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Everything posted by simba

  1. I've said it before and I'll say it again- on reading the history of science, naturalism, ideas etc. you realise you actually have to prove what everyone knows. 'Cos sometimes it's not right, and sometimes it's not quite right, and sometimes it's almost as people know it but for a different reason than what was thought. You know?
  2. Not from an expert by any stretch of the imagination- but I had spent some weeks training a fearful little jack russell to not lunge and scream at cars when they drove by. Every time they drove by I'd exclaim 'A car, good dog!' in a happy voice, praise her, and treat. Initially she was a screaming snarling mess, who would freeze and hunker down if two came at once and then turn to attack the nearest dog. She'd do the 'spinning crocodile' if a bus went by. Not fun. If off-lead she would run straight for the car and try to attack it. So after a few hours of this training she is able to sit and shake and lick her lips and cry, but without screaming, when a car goes by. A few weeks later and she looks at me for a treat and reassurance when the scary things happen. Now the treats are gone except for when something very unexpected or loud drives by, or she's more worried than usual. She'll flinch back a little when a car goes by fast, then look up happily at me for praise. She can walk down a busy street with cars driving past and have enough brain left under the panic to actually stop and sniff things, or listen to commands. Haven't tried her off-lead obviously, she's not trained for that yet, and I wouldn't walk her unmuzzled with other dogs along a busy road, but I'm very proud of the little dog. She isn't unafraid, but she's learning to deal with the fear. One of my friends told this guy about this training I was doing, and he said to me "You know how to cure that of course? You just bring a stick, and every time a car goes by you hit the dog with a stick. That way she knows to be afraid of cars, and won't get hit by them." I tried to explain that the problem was already that she was afraid of cars. Didn't get anywhere. Don't get me wrong, I'm not a good dog trainer, I'm happy to take advice from basically anyone since basically anyone is more experienced than me. And I'm not above roaring at the dogs when there's need either, and have seen some vicious little sobs whose owners mistakenly thought they were 'afraid'. But there are some things that are just so self-evidently wrong. Edit: who was on here who had someone else try to teach their dog via treats? The woman asked the dog to sit, the dog hesitantly did, the woman did a pat-pat-pat "Goooood doooog" and shoved a treat into the dog's mouth, which was then spat out? See, the image I had in my head reading that, the sequence of the human, is pretty much exactly what I pictured for your friend after 'down' Maralynn.
  3. In fairness to the lady who tried to advise you, Maralynn, physical methods can work well sometimes for teaching. Next time line yourself up beside the lady and give her a good hard shove. That'll move her into the correct position, away from your dog, hopefully in the 'down' position if you were really successful, and then you praise and give them a treat.
  4. There's also the dead-animal one that just about everyone has heard of. If your dog kills an animal, you tie it around the dog's neck. Or the one to stop dogs chasing sheep- put them in a pen with a big ewe and a lamb.
  5. From the sounds of it it was to relax the dog and make the dog less aggressive. So if your dog had problems with aggression, in order to both relax it via massage, and show it who is boss, you handle the testicles. Edit: I make no definite claims not to be mis-remembering this, normally when I'm quoting books I'll go fetch the book and double-check. For obvious reasons I can't do that here.
  6. So we have the 'weird unsolicited advice' thread from laypeople. But I was unable to find the 'weird dog training advice' from people regarded as experts (perhaps including self-assessed ones). Suzanne Clothier writes about being shocked and disgusted by the advice to fill a hole with water and put the dog's head in it, to cure it of digging holes. I picked up another dog book in a bookshop recently (sorry, can't remember the name) and found that the dog trainer who wrote it strongly recommended cupping a dog's testicles. I'm not sure exactly what for, just leafed through it, but she talked about the objections of dog owners who retorted "I'm not gay!" Has anyone heard of this before? Please, please, please do not let this get into the territory of 'positive only vs balanced dog training' or whatever, or anything to do with Cesar Milan. Please. At least until the third or fourth page, I beg you.
  7. The advantages of labs. Tramadol pill goes conspicuously on top of bowl of food. Bowl of food gets put down. Owner turns around to retrieve bowl from dog's gaping maw because dog is attempting to eat that too. Dog follows owner around with bowl in the hopes that more food will be forthcoming. She gets very excited now when she sees syringes or tramadol pill packets, because that means dinner is coming. I live in fear of her spotting someone doing drugs when we're out on a walk, and ambushing them for treats.
  8. Not going to promise your dog can also handle them, because they can be so individual. My own dog will vomit back up many of the 'sensitive' foods. But I would imagine your vet could give you a small amount to start with- a few days' supply or something- and see how you go? Just as a potential option!
  9. Pain meds make a huge difference. The vet will be able to advise you better on arthritis meds. My own dog has a very sensitive stomach- she has had liver disease, she has bowel disease, she vomits if she so much as gets a piece of chicken or beef- and she can tolerate her meds just fine. Glucosamine and chondritin were thought to have some effect, based on some preliminary research in humans, but it turns out they don't actually do anything. Some owners see an effect, sure, but it's well-established that you can give a dog with arthritis a placebo, and the owner will see an improvement- the owner sees a difference that doesn't exist in the dog. Good evidence for exercise, gentle exercise. My own arthritic dogs get short walks, on-lead (to stop the bouncy dog jumping and hurting herself) regularly every day. Swimming is also really good for them, or walking in water so the water takes some of the weight. Anything else.... oh yeah, good floor surfaces. Dogs tend to get weaker hind ends as they age anyway, and arthritis will make them walk less and thus get even weaker, so it's a good idea to make sure floors are non-slippy so they can't fall and hurt themselves.
  10. I'm not tearing up. I am NOT tearing up. Allergies, that's it. Those old mid-winter pollen allergies.
  11. Wait, what- I assumed it was mostly just 'natural is safe' ideas that led to them being used undiluted. A lot of essential oil use is home remedy use. People actually recommend this?
  12. Many essential oils can be dangerous to use undiluted on skin, peppermint and lavender are two i've heard. And most are recommended never to be used on broken skin, even diluted. Most small not-needing-the-vet wounds need a hell of a lot of water to flush them out, and a clean cover, most of all- and not being a vet I wouldn't do anything beyond that. Having said that the best thing for chapped skin is going to be an ointment you'll use regularly- and this sounds like it'd be nice enough to motivate you to use very regularly! And by the sounds of it a nice company too. Not meaning to be a killjoy, just being my usual old-lady cautious self.
  13. Got it. I had to switch to a different computer, for some reason it showed up fine then. Same space that was blank before, too. I do not understand technology. It was the box to enter the code that wasn't showing up, like at all. Thank you GentleLake and JuliePoudrier!
  14. Maybe, but you'd think then that there would still be some line to enter a code, it just wouldn't work?
  15. Can't get it to work, I haven't found anywhere to enter the coupon code.
  16. I also wonder if it's an issue of (a) interest and ( a self-selected group. I have noticed that owners of dogs with some reason not to allow other dogs to approach- haemophilia, arthritis, fear etc.- have this. Because they notice it more because they have to, and they talk about it more. When I went for a walk with my rock-solid dog and another dog was obnoxious, I was unlikely to remember it afterwards. No reason to post about it. Now that she has arthritis the equation is different, for the same dog with the same temperament, and I remember incidents more and am more likely to talk about it, because she is more likely to hurt her shoulder and thus give me a reason to remember. Walking another dog that might undo a couple weeks of training, that would make you remember and give you enough of an interest to talk about it. Self selected group. People who talk about 'reactivity', who recognize it, who try and train out of it, rather than just having a dog who 'doesn't like others' or 'should go say hello' or (worst of all) 'is really friendly he is just growling with play', are also more likely to talk about a dog being 'rude.' Cultural thing, to do with our mores and norms and use of language, you have people who are more likely to expect a dog to be able to learn to behave in certain ways. Because the person who thinks their dog is just an asshole for not interacting with every other dog who comes barreling up to them is going to not go bitch about the dogs they think were in the right. The person who doesn't know their dog is reactive also will often have different standards as to dog behaviour. When my dogs were absolute little... to another dog, and that dog's owner apologized to me, acted as if my dogs were being normal, she's not all that likely to go on the internet and complain about rude dogs. Edit Re- intervening when dogs are rude: I have two dogs for over a decade, one solid, the other not. When I got them I had no policy of intervening, I was 'dogs will be dogs' and just didn't have the confidence to step in, ever. One dog got very dog reactive, the other remained fearless, though she sometimes became rude with strange dogs and I didn't intervene enough to stop that. So the reactive dog's reactivity predated my perception of 'rude dogs' etc. Now the dog reactive dog is improving (I never did LAT etc. this is just keeping her out of situations where she is scared, reprimanding her for snapping, and intervening if she's uncomfortable) and the solid one is still fine, and is greeting dogs politely. In retrospect I wish I had been more of my dog's protector, because I can see how much more comfortable she is when I do that. My lack of social confidence, listening to the 'dogs will be dogs/they'll sort it out/let her socialize' people etc. probably contributed to her reactivity.
  17. Eileen- I agree that it can depend on the situation, and on what you consider 'rude'. I have seen someone break up a play session between my own dog and a puppy, much to my dog's disappointment, because they perceived the pup as 'bothering' the dog... who was enthusiastically engaging in the play session. If another dog is humping my dog repeatedly, overly insistently inviting my dog to play and not accepting their lack of interest (for example barking insistently in their face), or sniffing my dog's genitals so intensely that my dog is being pushed up into the air as it walks along, or just walking along in my dog's personal space being 'intense' while my dog ignores them, then I think I should intervene. Because my dog is tolerating that and I want to reward that toleration by ending an encounter that they don't mind, but are not enjoying, before the point where they do mind just because it has gone on that bit too long and they are tired. I think with a reasonably well-behaved dog there are lots of situations where the dog doesn't particularly mind, but isn't enjoying the encounter. Not all of those situations should be stopped, it depends on the situation. Now, if my dog is obviously happy to engage with the other dog, enjoying the interaction etc. that is different. I guess I also think that when the out-of-control dog has advanced to the point where there is prolonged physical contact and they are not interested in the normal polite greeting, I would be worried about other potential behaviours they might display. It may make a difference that in the situations where I encounter this I am walking dogs on-lead (in an on-lead area) and being approached by completely unfamiliar off-lead dogs. All of this is a roundabout way of saying that I do get your point, I just think there are situations like I described where it's acceptable to stop a rude dog even if your dog is tolerating it. The dog I am thinking of is the opposite of stressed in encounters with other dogs. But she does seem to benefit from being removed from the interaction and then given the opportunity to re-engage with the other dog if she wants to- from knowing that she has that option, if that makes sense. Well said, Liz P.
  18. It didn't sound like a pit bull thing? I mean, mostly I've had big mixed-breed dogs doing that to my dogs, and it irritates me no end when the owners don't bother to keep some kind of control or stop their dogs walking with their heads under my dog's arse. Even if the dog doesn't mind, or doesn't appear to mind, the other dog is still being rude. Unless my dog is ecstatic to see that dog and wants to hang out with them, I feel it's my job to protect my dogs from rude dogs. They shouldn't HAVE to show obvious signs of getting annoyed. Sometimes you don't have the option of not taking dogs where you could get in trouble. If you have a dog who is afraid of everything, sooner or later you have to either decide to never take them out of the house, or to work on training. If you have a dog who is intermittently grumpy (usually with rude dogs), but needs walking for her arthritis, there aren't a lot of places and times near me where you can walk them and be *sure* of not meeting other dogs. I mean 3am you'll meet someone with a dog. I understand what you're saying, but I've come across too many owners of dogs who do not realise that every other dog might not want to greet theirs, and think that any dog who cannot greet every dog 'shouldn't be out'. That is simply not fair to the person who has their dog under control and is managing it. If you have the nastiest dog alive but it's on a lead, possibly muzzled, not bothering or going to bother me or mine, I'd much rather meet you than 10 'bomb proof' dogs who are going to be rude or oblivious, or just interact in unwanted ways.
  19. I had a dog that pulled- one thing I found was that the more I shortened the leash the more she pulled.She gets walked occasionally by a friend who shortens the leash, and she goes back to the habit of pulling then. If she has a bit of a longer leash it's easier to teach her what 'slack' feels like and that that is what you want her to do. I noticed she tended to heel well off-leash and rewarded her for that. Then I walked her on a longer leash and made a very clear 'no' when she hit the end of the leash and pulled, and praised and rewarded her (quietly and calmly so she didn't get excited) when she did the right thing. I also (this wasn't intentional) dropped a book beside her one day when she pulled my hand suddenly, and spilled water on her when I was holding an open bottle in that hand. This is a very clever dog who is anxious for play and attention, so it worked well, but it took a fair while of being patient and consistent. You had to pay total attention while she was on-lead, and every time you pulled, it would confuse her again as to what you wanted. You had to work hard to make sure you didn't pull her accidentally, that the leash only got taut when she did something- not you. And it can be difficult to make it clear and consistent enough. It's only one experience with one dog, your dog may be different etc, but it's just what I thought of when I heard you shortened the leash.
  20. She is in a crate. I just don't want her to have to sleep on a wet bed in that crate. She's a bit prone to getting cold this weather anyway. Plus it means I have to shower her much more often and she hates that. It seems to be a night-time thing. At night she is very much on the alert, won't stop to sniff etc. No time to pee, have to guard the house against the many dangers of outside.
  21. Because I don't want her to have to sleep in a wet bed if she wets it.
  22. Thirty five minutes standing outside in the pouring rain- no, walking in little circles with the dog in the pouring rain, in pyjamas. She is so focused too, staring up at me trying to understand what I want, trying so hard to be a good dog. And she hears me getting more and more frustrated before I finally tell her to get her inside. And then she goes into the crate, and while that's a happy time with treats and biscuits and such she hates it and wants to sleep on my bed where she's slept for a decade. Is this the fruit of six months of dedicated training? Because let me tell you, while it's a big improvement, I don't think I would have bothered had I known this to be the final result.
  23. Can... can we have a Halloween pet costume (photo) contest?
  24. I had a dog blow-up in a pet store, much like you describe (not at a child). I pulled her out of there and apologised profusely. She was never taken back. MBC1963- fair play to the woman without a dog! CptJack- just remember the magic response: "If you can't control your child, you shouldn't be out in public. Your child could hurt themselves or someone else. We are beside a busy road/a pond, you should have an eye on them." Okay, I have never had occasion to use it since I decided it would be my response in that situation. But someday... "And that is the story of how Simba got punched in the face by an angry parent"
  25. GCV-border- I have no way of knowing this, of course. But it is entirely possible that not only did you not ruin her enjoyment of having her dog out and about, she might have in no way agreed with the assessment of the man who was angry with you. People that age are used to being told what to do, and are often more open to a new idea like that than the adults around them! Besides, if she then sees her dog doing it at another stage and pulls them back, she could avoid an accident which has much greater potential to ruin her enjoyment of bringing her dog out- and her dog's enjoyment too.
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