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    Tacoma, WA

Karynne's Achievements


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  1. I haven't read it yet, but after watching her seminar it definitely got bumped to the top of my reading list. Kathy Sdao lives in my city (Tacoma), so I'm hoping I can hear her speak live sometime as well. I have an abundance of free time at the moment, and I'm seriously considering getting the highest level membership at both sites so I can watch 2-3 disks each day. Right now the shipping time is slowing me way down.
  2. This is amazing, thank you for the link! Now I can double up on my DVD rental addiction! I wonder if these membership fees would count as a tax write off...hmm...professional continuing education?...
  3. So far I've watched the first two parts of Kathy Sdao's Know Way Know How, and I'm hooked! I can't believe I didn't stumble on this earlier! All my friends and family are totally baffled as to why I'm so excited about dog behavior seminars, but that's okay. Dogs are my career (currently starting a dog walking company, and then branching into training after a few years), so having access to these seminars is amazing. There are some topics that aren't really covered by their seminars, so I'll still have to supplement with books. Does anyone know of a library/book swap arrangement for dog behavior/training books? I've already asked my local library and they're apparently not interested in expanding their dog book collection.
  4. I recently stumbled upon tawzerdog.com, and discovered they have a very affordable DVD rental program. It works just like Netflix, except instead of movies they carry a large collection of dog seminars. Just thought I'd spread the word in case there are any other dog nerds, like me, that are on a tight budget. My first two DVD's should arrive today. I'm so excited! - Karynne
  5. In regards to your rabbit spraying, it definitely sounds like it's time to get that bunny fixed. Aside from all the behavioral benefits, there are some pretty substantial health benefits as well. Female rabbits have high instances of uterine problems which can be completely prevented through spaying. Both of my rabbits are fixed, and have been for some time, but we occasionally take in pre-op foster bunnies for the shelter. The very young rabbits are wonderful at first, but once they hit puberty they morph into complete nightmares. Any litterbox habits they had go out the window. Spraying, biting, obsessive scent marking, aggression, and territorial behavior are all normal parts of adolescence. Check out rabbit.org for more info. With rabbits, it's extremely important that you find a competent vet that's experienced in exotics. Dog/cat medicine does not transfer over to rabbits, and attempts to do so often prove fatal. The House Rabbit Society has a recommended vet list that you can look over.
  6. I think it's called a "shake-weight" or something to that effect. I almost died laughing when I saw the video for it! I originally saw the parody that South Park did on it, but I didn't think it was actually real! The South Park version of it is a little more explicit, so I won't go into detail, but I'm sure there are clips of it on youtube.
  7. We've had a similar experience, except they weren't afraid of the dogs. Our guinea pigs have LOVED every dog they've met, and intentionally strut their stuff around the cage whenever the dog is looking. Penelope, our oldest guinea pig takes it one step further and kisses the dog's nose whenever she can get to it! We did have issues with one of the dogs fixating on them, but we just kept the dog out of that room and it wasn't a problem. I found it a lot easier to manage guineapig/dog interactions than bunny/dog interactions. The piggies have a huge cage in our dining room, and get out of cage time in our kitchen, so it's pretty easy to just keep the dog out of those rooms. The bunnies are more challenging since they have free roam of the apartment whenever they're out of their cages. Whenever we have a dog over we close off the bedroom so the bunnies can have undisturbed run time, but they aren't happy about it. The hallway is Bettie's runway, so whenever she's denied access to it she gets pretty grumpy.
  8. Border_Collie_Crazy you definitely have quite the adorable family! Yeah, some rabbits are spunkier than others and adapt better to life with dogs. Your rabbit seems to be of that variety . My mother's dwarf used to routinely attack dogs that invaded his bubble, but struck up a pretty endearing friendship with two Corgis he met at his pet sitter's house. To say it was cute, is an understatement. My rabbits on the other hand, wouldn't be that bold. I know I'll have my work cut out for me when we do eventually adopt a dog. In the meantime, I've been trying to acclimate them by borrowing friend's well behaved dogs and encouraging positive experiences between the two. We'll also be looking for very specific qualities in whatever dog we adopt, calm in the house, experience with cats, low prey drive, follows directions, etc. to give us the best chance at success. We're still not sure if it will be a Border Collie, but we have plenty of time to prepare and research before we'll be ready to start looking at dogs. I definitely agree there are plenty of cases where dogs and rabbits coexist happily. My friend Darcy has two rabbits, a constant rotation of foster bunnies, an AussieXRetriever, and an adolescent Belgian Malinois that's crazy to boot. Somehow she makes it work, and all her animals seem happy with the arrangement. So it certainly is possible. Everyone has their different comfort levels in regards to what is acceptable. Personally, if a dog was intent on staring at my rabbits, that would be the end of their interactions. A large part of that is because I know it would scare the bejeezus out of my bunnies, and I'm not comfortable with the risk of it escalating into something more serious. There is a lady who used to foster rabbits for the shelter I volunteer at, and her Dachshund ended up killing one of them when left alone for a few seconds. As far as she was concerned there was no reason to worry. She had two bunnies of her own, which the dog was perfectly well behaved around, and the foster rabbit that died was caged at the time. After hearing her cautionary tale, it gave me a new respect for the risks, and taught me to never let my guard down.
  9. It's impossible to say for sure if your dog and rabbit are capable of getting along. The reality is there are some dogs who can learn to get along with rabbits, and some who can't. Just as there are some rabbits who can tolerate dogs, and others who will never get past their fear. The mixed results of success and failure that people have described is testament to that. The point is it's dependent on a lot of variable factors, and none of us know your pets well enough to say for sure. But the safest thing to do is err on the side of caution, and keep them separate. At first when I read your post, I considered that language is subject to interpretation, so what you described as fixation might just be curiosity, which is a completely normal reaction. But after rereading it, the fact that your dog is willing to stare at your rabbit for hours hints at something more sinister than curiosity. Of the three dogs I've introduced to my rabbits, none of them showed anything beyond moderate curiosity, and they quickly lost interest as soon as the rabbits stopped moving. Even then I didn't move past the baby gate stage, mostly because the dogs were visitors not permanent additions, and there was no reason to move forward. I think most people would agree that it's better to not introduce them unless your situation deems it necessary (for example close living quarters where overlap is inevitable), and even then proceed with caution, and be prepared for the possibility of failure. Training a dog to live with a rabbit is far more complex than your average obedience training. You're battling an instinct, not a habit. A habit can be broken, but an instinct will always be there.
  10. As I'm writing this my four pound rabbit is tearing around my apartment at top speed and ricocheting off my bed. From a dog's perspective I'm sure they'd be convinced she is the most amazing toy ever invented. She runs, bounces, zigs and zags, and tastes good too. What more could a dog want? This thread has me questioning (now more than ever) if my dream of adding a border collie to the family is just that, a dream.
  11. After rereading your original post, I'm inclined to agree with Gloria. If he's already been allowed to fixate for "hours and hours", the normal introduction procedures aren't going to work for you. Unless there is a reason they NEED to be introduced, it's better to not bother. It's not a natural relationship for them, and it goes against all their instincts to get along. I've had good success with the above process, and my friends have as well. But all those introductions involved non BCs that had no prior experience with rabbits (so they hadn't had a chance to develop bad habits), and the rabbits were indoor pets that were there before the dog.
  12. I definitely second what everyone else is saying, don't let him fixate on the rabbit . It's teaching your dog a bad habit, and scaring your rabbit. I'm still new to BCs so this post is primarily from a rabbit person's perspective, but hopefully there will be something of use to you... The key to safe dog-rabbit introductions is taking baby steps. It's your job to make sure your rabbit feels safe and comfortable, which means progressing at your rabbit's pace, not just your dog's. If you haven't already, I suggest checking out rabbit.org. Its a great free resource and can help you learn how to properly interpret your rabbit's body language, which will be extremely important during the introduction process. If you recently adopted your rabbit, I'd recommend working on building your human/rabbit bond before even bringing the dog into it. Once your rabbit knows and trusts you, it will be a lot easier for him to acclimate to the dog. I volunteer with my local shelter's rabbit program, and when counseling new adopters that have dogs, I like to start with a little empathy exercise into why letting the dog stare at the rabbit cage is a bad idea. Imagine you are locked in a barred room, and there is a very hungry tiger sitting just outside of it, staring intently at you, licking its lips, etc. Now imagine you don't have the reasoning skills necessary to gage whether or not those bars would keep you safe should the tiger decide to attack. All you know is: YOU can't escape, and the tiger wants to EAT you. Any one in their right mind would be terrified, and it's no different for rabbits. It sounds stupid at face value, but if you actually close your eyes and really think about it, it's pretty enlightening. The first thing I would do is establish your rabbit's cage as his safe zone. Don't let your dog anywhere near the rabbit's cage at this point. There are a lot of parallels to crate training a dog in doing this. Never use the cage as punishment, and make sure he has positive experiences when confined to it. When possible, don't pick him up to get him in and out of the cage either. If the cage is up high, you can build a ramp to make this easier. Open the door, and let him come out when he feels ready. Then when it's time to put him back in, lure him with a tasty (healthy) treat. Our bunnies know the word "bedtime", and as soon as I say it they come rushing to their cages for their nightly salads. It takes some practice, but as long as you stick to a consistent routine, he'll catch on quickly. Because of the size similarity, cat-dog and rabbit-dog introductions are often treated as the same process. From the dog training end of things it pretty much is, but when you factor in the differences between a cat and a rabbit, it changes a bit. For one thing, cats are predators, rabbits are prey. Their mentalities are totally different, and their reactions will be too. Cats have quite a few defense mechanisms, claws, teeth, climbing ability, and vocal sounds at their disposal. It's a rare occasion that a rabbit will actually stand up to a dog (although I have seen a three pound dwarf take a chunk out of a curious Labrador's nose), which leaves running. Which is pretty much the worst thing they could do, as it just triggers the dog's instinct to chase. It's of paramount importance that you don't give your dog the opportunity to chase or corner your rabbit. This means utilizing physical boundaries (baby gates, crates, leash, etc.), until you're absolutely sure he can be trusted without them. Not all dogs can adjust to living with a rabbit that they aren't allowed to chase or kill, so be prepared for the possibility that they may never be friends. To desensitize your dog to the rabbit's movements, i would try using a sturdy gate to separate them (rabbit in one room, you and the dog in another). One with bars or mesh is best, so they can see what the other is doing. Give your dog something to play with, either his favorite toy, a stuffed kong, anything that he finds interesting. Then let the rabbit out of his cage to explore the room, making sure he has access to comfortable hiding places. If your dog starts fixating on the rabbit, redirect his attention to you, and reward the dog for ignoring the rabbit (clicker training works well for this). Every rabbit is different, so what he does next depends on his personality. He might hop around for a while and eventually work up the courage to say hi, or he might keep a safe distance the whole time. Once you're able to gage his reaction, you'll have a better idea of how to progress. I'd keep doing that daily until your rabbit is comfortable with the dog's presence (grooming himself, stretching out, and doing binkies are all signs that he's relaxed), and your dog is consistently responding to your redirection efforts, and ignoring the rabbit. If all parties feel like they're ready for the next step move onto the same protocol just with the dog crated in the room that the rabbit is out exploring. Again, give your dog something interesting, and reward him whenever he focuses on you instead of the rabbit. If that goes well, move on to the dog being on leash next to you, and the rabbit loose. If your dog is extremely reliable with ignoring the rabbit, and not lunging at it when it runs, then you can try letting go of the leash. It's always wise to err on the side of caution, so I would keep the dog leashed around the rabbit for a good long while, before taking it off. Even if the dog has progressed to the point where he's reliable even when you aren't holding the leash, I'd let him drag it around so you can quickly grab it if he starts to take off after the bunny. It should go without saying that even when perfectly trained, the dog and rabbit should never be in the same room unsupervised, even if the rabbit is caged. That means if you go to the bathroom or take the trash out, separate them before leaving. It only takes a second for a fatal accident to occur, and it's important to never lose sight of the fact that your dog is a predator, and your rabbit is its natural prey. Maybe I'm overly cautious, but my rabbits lives aren't something I take lightly, so I'd rather not chance it. This is just how I make the dog/rabbit introductions, and how my friends have done it successfully, so I'm not an expert or anything. I have two house rabbits of my own, and am planning on adding a BC to the family, so I'm eager to hear other people's experiences!
  13. I second what everyone else has said so far. If he's right for you, you'll know it when you meet him. You sound like a level headed person, so don't be afraid to trust your gut. Did anyone else notice that perfect little heart shaped freckle on his nose (visible in pics 2 and 3)? Adorable!
  14. airbear:Thanks for sharing your experience! It sounds like your dogs have a lot of fun on their outings. The walker you use certainly sounds a lot more responsible than the ones here that offer off leash outings. Around here the walkers don't seem to understand why bringing 8 dogs to an already crowded dog park (with only one walker supervising the mayhem) is a problem. They make a lot of money doing it, but it's not safe, which is why I've chosen not to jump on that bandwagon. Off leash hikes would be a wonderful alternative to it, but there isn't really anywhere to do it near Tacoma...sigh. Alchemist: It sounds like you've found a great dog walker as well! Eventually (when we have a house, not an apartment) I'd love to be able to offer boarding at our home. For now though, if clients need vacation care I'll be referring them to my friend, Shana, who runs a pet sitting company in town. Christina: Thanks for all the helpful advice! 1) I figured this would be something I'd encounter pretty regularly. If the client is really stuck on needing a noon appointment, then there's probably not much I can do for them (assuming my noon time slot is already taken) other than refer them to another company. But hopefully I can persuade them of the merits of other walk times. For example morning appointments (10-11am) can help lessen the chance of a dog becoming destructive throughout the day. It wouldn't be a guaranteed cure obviously, but if they're trashing the house because of boredom and pent up energy, then a morning workout might be just the ticket. Afternoon appointments also have their advantages. Lots of people take their dogs along on their morning workouts (jogging, biking, etc.) but just want to relax once they get home from work, so an afternoon walk could work well for them. 2) The way the GPS system works involves QR codes, so it's kind of a punch clock of sorts, as well as a communication channel. Each client is issued a QR code (to be kept at the client's house), so when I pick up the dog I just scan it with my smartphone and it sends an email or text alert to the client letting them know I've arrived, and then GPS tracks my phone in real time until I scan out again (it sends them an alert when I leave as well). They can watch our walk live on their computer, or log in later and view the route then. When I scan out, I have the option of sending the owner a more detailed message, or I can leave a paper note instead, whatever the client prefers. 3) Couldn't agree more! I decided early on that since driving is one of my least favorite parts of the job, that I wanted to minimize the amount of time I spend doing it. My service area is Tacoma, and only Tacoma. You can drive pretty much anywhere in Tacoma in about 15 minutes, so that should cut down on my commutes. 4) Yeah, a website is definitely a must have, and it's pretty useless if customers can't find you in the search results. I'm currently still designing mine, but I hope to have it done soon. 5) Great advice! I'd already planned on introducing myself to the other dog related businesses in town (trainers, pet stores, rescues, etc.) but it never occurred to me to extend that to include other walkers. 6) Definitely solid advice. 7) Yep, the contact page on my site already has one. 8) I agree! I always gag when I see business names like that, so I steered clear of them when picking mine. I chose a sole proprietorship for the simplicity factor, as taxes and accounting make my head spin, but I'd be curious to hear why you chose LLC. What are the advantages to it? Thank you for the great advice and well wishes!
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