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Everything posted by terrecar

  1. Two things I would be asking my veterinarian at this point are 1) Did (or should) we test for giardia and, more importantly, coccidia? Flagyl should take care of giardia, but for coccidia, the treatment is usually Albon or Tribrissen. 2) Could this be symptomatic of a food allergy? If so, changing the food brand might not help. You may need to change the protein. Disclaimer: I am not a veterinarian.
  2. DSG thank you for sharing this. You are among people of like mind here; people who can understand and empathize with you. I am so sorry for your loss.
  3. Having said that, Embrace is my choice for adult dog enrollment for the reasons Luana mentioned. ETA: I should add for an adult dog that may have pre-existing conditions
  4. I second maja’s comment. Your sheep have such long, luxurious wool. They are gorgeous. ETA: Or I should say your neighbor’s sheep, but I am assuming yours are similar
  5. Another plug for Trupanion. I just got a pre-approval for Hannah to have surgery for an epulis on her gum. Having the insurance has allowed me to use funds for an additional consult, i.e. to get a second opinion from a different veterinary dentist. [ETA: The consult is an excluded item, but the total out-of-pocket being minimized by insurance helps]. This means I've had the benefit of three opinions, counting my regular veterinarian. The reason this is important to me is that the treatment plan involves taking four or five of Hannah's top front teeth with the tumor, plus some bone. I hate to put Hannah through that unless absolutely necessary. Since the tumor sits between two teeth, those two have to go. Also, if you don't get the margins of the tumor, it will almost certainly come back, even if it isn't malignant (which we won't know until the tumor is sent for testing). If I didn't have insurance, I would have had to go with the regular vet treatment plan, which would not be as aggressive as it should be; at least according to both veterinary dentists. I have checked and brushed Hannah's teeth and still had not noticed it before its outline got to about the size of a baby lima bean; similarly irregularly shaped, but flatter. This is due to its location; it's hidden under the lip. I am still kicking myself for not seeing it before. In any case, I don't have to worry if this is considered a "dental illness". It's covered, thank God.
  6. I can’t answer at length right now, either. However, I am so glad you have the compassion and good sense to reject the advice of the locals who told you to hit the pup. Hitting would cause more serious problems and would very likely make the barking and reactivity permanent.
  7. I like Trupanion. It offers better dental coverage without having to add a wellness plan to cover “dental illness”. Also, there is no six month waiting period for ortho. Embrace requires a vet to certify orthopedic soundness in order to avoid a six month waiting period. On the plus side for Embrace, the waiting period for illness is 14 days (even for ortho if you get the vet cert). Trupanion’s is 30 days (again, for illness). If you don’t mind the exam for ortho and buying into wellness to cover “dental illness”—or forgoing the latter altogether (think odds)—Embrace is fine. The best bet with pet health insurance is to cover a puppy right after you bring it home. You are in better shape to avoid pre-existing conditions, and the premium is lower for a pup. ETA: Neither company covers routine dental care, but Embrace will if you go with their more pricey wellness package. ETA2: Hannah was covered from puppyhood with Trupanion. Embrace gave me a better quote for Jan, who came to me as a 7 year old.
  8. Any idea how long a Kong stuffed with cooked chicken liver will last in the freezer? I’m thinking at least a month. ETA: Assume liver is cooked then immediately placed in Kong and frozen
  9. I guess rabbit droppings aren’t so bad then...
  10. There’s a good girl, Molly! Yikes! on the face kissing.
  11. @Smalahundur, this is for you because I know you are a shepherd who trains his own dogs. The first day I made it out of the round pen and into a bigger field with my dog, I knew the baby steps were to ease me out of the pen with knee-knocker sheep. My dog, a seven year old who came to me pre-packaged off-the-shelf trained, knew her way around a flock. I was (and still am) the newbie. Most of the flock was huddled in the shed, with some stragglers standing along the fence line. My trainer told me to send my dog to fetch the sheep. When Jan got between the fence-line and sheep to gather the stragglers, met them up with the ones from the shed, and brought them to me, my heart was bursting. This is routine for sheep farmers, but I am in awe of these dogs. And I had absolutely nothing to do with it. Anyone could have sent my dog. Someone else put in the training, and incidentally, made her a delight to live with in the process. I seriously doubt there is anything I could teach you about training dogs. Respect! Sorry to hijack the thread.
  12. Yes, this. This is especially important if the behavior is fear/anxiety based. No amount of "knock it off" was going to solve my problem with Hannah's fence rushing/barking, because, "but there's a danger on the other side of the fence!" was where my dog's head was at. As far as the OP's issues go, I don't want Denice's insight to get lost in the R+/P+ discussion. I think she might be on to something re: her question, "is the dog responding to movement"? It is possible that the dog's reaction to an attempt to take food away has a different motivation (guarding) than his reaction to the act of dusting or mopping up spills (becoming overstimulated by movement). I do think it helps to try to figure out the reason for a behavior.
  13. I’ve been following Eileen’s Facebook page for a while now. I like using Facebook for these things, because the article links automatically pop up on my feed. Patricia McConnell’s page is another good one. https://www.facebook.com/Eileenanddogs/ https://www.facebook.com/PatriciaMcConnellPhD/ Journey: I agree there has to be balance in training. My dogs are familiar with the phrase, “knock it off”.
  14. “Without music, life would be a mistake.” —Friedrich Nietzsche (That’s my best impression of an inbred elitist)
  15. Yes, I think this is normal behavior. She is settling, which is a good thing. My dogs will sometimes lay on the floor near me, but they will also go off in the bedroom, often into a crate, for some down time. I leave the crate door open. I wouldn’t feel bad if she chooses to go to her crate. She is choosing it as a desired spot.
  16. I don’t think you hijacked the thread at all. I think clarification of “impulse control” can be helpful in situations like the ones described in the original post.
  17. You might ask the behaviorist about teaching a "leave it". I teach it via positive reinforcement, and it has come in very handy for me with my dogs. For example, when I'm hosing down the vinyl siding to my home, Hannah's response is to want to play in and bite at the water. Instead of putting her in the house, I can tell her "leave it" and she will leave it alone. Even more importantly, there was a black rat snake in my backyard yesterday morning. I was trimming vines off my back fence, and I backed up along side the rather long, fully stretched out snake. Now I'm not afraid of rat snakes, but I really just wanted him to go be creepy somewhere else. I could have stepped on him. So, I poked the snake in the tail with a pooper-scooper (hard plastic, not metal) and told Jan to "leave it". I was able to get the snake to go under a bush without Jan running after him (which she clearly wanted to do), or worse, grabbing him. I think that in some, though not all, of your described situations, a "leave it" might be of some help.
  18. Well, yes, but it's not very dignified. I made woofing sounds and said "bark!". She is my barker, so it didn't take much. In my defense, I didn't do it in public.
  19. Nah, too long for a fortune cookie. Maybe a bumper sticker. There is some merit to it though, despite its sloganesque ring.
  20. I would not muzzle and tie a reactive dog as a means to correct barking at the fence. I suspect this would increase barrier frustration, which would only make the underlying emotions that prompt the barking that much worse. You do need to get distance between the dog and the stimuli though. My entire property is fenced, with the front yard being smaller than the back. I'll explain what I did to solve the problem in one of my dogs while I was in the front yard with her. When I first moved into my current home, passers-by would elicit an unacceptable behavior in my dog; she would rush to the fence and bark furiously at them. So, I taught her a "porch" command using positive reinforcement. We made a game of it. Once my dog started going to the porch reliably without distractions, I started asking for a "porch" when there were distractions. This gave my dog a foundation for practicing an alternate behavior when someone walked by, with the added benefit of increasing distance without preventing my dog from seeing what was going on. During the initial training without distractions, I use "GOOD!" immediately after the dog goes to the porch, then treat. However, you can use a clicker (click and treat) as well. Once my dog had the "porch" command down, I would ask for a "down" on the porch; once that was reliable, a "stay" (both trained in advance, of course). The "stay" became particularly useful for slow moving passers-by. Once the "porch" behavior was set (learned), I'd ask for it when someone walked by, then follow immediately with a reward for complying. This had the dual benefit of rewarding the dog for going to the porch (operant conditioning value) as well as giving the dog a positive experience (treat) when the stimuli became visible (classical conditioning value). I should point out that this is not a quick fix. However, it worked for me. My dog rarely barks at people who walk by now, but when she does I can send her to the porch. She is more reactive to dogs passing by though, so instead of sending her to the porch, I increase the distance even more by asking her "get in the back", meaning to the backyard. The bonus is that my other dogs will invariably follow her to the back. I realize I haven't dealt with the actual barking yet, but I found it necessary to put distance between dog and trigger first, because that helps calm her emotional state. I was then able to use a "quiet" command (taught in advance) to get her to stop barking after a few barks. I don't have a problem with a little barking; my goal was to prevent my dog from rushing to the fence while frantically barking. To deal with the barking, I first had to teach her to quiet herself while she was not reacting to emotionally charged stimuli. Frantic dogs are not thinking, so teaching this required a calm environment. However, I needed her to bark in order to teach her to stop, so I first taught her to bark on command. Then, in order to stop the barking, I taught her "quiet" to stop her while she was barking. Now, if I do have to send her to the porch, I use the sequence: porch/down/quiet/stay.
  21. https://www.politico.com/states/new-jersey/story/2018/08/29/sit-stay-and-fill-out-this-form-new-jersey-may-require-licenses-for-dog-trainers-581862 https://thebark.com/content/dog-training-unregulated
  22. Thank you, Hooper2 and Amy. These are very helpful explanations and very much appreciated. Hopefully, I can now navigate my first clinic without eternal consequences. ETA: Ruth, thank you for the suggestion of hat with brim. I do have a sun visor that I've worn for sheepdog related events, but I'm not sure I would have remembered to bring it to the clinic!
  23. It may very well have been an overly harsh correction. I've seen them, and I've also seen dogs that were more tolerant and better at correcting a rambunctious pup. But that's a human judgement; dogs don't think of things like unintended consequences. If the pup was in the dog's face, a correction would not surprise me, and in my judgement would not be inappropriate. Or, let's say the Lab was suffering from arthritis in his cervical disk area. Dogs with this problem are more likely to correct an approaching pup, even when it doesn't appear to be appropriate. However, a correction from an adult dog is not usually a lengthy affair. I wouldn't necessarily characterize the pup's reaction as 'bratty' if the screaming was fear induced. I would consider the pup's behavior bratty if it were given a warning and did not back off. There's no way to know from what you've typed if that's the case. However, I'm fairly certain the Labrador inhibited his bite, which is lucky for your pup. The thing to do now is try to keep from allowing your own anxiety to travel down the lead when you encounter strange dogs. But protect your pup. My own opinion is that, unless I know the other dog, I will not allow a pup to greet an adult dog. Socializing doesn't necessarily mean interacting; it can simply mean becoming accustomed to the presence of other dogs that are either on lead or within the owner's control. My strategy is to allow a pup to interact only with dogs I know. I avoid off leash dogs in general, unless I think the owner has a clue. I don't wish to deal with dog owners with a sense of entitlement allowing their dog to approach people and other dogs who do not wish to be bothered.
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