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Everything posted by simba

  1. (friendly dogs will give a reactive dog the space they need). No, they really, really won't. Especially if you know your dog is going to get reactive when approached too closely (once the other dog is in the personal space), you know this, your dog knows this, the other dog doesn't know this. Plus some dogs, like some humans, are just rude and clueless. I've a small terrier and I've seen her in hysterics literally being knocked over (flattened, bowled over) by a bigger 'friendly' dog. Every time she tried to defend herself (not subtly- snarling, snapping etc) or I gave out to him, he got more and more excited and 'playful'. Many friendly dogs will follow you and your reactive dog. Not good for anyone. Treats will stop that. I have a 'friendly' dog, well used to socializing with other animals, daily off-lead social contact with at least 4 other dogs (not including those in her own house) for years. She had no clue. She would run right up to a reactive dog, invite it to play repeatedly, generally harass it. She's got better but constant contact with other dogs didn't do that- I had to do that. Now she's a champion with reactive dogs. Friendly dogs who are capable of (a) recognizing if another dog doesn't want to play and ( accepting that and moving on without a fuss are not the dogs that are the issue here. Those dogs, they're fine, off lead or on. But they're not the majority. Edit: also- re-post the rant portion! New comment with the rant portion! I can really see the temptation to just be like 'oh my dog is friendly it's fine' and blame the other dogs for it. You would get to be so smug and complacent and life would be so much easier. Glad I also have the reactive dog to keep me from being a My Dog Is Friendly!
  2. My dog is awesome because a week ago she came in on a train to a busy city, sat quietly with me while I ate, took the tram, and dealt with it all with a wagging tail despite being elderly and deaf. She saw all kinds- traffic, busy city streets, groups of cyclists, small children, we passed (without greeting) dogs of all shapes and sizes. She got tripped over, sadly, when she stopped suddenly to sniff something on a crowded street, so we won't be doing that again. But her enjoyment of the sights and smells seemed to outweigh the pain- I didn't even realise she was bruised until the next day, it fazed her so little at the time. It's affecting her a lot more now. I am hoping it is just that and will monitor and see how she does. Otherwise it's vet time. I am very happy that she trusts me and will follow me wherever I go. I just hope I didn't make a mistake with that trust.
  3. The other thing is that there are lots of things that have been thought to be 'obvious' and 'common sense' that weren't true. So it makes sense to have a policy of proving 'common sense' things- because even though you KNOW it's true, you recognise something more than that is needed. Because the person who's wrong also 'knows' that, and even though you are right, how can you maintain that unless you have some kind of standard beyond 'because I say so'?
  4. The thing is what are they mixes of? I can't imagine a bulldog mix or a great dane mix is going to do as well as a mix of 57 different terriers. And you also have issues of people breeding F2 (or whatever) crosses that are inbred. So they outcrossed the first generation, and then didn't work hard enough to seek a labradoodle (or whatever) that also wasn't related to mix to their labradoodle. The insurance companies charge consistently less for a mixed-breed than a purebred. Wonder if there are studies on this.
  5. My dad had a border collie that lived to seventeen or so, fed mostly on table scraps. They did a lot of 'leftover potato, bread, rice, vegetables, with meat scraps and gravy' stuff. All cooked.
  6. Not in the same league as these stories at all. In fact, I am a little ashamed of telling it. But I have a dog who is elderly now and has always been (rightly) afraid of cattle. I got home one day, when she was young, and the cantankerous bullock was out. Not dangerous like the others mentioned here, 'hell bent on killing' or anything, but a bit aggressive. Now, it was around the time of day when all the little kids would be coming down the road on foot to come home from school this way. No-one was around to help me. So I opened the door and the dog rushed out to greet me and got recruited. This isn't a collie. This is a small terrier, westie or scottie sized if you can picture it. I picked up my bag, she came with me, and between us we got the bullock back in. She did most of the work- she got it by the nose and ended up bearing the brunt of the attempts at squishing, headbutting, kicking etc.* Once it was in she waited while I fixed that part of the fence. I don't owe my life to her. But because I could count on her, we managed to avoid a large animal-small children situation that could have potentially gone badly, and managed to do a job that I couldn't have done by myself. And she faced up to something she was terrified of, and did various things I asked her to despite that fear. And then people ask why I let the now smelly, elderly dog on my lap. Or talk about how they don't like small useless dogs. You can see why people would have had 'useful' dogs for cattle or sheep well before there was any selection for ability in that area- and how that selection might have got started. *She dodged them, though, fortunately, without being hurt.
  7. Simultaneously chagrined at not having read the comments before posting, and somewhat smug at being shown to be right. Edit: I mean, chagrin is winning, but...
  8. Well said, GCV-Border. Wanna bet this, too, will be blamed on vaccines and kibble? I doubt the vaccination rates have risen so drastically in that short a space of time. It reminds me of those breeders who will send a dog home with a particular supplement and a particular food that they will recommend- so if any problems crop up the breeder can decide they must not have appropriately adhered to the regimen. The more cases of cancer or whatever crop up, the more the breeder is reinforced in the idea that it's not their breeding, it's the irresponsible owners. So they don't have any reason to change their breeding practices. Some kind of excuse like that will be used as a response to this. 11 years for a labrador is atrocious. I mean, mine is nearly 14 (?ish) and that's still way too short. It's not like she's particularly well-bred either, quite the opposite. Anyone remember that survey that found that there was no difference in health problems in Scotties between show-bred, pet-store, and byb dogs? Now, not saying that those results must be applicable across all breeds. But if this is what we are seeing with the responsible breeders that will take the trouble to answer this kind of survey, it suggests at least that the system is not going to produce healthier dogs, is not geared towards producing that.
  9. Yup, I have argued this before. And in this instance this means that if the dog is moved down (presumably) to that level then it will still not be being fed too little, and will be gradually moved down as the titration process happens. Means that in practice you get a gradual reduction of food. Important to remember too that once the dog is at their ideal weight, it will take less food to maintain them at that ideal weight than it would if they had always been at that weight and never were overweight. So you might need to feed less than you think.
  10. I perhaps would continue on the same food until you have it under control- when I was working this out generic brands are often lower in calories. Some of the expensive foods can be very high in fat and my dog didn't seem to find them as filing. You can feed green beans, carrots, apples, pumpkin etc. as treats and for fullness. Weighing scales are more accurate than cups, for measuring food. Work out how much he 'should' get according to the bag for his ideal weight (not the weight he's at now, guess if you like). Then feed him that. Then weigh him regularly. If he starts losing more than 2% of his body weight per week, feed him more. Titrate it based on what your dog is doing. Walking or swimming are suitably low-impact exercise. If you think he's overweight and has problems with his hips I wouldn't go any faster than that. Could you put up pictures of him? Pictures show very little compared to actually putting your hands on the dog, but other people here might be able to give you pointers. I've done it before for my dog's weight. I took one from above to see the dog's shape from above, and one from the side showing the dog's profile, up-tuck etc.
  11. GentleLake- I came across an older breed book in which they commended the crossing in of bloodhounds to perfect the basset head, and talked about how there was nothing wrong with a responsible breeder doing that etc. The difference being, of course, that they weren't being deceptive about it. It just was funny how the 'not one drop' purity we see now, hasn't always been the accepted standard even in the show world. Edit: remember the LUA dalmatians? A pointer cross many many generations ago that produced dalmatians that are now identical in nearly every way to other dalmatians except they don't have excessively high uric acid levels that can cause kidney stones. But they supposedly are not as well marked and anyway aren't pure soooo....
  12. Could she have hurt herself? That could be a reason for the lack of interest in fetch. My dog who has bad hips does the same thing occasionally when she's seriously too sore for more. It's a way of saying "No, I am done, I am not able to continue with this." If she is bouncing around and jumping and trying to get you to chase her I might think it's changing the rules, but if she's just parking she might be trying to tell you she doesn't want to play or cannot play for some reason.
  13. I don't see how food aggression is a dominance issue, it's well known that subordinate dogs and wolves will defend food from more dominant animals. It's not a sign of dominance. Agree with the others that professional help is needed.
  14. I had a lab with no interest who I trained to retrieve at over ten years old. It took her months- but then you are probably a much better trainer, basically everyone is. She got very enthusiastic about it, we've had to mostly stop because she hurts her shoulder when she does it. We can only do it if she's calm already. Now, she was enthusiastic about doing it for food- but all I wanted was another trick to feed her for. Edit: when I say she had no interest, I mean she hadn't so much as mouthed a non-food object for years. She had no interest in playing with objects. Never carried anything around. It took ages just to get her to consistently poke an object with a closed muzzle.
  15. My dog has a paw pad cut right across at the moment and is on antibiotics for it, didn't need stitches. Having just had to change the dressing myself because it got wet and dirty, it is well worth getting the vet to do it. It's 2am, I'm tired and also sick, she's just run through about most of the first aid kit by means of kicking and dislodging dressings at the crucial moment. She's getting stressed, I'm getting stressed, it's not a fun time. The far-superior-to-me-at-this vet dressed with a dry dressing, conforming bandage, a layer of cotton, and vet wrap. Stayed very well and overall was a winner until it got wet. I had plastic covering it, it just got a hole at the bottom on a wet and stormy day.
  16. I love having the dog you can take everywhere. I think it would be a big priority in choosing a dog from now on. I actually technically have two that would fit the bill personality-wise - but one is small enough to be taken on the train and low-shed. The other is big, has arthritis and gets tired easily. I would consider getting the certification from the Irish kennel club- they've been involved in some outcross programmes, though there are IKC reg puppy mill dogs... But it would be nice to have some kind of high-standard test that you could take without having to go through the AKC.
  17. I will have to check that out. I am less 'giving' them than 'having them stolen on me before I can eat them myself.' So it is a whole fresh one, since that's the point at which they are most vulnerable to theft.
  18. They both shred and eat it- it's raw and crunchy and shreddable. But tossing it about the place, gnawing etc. seem to provide them with much entertainment. Apparently being able to throw something over your head is the most exciting thing ever. I'm just waiting for the day one of them hits the other with it.
  19. Try him on a sweet potato. You have to watch the dogs here like hawks when you bring home a sweet potato- they'll have it off the table and shredded in no time. I don't know what is so attractive about them.
  20. My dogs had no interest in nylabones- I got a few of them at one time (I know, I know, don't do that) and they had no interest when I presented them one by one. Anything kong-like gets screamed for though. I will occasionally get a cheap dog stuffie and allow the Dog, Destroyer of Toys to shred it. They're about four dollars each from the pound shop (dollar store?).
  21. Might she be able to hear a whistle? Worth a try anyway. Like clapping, except clapping is a signal to 'stop doing what you're doing', not quite 'no' but similar.
  22. Thank you Sekah! I've seen electric collar fence systems for sale in the pawn shop, so it's not beyond the bounds of possibility that I might find a second-hand vibrating collar there too. Nothing for it but regular checking, looking at different sources, and hope.
  23. She's pretty good on hand signals for the basic ordinary things ('sit', 'stay', 'up', 'find it', pointing for directions, 'crate', 'lie down', 'good dog' and 'bad dog', 'time to play' I do a rather embarrassing little dance for but luckily that's only done at home.) She can get a fright when she gets really distracted by a scent, then looks up and you're not where she expected you to be, hence the recall thing. And sometimes I want her to come over before another dog sees her, so I can be beside her and then point out the other dog and stick a leash on her. She can get a fright when another dog comes up behind her, and it took a lot of work to get her not-reactive around other dogs even before the deafness.
  24. I have and use a long line, and she would always be on lead around roads or any kind of danger. I also have a flexi-lead (I know, I know, but it took 14 years before she ever had one on!) which is good for areas where I could have let her off before. Walking multiple dogs, the long line can get a bit difficult to manage. I rely a lot on voice signals- I use a 'let's go' instead of tugging the collar when on-lead, I call the dogs to me to get their leads on if another dog is passing etc. So this is a big adjustment.
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