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Everything posted by MaggieDog

  1. She certainly does age gracefully: her coloring hides greying except in the mask spots - she's got a few more white hairs there, but nothing too obvious. The vet hasn't found any arthritis yet!
  2. On April 12th, 2000, I brought home a 10 month old cattle dog/border collie cross from the local shelter. She had a crazy first 10 months - I was her 4th home and adopted her moments before a decision was to be made about euthanasia due to kennel psychosis, but I had fallen in love with her while volunteering and had managed to convince my parents that we needed a second dog. I was 15. Over the past ten years Maggie has changed the course of my life drastically. When I adopted her I wanted to be a vet, maybe in the orthopedic specialty. After our first 3 years of intense training and re-socialization and my crossover to positive reinforcement based training I decided that animal behavior was my calling instead. Maggie has been with me through some of the biggest life events one can have: leaving home for college, an internship in the DC area for 8 weeks, moving 500 miles away from home for my dream job here in SC, finding my human soulmate and marrying him, the addition of two more dogs and a cat, and soon even accompanying DH and I on another big move and the purchase of our first house. She's been my "do anything dog", trying her paw at competition obedience, agility, herding, therapy dog, and service dog skills and she has taught (and continues to teach) me soooooo much. She has been my most challenging animal and also the most intelligent and she will always be my heart dog. Thank you Maggie for a wonderful 10 years and here's to at least 10 more with my Amazing Maggie Mae! Pic from this morning while I was cleaning the yard and Maggie was "supervising" lol:
  3. Oh I'm so sorry. ((((hugs))))
  4. What has your vet said? In cases like these I'd go with the vet's recommendation and if not confident with them, ask another vet for a second opinion.
  5. I honestly don't know why people would breed mixes due to the AKC decision - they all have to be s/n before registration. I've never heard of the BC/Pit crosses, but BC/Staffy and JRT/BC crosses are quite popular in flyball already. BC/Husky and similar mixes are equivalent to Alaskan huskies I would think - and Alaskan Huskies have been around for years. And of course the mini phenomemnon has also been around for years. I have perfect sport mixes myself - 2 BC/ACDs (one possibly mixed with GSD or Malinois as well) and a Corgi/JRT/BC/?. One BC/ACD was $20 from a local shelter and the other two were $55 from the shelter where I work. I never really understood breeding mixes given my amazing shelter dogs.
  6. Anda, Maggie doesn't really like the memory foam bed we have - I think it's because it's too firm. Z likes it so it gets used, but Maggie only uses it if all the other spots are full.
  7. I'm always on the look out for good dog beds and have been thinking we may need a few more once we move, so I thought I'd get the board's collective input. I need BC size beds that have removable covers for washing, come in a variety of colors (they must match our decor lol), and keep their shape relatively well. I'd also like to avoid cedar inside since the odor tends to give me headaches. I'm not opposed to spending a fair amount of $$ on a bed if it's a durable, nicely designed bed, but my maximum is about $70. We currently have a basic pillow bed from Walmart, a memory foam bed from Target, a big egg crate foam one from Petsmart, a round one from Meijer in a Lands End cover, and a round bed from Drs. Fosters and Smith (I removed the cedar shavings). The most popular are the ones with enough stuffing to make a bit of a nest in the middle. I've heard great things about the Costco beds but unfortunately they are packed with cedar shavings.
  8. Poor Rikku!!!! Yea I would have forcibly removed your brother's hands the moment he attempted to roll my dog had I been in that situation. No explaining, no trying to educate, just "GET YOUR &%^%$^% HANDS OFF MY DOG!". Sounds like Rikku should stay home when you visit from now on.....
  9. Scary! At my house, the dogs are not left unsupervised with each other, nor do we have floor vents, so they all wear regular collars 24/7 unless in a crate. In a crate it's either no collar or a Premier KeepSafe. (The TazLab ones also look cool). At daycare, the dog park, or similar dog-dog play sessions that are supervised and where I need a handhold, Kes now wears a Premier DayCare collar - it's designed with two strong velcro sections for quick release by a human and yet strong enough to allow use as a handhold or leash attachment! I'm currently considering getting several Lupine cat collars and buying extensions for them to use as quick release ID collars - the house we just placed an offer on has floor vents and I find the KeepSafe collars pretty boring design-wise. I've seen way too many lost pets and heard too many stories of people keeping animals without scanning them for a chip - there's no way I'd knowingly leave my pets w/o external ID, but I also won't risk a strangulation incident and quick release collars seem as close to ideal as possible in most settings.
  10. Ah just what I was trying to get at, but so much more concise! Thanks!
  11. I've got to agree with Melanie and Lizmo - why does my decision to use "froofy" names for my own amusement somehow speak more than the almost 10 years I've participated on this board (off and on, but always on the "side" of the board)?? And why does it matter to those who, as Kim said: No one is saying the naming of working dogs should change to mirror the dreaded showlines, so why the huge objection to long names designed not for AKC registration, but just for the enjoyment of the dog(s) owner? We talk lots about how some of our viewpoints as a board are misinterpreted (often hugely!), but it's this type of thread that serves to divide rather than unite in a common goal imo. ^ hear, hear!
  12. My dogs all wear leashes and collars on a regular basis, but much of the time their training is done off lead - we use a clicker to teach a lot of skills which requires no physical manipulation or force, so leashes and such are unnecessary for anything other than safety. I love working off lead!
  13. I gave all three of my pups (herding mixes) "fancy" names because it's fun - there's no implication of lack of respect in our case. Maggie's registered name (USDAA for agility as are the other two) is goofy because I made it up when I was 15, but the other two have long names based on songs I liked and their personalities. I don't see how that can be considered offensive honestly.
  14. Join the club! I'm working on the competition skills right now with the help of some online training buddies and a few email groups. I have attended comp. classes before and train dogs professionally so feel like I have the skills, especially if I supplement the home training with private lessons periodically. I'm moving in July so perhaps I can find classes then, but I'm shooting for our first trial in May (Maggie already has a solid foundation).
  15. Maralynn, both of my insured dogs are listed as mixes. We also got discounts for signing up online, microchipping, and paying in full annually instead of monthly. A coworkers' chocolate lab was insured with a similar plan with PetPlan for $16/mo.
  16. I decided to get accident/injury/illness only coverage via PetPlan for my two youngest. For a dog under 25lbs (Ziva) it's $10/mo and for a dog under 45 or 50lbs (Kes) it's $12/mo. Both dogs are covered for up to $8000 per year after a $250 deductible. After the deductible is met they pay 90% at the regular vet's or 70% at a specialist. If a pet develops a congenital issue after coverage begins it's still covered unlike the vast majority of other insurance companies I looked at. Similarly, PetPlan is one of the few companies that will not consider a condition diagnosed in a prior plan year "pre-existing" in the next. As long as you maintain coverage they will continue to pay for treatment. Add in that they cover alternative care (acupuncture/chiro specifically, but they may cover others) and have one of the highest ratings around for customer satisfaction and you've got a winner imo!
  17. Maggie will be 11 in June(ish) and doesn't seem to do anything that you noticed Solo does (except counter surfing, but she's always done that lol), but like Missy she seems much more affectionate. She also seems to enjoy her creature comforts more as well - she's often seen on the couch when she never used to get up there.
  18. Kristine has some great insights! I'd say Grady could probably also benefit from Karen Overall's Relaxation Protocol - google it and you should be able to find it easily.
  19. ((hugs)) and lots of "come home safely and quickly Kenzi" vibes!
  20. Maggie was rather subdued when she realized Kes was staying last year. I was quite worried about it, but each week brings more and more signs of her acceptance of him. Just this week (month 11 with Kes, month 7 as a permanent member vs foster!!) Maggie has switched to normal play instead of play that can escalate into snarking/blustering behavior. It probably took her 2 months to accept that he wasn't leaving but that she was still well loved and that was ok, she just was a little less tolerant of his behavior for several months after that, and now we're settling into a good routine. Kes was 4mo when he came home and is just about 15 months now, so his maturation also has a lot to do with this change as well. You could consider trying the Comfort Zone for Dogs (aka DAP) diffuser to see if that takes the nervousness down a notch - can't hurt and might help.
  21. The thread has long since passed me by, but I did want to throw one thing in for clarification - I mentioned my CPDT title so you would understand that I'm not an average pet person and that I do more than what I do with my own dogs - not necessarily to somehow indicate I know all there is about all the various dog sports out there (faaar from it lol). I was feeling a bit talked down to and felt the need to clarify that I can handle technical descriptions, etc. I posted my vid as a "see this is beginning level choose to heel" for the OP, not really for a critique, though some of the info has been eye opening and I did enjoy hearing people praise Z. That being said, I guess I won't be doing comp. obedience any time soon - I can't stand heeling with the dog's ear at my pant seam - you can't even see them there! Maybe we'll look into schutzhund obedience where forging it expected.
  22. (psst shepherdess - I'm a certified professional dog trainer. ) I understand what you're saying about position - like I said, we're still in the clean up stage. The position thing was actually the main reason why I videoed the work we were doing since I wanted a better idea of where we were in the clean up process. Am I incorrect in thinking that heel is usually dog's shoulder in line with your pant seam? That's how I was taught years ago. Right now I'm focusing on agility and heeling is just for fun and use in the real world, so we'll keep plugging along where we are - no rush and no need to use physical prompts or completely change my reward system (I have really bad associations with spitting food due to the original competition obedience class I took 10 years ago that used jerk and pull methods and demotivated me and my dog horribly so that's not really an option at all for me).
  23. I second all the other advice but I also want to emphasize that you need to only allow your dog in your yard when you can directly supervise him for his own safety. If you're not out there with him this woman could very well decide to take the law into her own hands and harm him - a video cam will catch her behavior on film but it can't prevent her from throwing something hazardous over the fence.
  24. Shepherdess: Z and I have been working on heeling for a little while but very irregularly - I still consider her relatively new to heel work as we don't even have it on cue yet. This session was the first time we'd worked on heel for about 4-6 weeks. I don't compete in obedience with Z, though I am considering doing some rally work after my move to NC. We currently compete in agility and I work on precision stuff for fun and to show off to the classes I teach. I'm planning on working on heel more with Z right now since we're headed to Clicker Expo in March and I need her to walk close for the crowded conditions. Training progression depends a bit on the dog, but roughly looks like this: 1. Wander aimlessly around yard or training floor (silent); C/T dog when they enter the "magic box" (18"x18" centered on my pants seam) next to my left hip 2. Dog chooses to heel alongside on their own for more than 2 paces --> click for series of steps instead of single steps w/in the magic box 3. Dog heels with variable c/t for a series of steps w/in the box --> c/t only for heel position within 6" of formal heel position (magic box shrinks) 4. Dog is heeling accurately for more than 2 paces --> c/t for series of steps in position, gradually extending duration of heeling between c/t **this is where Z is right now** 5. Clean up the heel (eliminate crabbing, minimize forging) by clicking only for "perfect" performance 6. Add cue 7. Start working around distractions and in various locations Kristine: I had someone else ask that exact same thing when they saw that clip! I started just using the off side because that's the way it feels most comfortable for me, but I'm not modifying it because I like the fact that having the food in the off side hand reduces the likelihood that the dog will treat the heel side hand as a food lure - Z focuses more on what she's doing when the food isn't right in front of her nose ime. I do have to focus more on where I deliver the treat so she doesn't start wrapping in front of me, but so far so good. Kes is actually catching onto heeling much faster than Z and I wonder if it might be due to the fact that he and I work on heeling using toy rewards more than I do with Z - he seems more focused in front vs to the side (I toss the toy away from me) so i don't get much crabbing like Z tends to do. I'll have to video his heeling sometime, too.
  25. This is quite timely - I just posted a vid on YouTube with me working my middle dog on her heel - we use a clicker based method.
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