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Everything posted by terrecar

  1. Here are two YouTube video examples of scent games:
  2. That was me being hard on you. Sorry about that and about the “hand shyness” comment. I think because I’ve dealt with some very sensitive “second hand” dogs, I wanted to make sure to throw that out there, just in case. It doesn’t sound like it fits, so that’s good. I am glad you are reassured, as well. Puppies can be challenging, so I hope you will continue to use these boards as a resource.
  3. I may be interpreting this harshly, but from what I’ve read, you feel you have been “heavy handed” a handful of times; you say the pup will “duck under [your] hands”, which I hope isn’t hand shyness rather than toy/play expectations; and you reflexively smacked your pup on the nose. I applaud you for recognizing the latter is taboo, but I can’t help but wonder if you need to ‘reset’ your relationship before introducing any new commands; especially since this is a young puppy. That fact that you characterize the pup as “seemingly unhappy” and fear you’ve “ruined her” adds to my assessment. So, maybe concentrate on trying to gain her trust in you as a benevolent leader, rather than looking for new command ideas. My recommendations: Never ever, freaking ever hit this puppy again (but you already know that). Lower your expectations to meet her age; she is 10.5 weeks and already knows a few commands. Let her be a puppy. Concentrate on good manners rather than commands. If she is tired of fetch, realize that most puppies that age have the attention span of a gnat. If she gets mouthy, replace your hands with a Kong and end interaction. Scent games are an excellent suggestion, as you’re not commanding the pup so much as you’re providing her the opportunity to use her nose to seek out treats. I hope you will take these comments in the spirit in which they are given. Clearly you are concerned about the pup, which is commendable. I seriously doubt you’ve ruined her. Just give her some time to bond with you.
  4. Abroz: Like I said before, I do think the discussion you introduced is worthwhile. I think freedom to explore its environment is healthy for puppies. But again, for the pup's protection, I think a common sense approach is necessary. And when I say for the pup's protection, I don't just mean that limits to freedom such as a crate provides can prevent physical harm, but I also mean that some behavior problems can be prevented by using a crate to confine a puppy when you can't be there to monitor it closely. I think the behavior of the dog can be a clue to how appropriately the crate has been introduced and used. If a dog is comfortable enough with the crate to go in of its own accord, the crate has likely been used appropriately. Mostly, I think problems that might arise from crating arise from its use in lieu of interaction with the puppy or dog. However, different--or in some cases the same--problems can occur just as well from leaving the pup to its own devices. So, it's not crating, per se, that creates the problems, but rather lack of interaction. It sounds to me like your approach has worked well for your pups, and I think that is a credit to you as an dog owner.
  5. I made very limited use of a belly band for my male Chihuahua. However, I used it strictly for my own convenience in the very beginning. I got him as an intact two year old who had likely been allowed to develop the habit of marking. Ultimately, I had to deal with the problem without the belly band, though. So, I can see where a belly band might be either a help or an impediment, depending on the circumstances. I think if you have the time, it’s best to train without one. But if you feel the need to use one, just be aware that it could very well turn out to be an impediment to training.
  6. I would not use a can of pennies to startle a dog that is already anxious. Noise sensitivity can go hand-in-hand with anxiety. You don't want any setbacks. You say that anything you say doesn't stop him, and even pulling away doesn't stop him. I wonder if this is because you need to get the timing right? I could be wrong, but I suspect you are not catching him in time. So, for example, if you watch him closely for body language that indicates he is going to mark, you can be ready with the "acht" when you see he is beginning to lift his leg to urinate. I wouldn't count on neutering to stop the behavior. My neutered male had to be taught that marking is not appropriate in the house.
  7. I listened to this as a book-on-tape, years ago. I don't remember much about it, but I do know that the author uses a shock collar in at least one instance. That's not confinement, granted, but it's not what I'd call freedom either. Yes, the author installs a dog door and allows his dog to come and go at will--in a very rural mountain environment I might add--but I wouldn't do it. It isn't even feasible in a suburban area, unless you want the dog warden at your door. I also won't install a dog door, even with a fenced yard. Too many thefts, hawks, potentially dog-aggressive dogs that can dig under or scale a 6 foot fence and neighbors who probably appreciate that my dogs aren't outdoors barking their heads off. The only way I'd have a dog door is if it ran out into an enclosed, roofed kennel. However, I figured that you'd posted the book, not as a corresponding example for puppy rearing, but as an example of the overall philosophy. I don't want to discount your points regarding giving a dog some freedom, and I agree that's a worthwhile conversation. I get that an overly controlling handler/environment can create and/or perpetuate problems as well. Certainly a pup learns what is and is not acceptable when left free to engage its environment, but this is while being supervised and taught what is and isn't acceptable. I also like that your pup will settle and chew on a toy, without being crated, while you're present. But if I'm too busy to supervise and the alternatives are either crate the pup or let the pup practice undesirable behaviors, which I don't want becoming ingrained by practice, I'll choose the crate. I have a "go lay down" cue for my dogs that is as effective as a crate, and I sometimes use an open-door crate as a "place" cue when I have the occasional visitor. But that's while I'm at home; and my dogs are adults. I am simply not willing to take any chances with a pup's safety by testing theories about freedom when I'm not at home.
  8. I had to chuckle when I saw this, because I just had this conversation with a family member. The end result was a txt and photo showing some damage to their carpet, and me trying desperately not to say “I told you so”. I do think you bring up some valid points regarding popping a puppy in a crate as the go-to remedy for every undesirable behavior. However, I have never suggested that or seen it suggested on these boards. I also think the use of a crate can be abused, but that doesn’t detract from its appropriate use. You have a 4 1/2 month old puppy. This story has barely begun. If, after teething is over and the pup has reached maturity, you still don’t have any valuables ruined or emergency trips to the vet for intestinal obstruction, I will salute you! You may have an exceptional puppy. Even then, I see the crate as protection for a puppy. So, at the very least, I’d crate when I leave the home. Just my two cents.
  9. I am so sorry for your loss.
  10. Beautiful tribute. I read it all the way to the end, but not without tears. I am so glad Kit ended up with you. She was so clearly loved.
  11. I am a novice myself, but I’ve seen enough to know there are some instructors I would not take a young and/or inexperienced dog to for lessons. As for taking lessons with a started or trained dog—even with a trainer who has many years of experience—I will be an advocate for my dog, if necessary. As long as there is no danger to stock, I get backbone real fast if someone suggests a tool or method that I consider overly harsh and/or unnecessary. I include fair treatment of stock in that equation as well.
  12. In terms of impulse control, training and desensitization is what has worked for my dog, Hannah. Training puts her away from the trigger via voice cue, giving her time to dial it down. Desensitization reduces the number and intensity of triggers. Having said that, Jan, who came here when Hannah was six, has been somewhat of a stabilizing influence on Hannah. This is limited, and would not be worth the gamble of getting a second dog based on some misplaced notion that it would help solve the first dog’s issues. It could just as well have no effect, or worse, multiply the issues. However, I inadvertently lucked out and brought home a dog that has been a good influence on Hannah. Jan’s tendency to take to people readily has resulted in Hannah being quicker to warm up to them. Then again, Hannah likes people okay, she is just more aloof with people whose body language is confusing. So yeah, limited. I didn’t read the OP’s question as asking if they should run out and get another dog either. I read it as asking if interaction with an older dog could be beneficial. I guess my answer would be, it could go either way, and if it’s beneficial it would likely be very limited.
  13. This is fantastic! It sounds like you are applying what you’re learning from the experienced folks as well as reading your dog and being sensitive to what she is telling you. I love reading these sorts of posts.
  14. This is so true. All I have to do is start preparing stuffed Kongs or food bowls in the kitchen and my dogs will run into their crates unbidden. It’s quite comical, really.
  15. If you meant to post a new thread about brush type, I use a pin brush and steel comb for my coated dog, and a hound’s glove and steel comb for the smooth (or just my fingers and a chamois cloth for the smooth). ETA: I’m sorry, I’m dating myself here. I don’t think people call them hound gloves any more, and I can’t find the old type with bristles any more either. They’re grooming gloves with rubber tips now.
  16. The one thing that concerns me about these posts is that, even though your veterinarian has presumably given your pup a clean bill of health, you’re considering rehoming him because of this problem. If that is what you decide, please do him the service of a conscientious placement. He deserves a good home. How is his weight? If he is underweight and/or losing weight, you need to discuss this with your veterinarian. If his weight is fine, the advice you have received is all anyone on a forum such as this can do to help. Hence, the board members’ frustration. If there are other behavioral issues aligned with this problem, maybe a consult with a veterinary behaviorist is in order. There is also the possibility that your dog is picking up on your frustration with him. Whatever it is, you must understand that people can only do so much to help without observing your dog.
  17. The hosts of the PA Farm Show Sheepdog trial did such a wonderful job. I didn't watch the entire live-stream, but I did watch Eileen and Jib and a few others. I was very impressed and can only imagine the magnitude of effort it takes to pull off such a gig. I wish I'd have been there, but live-stream was the next best thing. Thank you!
  18. Meg was a beautiful girl. Condolences on your loss. These dogs really find their way into our hearts and take a piece of it when they go.
  19. It is nice to see plump, healthy puppies, Lawgirl. My Hannah was the runt and a scrawny (but adorable) little thing when I brought her home. All of the other pups in the litter were twice her size. Thankfully she made up for it later. My heart dog.
  20. D’Elle is right. I would also continue to use it sparingly because it is very rich.
  21. I don’t think giving your pup a Kong is going to make her overtired. I agree with Ruth; give her a Kong, put her in a crate or x-pen and leave her to settle herself down. She is coming into her teething stage, so you might expect chewing behavior to continue in earnest for awhile. She will need appropriate chew toys, i.e. the Kong, to provide an alternative to inappropriate items like crate or x-pen bars. Hooper gave you some excellent advice. It might help to think of her as a puppy doing puppy things, rather than a misbehaving pet. I am not saying you should be overly permissive of unwanted behavior. I’m just saying it might help to look at her antics as normal puppy behaviors for which you need to find positive, mitigating solutions. You said your pup will stop bringing the toy back to you and go off to chew on it. I am assuming you leave her alone at that point, which you should, because letting her go off to chew on an appropriate toy while you remain in the room is reinforcing her ability to settle and amuse herself in your presence. Not saying you do this, but I could see her becoming overstimulated if you were to try to play with her every time she goes off to chew on her toys.
  22. I am so sorry for your loss, D'Elle.
  23. My dogs are crazy about real cheese, lightly simmered then oven dried chicken liver, chicken breast and wild caught sardines packed in water (package label says no salt added). You can dry the sardines in a dehydrator or the oven if you can stand the smell. We don’t do hot dogs. Like someone else said, the key is tiny bits.
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