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Everything posted by MaggieDog

  1. Am I remembering correctly that in some/many dogs thunderphobia worsens with age? Maggie is 11yo and has always been nervous during storms. She used to pant, pace, and try to hide, but as long as she had a small dark place to go she'd be ok. Unfortunately the last 3 or 4 storms have showed a disconcerting new behavior: peeing and pooping (combined with baby gate jumping). This most recent storm happened today while DH was at work and while Maggie was at our new house (she came up with me on Saturday, so this would be about 3 days in the new house). DH came home to a knocked down baby gate, poop and pee in the dining room, pee on our papasan chair cushion, and a set of blinds knocked down. She has a Thundershirt, so I'm having DH put that on her every time he leaves the house from now on, but I have a couple of questions for those who have been through this: - Should I be talking about meds with the vet or will it hurt to wait and see if the Thundershirt and acclimation to the house helps? If I should think about meds what should I ask the vet about? I know Ace is a big nono. - Anyone have any success with DAP/Comfort Zone for thunderphobia in a dog that it doesn't seem to help when it comes to confinement anxiety? I'm thinking it's not likely to help but figured I'd ask. - Any major help/solution that I'm not thinking of? Thanks!
  2. I don't think there are any other spot ons that cover heartworms, so if you use another product you'll need to add an oral heartworm prevention med (Interceptor is ivermectin-free). We use plain Frontline Top Spot and have had good results for both ticks and fleas on the dogs.
  3. 3 dogs and 6 crates. Two crates are in my home office (one for Maggie to hang out in without a door, one for Kes during the day) one crate in the hall outside of the master bedroom for Maggie to hide in if it storms during the day when I'm not home, 2 crates in the car for travel purposes, and one at work for a demo dog to hang out in. With our temp foster here, Maggie's office crate is in the hall off the living room or in DH's office for the foster girl.
  4. We have a Webmaster - it's wonderful and oh so handy!
  5. Geonni that's ingenious! For safety release collars the two major producers are Premier (their KeepSafe collar has a plastic reusable fuse) and Tazlab (the Tazlab collars have an elastic section). As I mentioned above, I'm currently using custom sized "cat collars" with breakaway buckles for my dogs' ID collars.
  6. My three all wear collars 24/7 (unless crated) but they are all safety collars made by RescuePaws (and one other seller) on etsy. I actually had her make larger versions of the cat collars she has listed for the girls - they arrived today. Kes is still waiting on his.
  7. The wobbliness could be ataxia from the pheno - it often takes a few weeks for the levels to stabilize. Oreo was always a bit wobbly for the first 3 weeks or so after a med change. You may want to look into giving him milk thistle to protect his liver since he's on such high doses of pheno.
  8. ((hugs)) When my parents' dog developed epilepsy she had a few seizures (she had cluster gran mal seizures) that left her blind, but each time she recovered her sight after a few days; I hope Zipper bounces back like Oreo did. Oreo had epilepsy from 3 years old until her death from unrelated causes at 14 years old. She had one round of status epilepticus (continuous seizures) that we had to use IV phenobarb to stop, but she came out ok. The canine epilepsy site linked above was incredibly helpful for us and allowed my family to tweak enough things that she no loner needed one of her meds and went seizure free for 4 years! Do you suppose you could get a second opinion? Most vets are general practitioners so a specialist might be more likely to know of alternative options for the scary diagnosis.
  9. What type of mange? There are two types and one is common but not contagious generally (Demodex) and the other is rarer but more contagious (Sarcoptic) from what I understand. If it's demodex I'd check with your vet and see if you can just wait and see if anything develops. If it's sarcops you might want to ask about treatment with Revolution or Promeris as I've heard that that is now an option.
  10. I use a Mendota martingale combo lead for Ziva and I just ordered Kes a martingale combo lead (with a side clip on the collar part) from one of my favorite suppliers: Bebop USA. When Maggie was competing she wore either a regular flat collar with side clip or a martingale and a regular leash - you really don't *need* any special type of leash unless you want one. I've seen some competitors using the Easy Walk harnesses to help with pulling and they have the added bonus of going on and off easily, too.
  11. That would be fabulous Julie! Thanks!
  12. My two ACD mixes (one with BC most likely and the other I have no idea) are both learning to herd sheep currently. My BC/ACD is more controlled than my other ACD mix but they both show talent on stock and our trainer thinks they should do pretty well with additional work. My two are both loose-eyed and not as stylish as the BCs I've seen working.
  13. Oh good to hear! How do I go about finding those NC people who do AHBA? USBCHA is likely alot more accessible I'm guessing, but I'd love to at least see some AHBA, too. A friend of mine really dislikes ASCA because a severe lack of respect for the animals being herded is common in her area - do you know anything about the ASCA events around NC (she's in IN)?
  14. UPDATE! Maggie and Kestrel had a herding lesson with our ACD experienced instructor, Ellen, this afternoon since I was in town. No pics because she had me working too, but it was a great time for everyone. Maggie went first since she has a bit more self control. After a few "wheee" moments, she settled down and gave us some nice work. Since Maggie is 11yo we'll dabble in herding informally - it's mostly something fun for her to do with me and a chance for me to learn handling skills on a more controlled dog before getting more serious with Kes. Kes went second and given his last experience on stock, we worked a lot on just controlling him as we walked up to the pen, teaching him to respect the stock stick's movements, and getting/maintaining calm set ups to the stock. He did get released to stock a few times for nice calm approaches and is already looking much nicer. He actually went around the stock when I was in the right place at the right time and he *will* stop (if the conditions are right). Ellen and I were both very happy with his improvement over the session and it was so cool to see him get a bit more serious! I learned just as much as the dogs - and have bruises to remind me not to lose track of my sheep! Hopefully we'll be able to make it down there about once a month or more, especially after we move. A new question for you all: what's a good venue for a non-BC? USBCHA seems designed for dogs with eye vs the looser eyed breeds (and rightly so since it's a BC org), and AHBA seems interesting but there are very few local trials (i.e. none listed within less than 6 hours between now and October and only one less than 10 hours!). Ellen is very familiar with AKC and thinks both dogs could be PAL'd as ACDs but I'm not sure I'm ready to give money to the AKC...
  15. My vet says that 6mo intervals are completely unnecessary - we had to do it for a boarding place here and she actually was giving me suggestions on how to possibly get around the requirement!
  16. LOL my Z always get confused for a JRT, but at least she appears to have some in her!
  17. I think if we all lived on huge pieces of land like I believe Turid does then we could all have less emphasis on control and similar ideas, but we don't so it's a necessary evil. That being said, my dogs don't get that much exercise (a 1.5 mile walk once or twice a week, agility classes once/wk, an hour long hike once per week, and the rest of the time it's just whatever activity they want to do inside) and yet for all intents and purposes appear to be quite content. All three are herding mixes and yet I don't have any of the neuroses you hear about from lack of exercise and are happy to go go go when needed.
  18. For regular walks where I need my dog closeby (due to distractions, crowds, etc.) I use a different cue than my formal heel: Close. Close requires the dog to maintain a walking distance of no more than 3ft from my side, but nothing else. My formal heel has eye contact/head up and a more fine tuned position.
  19. Kes did an amazing recall last Sunday that leads me to believe he is getting really close to being as reliable as Ziva off lead. I just finished watching the Really Reliable Recall DVD so have some more stuff to work on to make it even better. Congrats!
  20. Yea vet behaviorist if they want to work on this, euthanasia if they won't - Buddy sounds like he could easily go on to bite people other than his owners since they seem to not understand how serious this is (it's been happening his whole life and has been escalating but they don't seek until now - very odd imo) and that is a HUGE liability to anyone who works with him. I'd rather have someone who can do a full health screen, assessment, and do meds if needed work with him rather than me.
  21. Yup, Flexi brand all the way. We have one that's as old as Maggie (almost 11 years) and it's still going strong. The next one will likely be an all belt flexi to minimize the risk of rope burns from the ones with the thin rope sections. We use it for hiking and rollerblading mostly.
  22. Thanks so much for all the insights! I'm glad to hear there's nothing that raises red flags in what I described or showed. Being a newbie makes gauging things rather challenging. It sounds like we should give it a go with this trainer given her special experience with the breed and see how the first few real lessons (instead of our short trial run yesterday) go. I did find someone much closer to our new place on the Little Hats but it sounds like I might be better off at least starting with an ACD person. That an accurate thought?
  23. Kestrel (17mo) got to try his paw on sheep today at an ACD event. The instructor took him into a small square paddock (maybe 50' by 50') on a long line. There were 3 very dog broke sheep in the pen. He dawdled a bit but as soon as he realized that the sheep would move if he moved he became very aroused and focused, but more frenetic than I usually see in the BC vids here. He tended to run straight into the cluster of sheep, split one off, and then run with it, not gripping, but barking and shouldering into the animal at times. He did not back off when the stock stick was waved, and got a few light smacks with it to stop a few lunges toward the stock (he's generally a very "hard" dog so I was fine with that level of correction). After that he did respond to the sit cue from the instructor, though he was certainly keeping one eye on the stock. She was able to force him around instead of through a few times, but he was raring to go with tail up and barking almost the entire time. At the end of his 5 or 10 minute session she told me that he showed some promise but that if we were to try to work with him on stock we'd need to downsize to a smaller pen to teach him to go around instead of through the stock in a more easily controlled setting. He had sent one sheep into the fence and he obviously does not need to be practicing that. To my untrained eye, it looked like Kes was totally "Wheeeeee!" the entire session and he never really settled down. I was sure the instructor was going to tell me that he was too pushy for stockwork and I was surprised she let him continue what appeared to be chasing (to me) for as long as she did. Given this, I thought I'd get some input from you guys on whether her response might've been different than I expected 1. because the instructor works primarily with ACDs and she has a different definition for what is worth working with vs. someone who works primarily with BCs, and/or 2. because this type of "sheep bowling" behavior is more normal for ACD type dogs vs. BCs. Additionally I'd be happy to hear some thoughts on how the interaction between Kes and sheep was handled (I want to make sure we find a trainer that practices good stockmanship) and if this would be a dog you'd continue working with or not and why. Links to the two short videos from the session today in case it helps: Part 1: http://s10.photobucket.com/albums/a134/ean...nt=927_6056.flv Part 2: http://s10.photobucket.com/albums/a134/ean...nt=927_6057.flv Thanks guys - it's so nice to have this resource so readily available. I appreciate any thoughts you have on the matter.
  24. I am glad you've made the decision to look for another trainer - I can't imagine how confused Allie was by all that and the screaming/flailing behavior is just more information that that particular method is not a good choice. If I were in your shoes, I'd be looking for someone who who works with fearful dogs - a lot of what you describe sounds a bit like it could be fear based and treating that with force is not going to get you much of any where. Greta would be a good resource it sounds like - the Bay Area has a *ton* of trainers so it would be awesome to have an experienced person to guide you to one that will be a good fit. The APDT has a nice article on choosing a trainer on their website that may be of help. Remember too that if you are uncomfortable with something a trainer is doing with your dog you have every right to step in and stop them. If you know you won't be able to do something a specific way, tell them and ask for an alternative. Even though they are the expert, you do need to listen to your gut and be an advocate for your dog. ETA: For now, you may want to consider acclimating Allie to a basket muzzle for walks so that you are able to walk without being supremely stressed about this new behavior. Given her past history with a muzzle, realize that this may take a while, but if you go slow and use basic classical conditioning (muzzle = great things like cheese and walks, etc.) you should be able to get her comfortable with it for your needs. This will also mean you have time to consider options carefully since she and others will be safe until you can meet with your chosen professional but she'll still be able to get exercise and such as needed.
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