I can't think of any nicer, friendlier way to do that without actually not giving Heartfelt information. For some people there is no way to tell them something they don't want to hear, without them taking offense. I am sure those people would love for people to just not give them that information. Heartfelt could go to a westie forum and start talking about breeding black westies and people would doubtless give them a much harsher reception than that. If you start talking about breeding dogs that aren't to the most basic aspect of the breed standard, dog people will tell you this. That's expected.
  2. God be with the days when I had a dog who could keep any non-stuffed toy for a year at least. She didn't lose them, she didn't break them. Sigh.
  3. The clothes were on the floor. I wonder if it's partly related to the recallers course we started recently- so back garden time is also potential training time, including at night. But then she never does eliminate at night anyway, outside at least.
  4. Thank you everyone, I will try and be less angry about it. I suppose it's also that I posted after I was particularly annoyed, it's not how it is usually. I suppose in a weird way it's harder to take her age into account because she doesn't seem old. I mean, she came to a barbecue today, she went her first train trip on Monday, she comes along to markets and shops and dog shows, and hikes up mountains, and goes on trams, and all kinds of things without ever flagging or seeming 'tired' or 'old'. The occasional tantrum over a cat maybe, but that's it. She really does seem to just have gotten the wrong idea somehow, in addition to the problems caused by age. I mean, she can hold it well in situations where she thinks she needs to- you'd have no fear of her in the car, for example, even on long journeys. She has seemed to improve with putting it on command, at least somewhat- she gets less worried about what I want her to do since she knows that I also want her to go potty. It could be me succumbing to intermittent reinforcement, of course, since I've not been recording my observations systematically. Is there any other way I can explain to her what I want?
  5. Eh, being examined by a vet without biting them is one thing, but I have no issues if a dog doesn't like being petted by a stranger. I don't have to instantly love everyone I meet, neither do they. The fact that I'm friendly and like most people doesn't mean my dog has to be the same- and they tend to be more reserved than me, and that's okay. Edit: plus I do think there is value in asking a dog 'why'. Reassurance can work really well on a dog who's growling because it's scared, no matter how stupid it seems to reassure something that's growling.
  6. She's pushing 14. She's always been a bit like that, I mean you always had to watch her to check she went outside particularly when it was cold or wet or anything like that. I don't think it's dementia, she's about the same behaviour-wise as she ever was in other respects, though a bit calmer. My suspicion is that it's more that changing circumstances and a new habit have revealed holes in her understanding of housetraining which were probably there all along- but because she got the long walks, was happy to go outside in the cold, could tell in advance when she needed to go etc. she went outside and got into the habit of that.
  7. Have a small older dog who's always had some issues with housetraining but it's been getting worse recently. A culmination came this morning when I came out of the shower to find that she had wandered into the room, done a shit on my clean clothes, and wandered out again. I have no crate (I had one but someone else lost the door of it and I haven't the money to get another), I have no way of blocking off the areas where she likes to 'go'. I have a small room to put her in that she also toilets in, though less often when she's confined in there. She will decide to 'go' on anything that's put on the floor- rugs, carpet, books, anything like that. The areas where she's 'gone' get cleaned with disinfectant and enzymatic cleaner, or washed. She gets brought outside regularly. The other dog runs straight for her regular toileting areas. This dog will look up at you and wait for you to tell her to do something. Or she will shit in the doorway on the way out, pausing to do so before coming out to you. Or go back inside and shit. Sometimes, sometimes she will 'go potty' outside if you wander around the garden with her off-lead, and then I praise and treat. Sometimes we have been out there for six hours without any doing. She reacts to the dark, she wants to run around and bark in it, so if she is brought outside at night she will spend so much time looking around her that she won't toilet then. If she is on a lead when brought outside she will simply sit or walk beside you and wait for some kind of command or something interesting to happen, or a walk to happen. I've been trying to mark the behaviour with a word, but she seems to be taking ages to 'get' it, and it's actually distracting her because she will sniff, or scratch the ground, and then look up at me to see if I'm praising her for it. On walks she's fine, because there are no 'off limits' areas. Part of the trouble is that she can't manage the lengths of walks she used to and so is doing less of her eliminating there, away from the house. Edit: plus, as she gets older, she gets less inclined to go outside in the dark and the cold and the rain with her arthritic hips. She may also be having trouble sensing in advance when she needs to go. I mean, both of these are fair enough, but she also does not seem to understand, suddenly. It's like she was housetrained before but had got into a routine/done certain behaviours rather than understanding what was expected. Now she's changed her routine. It is just so infuriating. I spend a lot more time and effort with her trying to get her to do this, the other dog just 'gets it'. She's very good at picking up things to do in other areas, she's excellent at going out in public, being obedient under distraction etc. But I can't seem to find a way to explain to her what I want in this scenario. It's like she literally does not get the concept.
  8. Again, my dog is nervous around unleashed dogs. She will relax after a while if the dog is calm and does not approach her, but she is instantly nervous when she sees them. It's not travelling down the lead- she checks with me, nudges me on the leg, if she sees an unleashed dog of any demeanour, because it's something she's worried about. It's not a question of training or lack of exposure- it's that she is correctly able to identify which dog is in a better position to be a threat, a restrained or unrestrained dog. Even if that is true, the population in a vet's office are often not 'ordinary dogs'. Strays with no history someone's brought in, the untrained, the anxious, and everyone already stressed beyond an ordinary situation. It shouldn't just be well-trained, 'ordinary' dogs who are able to visit the vet. When there's no real reason not to use a lead in that specific situation, when there are good reasons to use it, then why not leash up when there's other animals there? Edit: plus there are the owners of small animals and birds, who often have had no reason to learn dog body language. If it was a market, a festival, a bookie, a pub, a bookshop, a library, I'd have no problem with it. I accept that your dogs are well-behaved. But there are good, valid reasons to have dogs on-leash in a waiting room when there are other animals.
  9. I'm not sure about how she talks about punishment or reprimands. It seems to be that either they are too small and therefore ineffective and don't change behaviour, just cause confusion. Or else they're 'severe and catastrophic' punishment, which actually does work but causes a lot of negative emotional fallout. I mean, I'm no great shakes as a trainer and I've got a dog to stop pulling with verbal reprimands and the occasional accidentally-dropped book when the dog pulls my hand. Now all you need is to softly say the dog's name if she gets excited and forgets, and she looks up at you like 'oh yeah, forgot, sorry' and gives a bit of slack. Maybe punishment does only work to change behaviour when you're around, but it's not like I'm going to be not-around when she's on leash. Sometimes, if a dog tries to chase cattle or the cat, you need a reprimand. I get the positive reinforcement thing, but why not just let it be that it puts the dog and -importantly- you in a better frame of mind for training? That it teaches the dog to seek you out when punishment will teach some dogs to evade you?
  10. Sorbet. Ah sure he deserves it. Look at that face. Liver sorbet?
  11. I'm with CptJack and Gentlelake. You might know your dog, and you might actually have the knowledge to assess that. But most of the people I've come across who THINK they are in that position, are not. I have no way of distinguishing you from them, and neither does my dog. Heck, you might be one of those people with the perfectly friendly, well-behaved, biddable dogs whose owner feels it's okay to let their dog approach and greet mine suddenly- and she might be frightened and in pain and more likely to lash out, since, yeah, vet. The dogs have all been jumped or threatened by off-lead out-of-control dogs before, including for example three golden retrievers who pinned my small dog screaming. They know if there's a lead on or not, they're not stupid, they will calmly pass an aggressive dog on-lead when it would be idiocy to do that with an off-lead dog. The dogs' stress levels go up when they see an off-lead dog in an enclosed space. Sure, given a few minutes of seeing that that dog is under control they will calm down. But in a high-stress environment already that can lead to panic initially, for a small frightened elderly dog who does not need that. It's not about your dog or how well-behaved he is, I would trust people on these boards more than the average person for that one. It's simply about what's appropriate for the environment. I can't see any reason not to just clip on a leash at the door. I'd agree with Emilyfalk on the muzzle idea, it's not about the dog being a bad dog, it's just a sensible precaution for a good animal which may be useful in the future. Edit: wait wait wait wait back it up a bit. There are free roaming office cats? Those words can't mean what I think they mean... can they?
  12. If you're the kind of person who likes to read a lot of information beforehand, have this: http://skeptvet.com/Blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/Benefiits-Risks-of-Neutering-in-Dogs-and-Cats.pdf I do, and it calms me down a lot, so that's why I offer it! Could you bring her in for a few minutes at quiet times and stuff some treats into her, a couple of times? It can be pretty darn traumatic (for the human!) to take in a dog who knows that it's the vet and they've only gone there when really stressed. She probably won't be like that since she has no experience of it at all. But if she knows it as a place where Good Things happen it will be easier on you.
  13. I think I'd rather have a dog who would bark and then run. I mean, maybe if we're both cornered and can't get away, or if the dog runs and I can't follow, I'd be happy to have them stand their ground. But a dog who runs and barks will both raise the alarm and not get hurt.
  14. I found one of the rare pictures of my flabrador dog at her heaviest, and compared it to the dog sitting beside me. So happy. Anyone else wanna join in this emotion? Put up something you did for your dog, or your dog did, that was a big change for you and makes you proud of yourself. Or, y'know, of them. Reactive dogs in places they wouldn't have dared to go normally, tricks and obedience for dogs who were slow to learn, dogs on stock who looked like they weren't going to be capable, skinny-dogs or fat-dogs turned normal, sick dogs turned healthy, scared dogs made confident. Just a picture, a description, a story, anything. I'm leaving the scope wide. If you think it MIGHT be a thing, put it up. Let's all celebrate the stuff that you did right. Because it can be hard to get a dog from 'bad' to 'normal', and it doesn't have the same kudos from other people as 'normal' to 'winning something'. But it can be a bigger achievement for one dog to, say, go up a flight of stairs, than people know. Let's talk about the 'back to normal' or 'didn't look promising' dogs we spent so much time and work on. I expect to see Fly here, Donald McCaig. Or CptJack's Molly in class?
  15. Well done SuperGibbs! Requesting further updates as events eventuate.
  16. Just to note- the search function will often bring back 'no results found', and if you wait about twenty seconds and try again often the results will come up the next time.
  17. 'Collies are vicious [meaning border collies.] I've never met a collie who didn't bite. They are savage. I don't understand why people would have a dog who is going to bite people all the time.' This was the one I heard most recently. In fairness the person who said this had a point, in that the collies they have known have been vicious, with one exception which I reminded them of. This isn't 'oh he's nipping because he hasn't been trained and is trying to move you/overexcited.' Permanent-scar-inducing, 'don't go outside without a big stick or it will try to attack you' vicious. I did try to persuade her that some people do have collies who won't constantly attack people and don't really need to be kept muzzled for the safety of everyone around them, but I don't think she was convinced. Before I came on here I thought border collies were like pit bulls (or kerry blues or whatever)- in the way that pit bulls have a tendency towards dog aggression, border collies had a tendency to bite people. I was more wary if the person walking down the street had a collie rather than if they had something less scary like a rottweiler or a german shepherd or a pit bull or something. It may have been a case of 'getting what you allow' for the owners of the savage dogs, especially since most of them were owned by one or two particular people who just keep having horribly human-aggressive collies.
  18. I wonder how much of the poop thing is less about what's good for the dog and more about what the human likes. Lower-fibre higher-fat would make my stool wonderful, but it wouldn't be a good metric for working out how good my diet was. Plus dogs seem to inherently have differences in their poop, like one dog will always have a tendency towards constipation and another dog have loose stools even on exactly the same diet. So the food that would make the one dog's stool easy to pick up will produce awful constipation in the other dog. Just some random musings. Royal Canin I like, but it is expensive. If I were doing it all again I'd pick out some protein sources that aren't beef or chicken that I'd avoid- so avoid fish, and/or lamb etc- because my dog developed sensitivities and now can't eat, for example, lamb. If she had never been exposed to it much it would be easier to feed her now. YMMV.
  19. The dogs who bit were mostly collies who did some kind of useful work, worked cattle or sheep (or had done so in the past) and/or were watchdogs in often relatively isolated houses, so maybe the kind of logic CptJack mentioned. I know people with permanent scars from ordinary farm collies. I am unsure as to how much was simple lack of training (although the dog I mentioned above was regularly exposed to dog-savvy kids) and how much was inherent temperament, but it would make me very wary of having a collie and kids unless I could pick the collie as an adult. YMMV. They were kept outside, all the time, or allowed only in particular rooms of the house or in at certain times of the day. The dog wasn't expected to have to play nice with kids or strangers because they shouldn't be interacting with your dog or going too close to them. Which, you know, in some ways is very annoying (why not train a dog not to threaten children unprovoked?) and in some ways is quite sensible. Like CptJack says, it was that you stay away from the river by yourself, you stay away from the building with the unstable roof, you stay away from the farm machinery, and you stay away from the dog.
  20. When I was a kid the farm border collie was a dog we knew to stay away from. If you walked quietly past the dog, not looking at it, with your hands crossed across your chest the dog would maybe probably not bite you. If it got into the house when you were inside, you got up on a table. Rules for kids she didn't like (who were apparently randomly picked)- just stay away from the dog, stay inside the house, and if she snarls at you when you come into the room, well, back slowly out of the room again. It's your responsibility to avoid being bitten, and if she bites you, well, it was unfortunate that you went outside or that she happened to get inside the house. Once you got old enough the dog would decide you weren't a kid any longer, and you would now be allowed outside the house, and all would be well. This was a dog raised from a puppy around kids, different children in and out of the house all the time, and she liked and did well with some of them- so similar mixed reviews about her. That dog did fine in that household because she did what they wanted her to do- she worked, she was a good watchdog, and she didn't draw too much blood from the kids too often. She wasn't unique. There were many houses that I remember you could go into provided you carried a good stick and kept the kids behind you, or where the dog agreed not to bite you if you agreed not to interact with it or make any sudden movements. I would suspect the reason farm dogs did so well and dogs in the different situations now don't, is simply that standards are different. The dog is inside in more than one room when the kids are small, rather than being kept outside or confined to one room where the kids often aren't, and they are expected to interact. Nipping, growling, guarding, is not as acceptable.
  21. I was trying to inject a little sympathetic humour, although it didn't come across well. I have a little old girl who loses control over her bladder when she sleeps, and I got a Very Firm Talking To along the above lines. Edit: and got really pissed off by it, pardon the pun. The peeing on command wasn't so much for housetraining, it's more that if I can persuade my girl to go, she will pee less when it's uncontrolled just because she has that bit less in her bladder. It depends on whether your girl can still pee when she wants to though, and it's just something that helped her. Like I intended to try to convey, I didn't have the information necessary to know whether it would be helpful or unhelpful, not all incontinence is the same etc, they are very different dogs in very different situations, just this helped a bit with this particular dog. Consider it as having been dropped at your feet like a tennis ball, rather than shoved insistently at your knees like a cold wet tug toy. On reading your next post, it's not helpful, and that's fair enough.
  22. I have been told very firmly that old-dog incontinence is just because you are not being the leader enough, the dog needs to know who's boss and then they will go in the right place (bitch pissing her bed in her sleep, due to my un-leader-like demeanour). So, well, watch Cesar Milan like my friends do apparently? Currently putting peeing on command for that reason, at least it gives me a slightly better chance of her having less in her bladder. I am sure you have considered that, just offering it up. Maybe a bathroom carpet (bath mat?) with rubber backing so at least there's a chance for you to wash it before it hits the floor?
  23. I'd agree with Maralynn. She sounds like she's behaving appropriately. And I don't think it's because she's crated- I have never used a crate, and that seems to be mostly what mine do/have done as well, though I haven't used a camera on them. They're bred for human companionship, they take the opportunity for down-time when it presents itself. She might like having that little rest- not because you're overworking her or anything. We all like a rest, of whatever kind, and we all like something to occupy us provided the two are kept in balance. She might enjoy the 'no people' time and then enjoy hanging out and having fun.
  24. Anyone have any tips on exercise? She can tolerate a lot less and I keep either wearing her out or bringing her home looking all disappointed. She enjoys it so much, and that's the problem. She bounces. 13 year old dogs post surgery should not bounce, no matter how gently, and she just gets overexcited and then tired. Even though we're doing a slow walk on-lead she still gets tired. Would it be an idea to drive her to new places and just do a 2 minute walk, so she gets the mental enrichment and the happpiness, but doesn't get worn out? Edit: she's also getting kong, training, and the all-important 'sit on the couch with your head in Simba's lap' time. Just, well, she has always always loved her walks, still does, and I want to keep her as happy but also as comfortable as possible.
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