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Everything posted by terrecar

  1. My favorite dog leash is a six foot leather leash that I’ve had for close to 30 years. The shop where I bought it is no longer in business, but it looks similar to this: https://l.dog-leash.org/unbranded-heavy-duty-braided-leather-dog-leash-training.html The only difference is that the brass clasp on mine looks sturdier. It’s a heavy duty leash that is comfortable on the hands. I’ve used it on two very large German Shepherds as well as my current dogs.
  2. I know this is a long shot, but Is there anyone from the southeast PA, northern Delaware or northeast Maryland area going to the 2022 Jack Knox clinic in Maryland? I would pay for all gasoline and tolls to and from the site, and auditor’s fee, if I could ride along. It’s less than two hours from me, and I would normally do something like this solo, but I just found out yesterday during routine maintenance that I’ll need about $3000 worth of work on my car *soon, contingent upon how much I drive it in the next few months*.
  3. Excellent use of classical conditioning and very likely useful for this particular dog. Great find, D’elle!
  4. Dr. Harps: I just thought of something else you might try as a more immediate aid. Disregard if it isn’t feasible for your dog, and of course this is a short-term strategy to buy time. Sometimes tethering a dog to your person can give them a sense of security, provided that you are a calming influence on the dog. One of my dogs is calmer when she is on a leash (of course this will not work for a leash reactive dog). I have a dog walking belt that allows me to walk my dogs hands free. I’ve not used it in the house, but if I needed to tether a dog to me, that belt would be ideal. Try tethering the dog to you during times when she is most vocal (but before she loses it) and see if it quiets her. You should find in short order if it doesn’t work, in which case you can untether her. It’s worth a try. My thinking with the above suggestion is that, if you’re lucky and it calms her, it will also likely help reduce stress in you! If you are very nervous about your dog barking, that is stress you don’t need, and your dog will likely pick up on it, as well. I also think you would benefit greatly from this podcast: https://dancingheartsdogacademy.com/podcast/ebd180-how-to-help-your-dog-self-regulate/
  5. Stress-Related Behaviors in Companion Dogs Exposed to Common Household Noises, and Owners' Interpretations of Their Dogs' Behaviors The above link is to an interesting study related to the subject we are discussing. At least you understand that your dog is barking through fear/anxiety. That’s half the battle.
  6. I have never used a citronella collar or an e-collar. They are simply not in my toolbox. I would strongly discourage the use of an e-collar. Using an e-collar on a fearful dog is only giving her already uncertain world more uncertainty. You don’t need anything to reinforce her belief that the world is unpredictably unsafe. The best way to deal with a dog’s trigger, in this case a visitor, is to tackle it while the dog is sub-threshold. Once she begins barking frantically, she is not thinking and therefore likely unreachable. Do you crate her before you answer the door, or after? Have a look at this strategy for visitors: https://www.thewildest.com/dog-behavior/helping-fearful-dogs-handle-visitors Have you read about “Look at That” (LAT). It is a method of conditioning your dog to first look at a trigger from a safe distance and while still under threshold, then respond to it by looking to you. Here is a link to an explanation in simple terms: https://themannerlydog.com/look-at-that-for-reactivity/ Here is a link of suggestions by Patricia McConnell explaining how to handle reactive dogs: https://www.patriciamcconnell.com/theotherendoftheleash/how-to-handle-reactive-dogs
  7. To be honest, I am not sure which period of the day is best for your dog to get the greater part of her daily exercise. Some dogs might do better being exercised more heavily in the morning than evening, it’s true. However, I’m not convinced that will necessarily be the case for every dog. I think the best way to find out is to try both and compare. You can always switch up if one isn’t working. My dogs are ready to roll in the morning, ready to nap in the afternoon, and catching their second wind in the evening. Since the readiness for an afternoon siesta is irrespective of the amount of exercise they’ve engaged in earlier, they do just as well exercising early evening, after which they are ready to sleep.
  8. Yes, this sounds like a good strategy. You may have to send her to her crate every time initially, but later just giving her something to occupy herself may even work. The goal is to create a distraction in the form of something that takes her mind off of the scary noise and calms her.
  9. I am pasting a strategy I used for barking in one (very specific) situation. It is a reply to another board member that I posted a while back. It may or may not be of help to you:
  10. It is possible that your dog’s barking is related to fear/insecurity and a lack of confidence rather than being the outcome of overconfidence. If this is the case, your obvious displeasure and punishment might work in the short term to quiet your dog, but in the long run it is just as likely to exacerbate the problem. If your dog’s barking is predicated on a fearful emotional state, you are less likely to be successful at reducing her barking response if she is further stressed (or left to her own devices, for that matter). You need to attend to the underlying cause (this is of course assuming she is not engaging in boredom barking). A better short-term strategy is to distract and redirect your dog, get distance between her and whatever is triggering her barking, but do it without any negative emotion or punishment. Take her to a quiet, comfortable place. Is she crate trained? Does she seem happy in her crate? How about a quiet room? Can you put her there with a stuffed Kong after redirecting her from the barking trigger? Start there. Pay close attention to your dog’s emotional state. That will be the key to deciding what to do henceforth. In the mean time, determine what her triggers are and rate them mentally. Things like fireworks are obvious triggers, but what lower level sounds and activities trigger her? You will need to work on her comfort level with them. This is not a dog I would turn out in a yard unsupervised, where she is left to habitually respond to triggers without assistance. I’d go outside with her, at least for now. There is no quick fix to excessive barking. The most important thing is to determine why she is barking — either boredom, alerting or (most likely) fear. I am tired, so I hope this makes sense. It is only the first part of what should be a lengthier dialogue.
  11. This is such a heartwarming story. I’m so glad you and Rooster found each other. Thank you for sharing!
  12. terrecar


    I saw a couple of Kelpies a few days ago, but I didn’t get to see them work. I suspect they were working bred, but I couldn’t swear to it. The trainer has HTCD’s, one of which he brought out so I could watch him work cattle. The Kelpies may just be there for training, probably on sheep. This is in Maryland. ETA: The dog I watched working cattle is all the way on the right in the third photo. Other than the white, his coloring is similar to a red Kelpie, but his structure is different and he is a HTCD. https://www.hangintreecowdog.net/2021-futurity
  13. “I am also not a fan of dog parks, I like D’elle’s description.“ Yes, as an introvert myself, I have to agree. D’elle’s description is perfect.
  14. Interesting piece. Jan is definitely in the gifted category.
  15. I may get disagreement on this, but if my dog were starting to air snap when other dogs approach, I would consider that useful information. To be clear, I most certainly would not encourage it, but I probably wouldn’t correct it either, depending on the dog/circumstances. I would calmly redirect my dog and leave the park, particularly if I were unsure of how the approaching dog would respond to an air snap. Is there some way you can get a play group together with dogs that have similar play styles to yours? Your dog may be telling you she is not comfortable at a dog park with unfamiliar dogs that are rude and invade her space. I don’t really have enough information to determine that this is the case, but you might be doing your dog a favor to consider it.
  16. Having said all of that…. I guess you can say I’m a bit obsessed with the whole Border Collies working thing. I just find their abilities absolutely fascinating, even now that I’ve been out there working my dog on livestock. I still watch YouTube sheepdog trial and training videos cast to my television. I don’t think the novelty will ever wear off. Working Border Collies will always be amazing to me.
  17. I’m finding the replies to this post interesting. I can’t say I’m obsessed with any one breed, but there are breeds that are more suitable for me. I like GSDs. I like hounds, especially sighthounds and Dachshunds. If Hannah’s mostly Aussie mixture is representative of Aussies in general (factoring in individual differences), I must say I really like Aussies. I love that I feel safe with Hannah as a wonderful alert dog. I love that she is game for learning new things. I love that she comes to me for attention then says okay, I’m good. I’ll be over here. If Jan is typical of Border Collies, I have to say I really like Border Collies. I like it that Jan seems to enjoy my company as much as I do hers. I love her take charge attitude on sheep. I really love that it’s a bit cold tonight, and all I had to say was “here Jan”, pat the couch and voila, I have a big, furry heating pad to snuggle up with. I love my little Chihuahua too! [ETA: With his little obnoxious self]
  18. I am so sorry for your loss, Geonni. Sugarfoot was clearly well loved.
  19. My Aussie/Border Collie mix is like that. She is about 50% at my feet and 50% off at various distances in a choice spot, snoozing. If I’m up and about, she checks in and goes her own way. My Border Collie is the opposite. She is almost always at my feet indoors, and she follows me around the house a good bit as well. Outdoors, she likes to run around and explore the yard.
  20. https://now.tufts.edu/news-releases/newly-identified-genomic-causes-severe-compulsive-behavior-dogs-could-further?fbclid=IwAR0BFZxO2q49yC8s7tEP_ES4A1sEF0gn4k9uhZYkd3nEozKSREGKTaz1opk
  21. It is interesting to find out the mix. Even though there were no surprises with mine (I wouldn't necessarily expect a mixed-breed to be a strictly purebred-crossed mix), I am still glad I did it. It seems Hannah does have one copy of a gene associated with "lower than average resting ALT [alanine aminotransferase] activity". That information is helpful to my vet in determining a baseline measurement of ALT, a value used as evidence of liver damage.
  22. These are some science-based websites I tap for articles on canine nutrition: Clinical Nutrition Service at Cummings School – Nutrition information for cats and dogs by board certified nutritionists (tufts.edu) and About – The Science Dog. They are great for keeping up to date with the latest on diet-associated DCM. I also take a peek at About | (skeptvet.com) from time to time.
  23. Pretty much what I was told. I was told her sire was an Aussie and her dam was an Aussie/Border Collie cross. The only discrepancy is that one of her great-grandparents on her sire’s side was a generic mutt, and the Border Collie on her dam’s side had at least one mutt ancestor going back farther. No surprises, but I am happy to report she is free of MDR1.
  24. I am glad you’re happy with Embark. I recently broke down and ordered the Embark test for Hannah and received an email saying they received her swab yesterday. The MDR1 screening is included, as is screening for other genes related to health. It will be interesting to see the breed results and if there is any Border Collie included. To be safe, I kept her separated from my purebred Border Collie for a few hours prior to swabbing. Thank you for sharing Tessa’s results!
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