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Howling Farmer

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  1. Tucker is just a little over two now. He has had some interesting (ahem…) issues, to the point where a vet behaviorist is involved. I have done a lot of work with him, and a TON of impulse control work, and he was gradually improving. Finally got him neutered at two. Didn't expect much, since none of his issues seemed "male" related. Well, six or so weeks after the neutering, he suddenly turned over a new leaf and is considerably mellower. His overall arousal level is much, much lower, and it seems like he is able to hold it together better. Like I said, I've done a ton of work with him
  2. I actually know the woman in the video that Jen mentioned, with the deaf Akita (who, before we moved, was one of my reactive BC's best friends.) She also uses "getting to play in the stream" and "getting to greet your favorite people" as rewards to get her dog interested in working. Sometimes you have to be really creative to find what actually is a reinforcer! Leslie
  3. I really like Dr. Pachel too. Not only is he a good vet behaviorist, but he so nice and down to earth and supportive. I was at my wits end when I took Tucker to see him, and I left the appointment feeling sooo much better! Leslie
  4. The new study must be prompting interest. My BC, who has had issues with chasing his shadow, was just featured in a Portland article http://www.oregonlive.com/pets/index.ssf/2014/03/pet_talk_canines_are_also_pron.html Leslie
  5. As I think someone else said above, resource guarding is really normal behavior for dogs. Of course, that doesn't make it acceptable! Good suggestions above about trading games. You also might want to check out Jean Donaldson's "Mine." My BC stares at me all the time. Sometimes I think he's going go bore holes through my head. Leslie
  6. I also have a BC that doesn't sleep a lot during the day. He has a great off switch and has been highly reinforced for calm behavior, so he's completely calm in the house. But not sleeping. To get him to actually nap, sometimes I have to stick him in his crate, on the porch, to keep him sequestered from anything that might possibly disturb his very light slumber. If he doesn't get his naps, he gets over stimulated and on edge. And he's much more likely to be reactive. He'll still be acting calm, but his eyes will have a certain wild look about them. Then I'll know it's time to put him i
  7. When my fence guy put in my high-tensile fence, some of the strands were ground wires, the idea being what you describe. This kept the goats in, but I did have one sheep that kept getting out (wool is such a great insulator....) Once I put in another hot wire so that the space between the wires was smaller, then he stayed in. I don't live there anymore, but I'm guessing the space between the strands was 4-6 inches where the fence was "sheep height." I would think you'd want the wires close enough together so the head would touch both at once. Leslie
  8. Mine both got zapped as youngsters. The Mini Aussie came trotting back to the house, shaking his head and looking surprised and indignant. Thirty seconds later he'd forgotten about it. My poor BC was wet when he touched it, and came running back to the house, screaming bloody murder. He barked at inanimate objects for half an hour afterwards. Later, when he touched it as an adult, there was a lot less drama. Leslie
  9. In my (limited) experience, it's been the marrow that caused the problem. Scooping some of it out seems to work. My small dog seems particularly susceptible to "the problem" and gets the bones that my BC has already eaten most if not all of the marrow out of. Leslie
  10. I can't remember the dose per pound, but the dose for my 36 lb. guy was 100 mg, twice a day. I may be remembering this wrong, but I think you have to be careful to select a brand that doesn't have something bad in it for dogs. I got mine from Swansons -- Suntheanine. A lot of folks seem to have had good success with it, but I didn't really notice a difference with Tucker. I actually questioned whether it made him barkier, but I can't say for sure. Best of luck. Leslie
  11. When I was looking for a pup, Dee Woessner was highly recommended by the Open level trial handler I was taking lessons from. I didn't end up getting a pup from her, just because of timing, but I did communicate with her quite a bit and was very impressed. She did do the ENS with her pups, and it sounded like they were extensively socialized. No breeding contract as I recall. I can't remember if she did any testing. And I don't remember exactly where she is, but I'm sure you can find her -- on the East Coast somewhere. Best of luck. Leslie
  12. We have had problems with Tucker chasing his shadow and obsessing over his reflection (weirdly, it never generalized to other shadows and reflections...) We have pretty much extinguished the behavior in the house (last winter we had a huge problem when he discovered his reflection in the chrome on our wood stove.) With Tucker, it's related to anxiety and arousal, so we worked on decreasing his arousal around the shadow/reflection. Every time he went to "jump" on the reflection, we told him in the most bored voice we could manage "go lie down." If he kept popping up to jump on it, we w
  13. Hi Amy, You might have to drive somewhere to do the training. I live in the country too, and it seems like I am always having to drive somewhere to get the right training set up! It's a huge pain, but it's worth it. Is there someplace you could go where you could get far enough away from the cars to be under threshold (she's noticing cars but not trying to chase them)? Ideally, this is someplace where a car passes every minute or two (this way she won't be overwhelmed, but you won't have to wait forever to see one.) It sounds like this won't work so well at your property because
  14. Emily Larlham has a wonderful new dvd called "Harnessing the Hunter," which is all about lowering arousal and building reliability around prey. Exactly the squirrel issue! I bought it and it is super user-friendly, with lots of creative exercises that are helpful in everyday life as well. The dvd is also really encouraging because she has two hunting-breed dogs that were NUTS about prey (it's on the video) and now are calm around prey. The dvd is available at Tawzerdog.com. Leslie
  15. Our cat was actually the first one to figure out the dog door!
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